The Aurora Veil
Dense symphonic black metal that heralds a new era in Australian metal
There are a lot of different opinions on the current state of the Australian metal scene. I have heard some people complain that there's just not enough people coming to gigs anymore, whilst I have heard others positively focus on what talent there is to offer in Australia. There's no denying that Australia has never had such great talent in its midst. Bands like Airborne are touring internationally and making a name for themselves in places like the US, whilst Tasmania's Psycroptic have signed to Nuclear Blast, and are getting bigger and bigger as more people are exposing themselves to their new album, and no doubt those albums that they have already released. Sometimes I can't help but to agree that Australian metal is a bit under-represented, as some of my favourite locals bands like Black Like Vengeance, Virgin Black and Nothing are no where near as big as some of the foreign bands with much less talent. But I live in hope as more and more of these awesome bands rise up from our sunny country, with awe-inspiring talents and creativity. One such band is Ne Obliviscaris. I am surprised I have only just heard of them considering that they formed in 2003, and they have been gigging since early 2006. Melbourne's Ne Obliviscaris combine extreme and clean vocals with a violin, twin guitarists, a bassist and a drummer to create a wall of progressive, symphonic metal that transcends genres from black metal to jazz, and it's almost indescribable just how epic their sound is, and just how creative and virtuouse their music skills are. The band have just released their first demo, entitled The Aurora Veil, and whilst it may only feature three tracks, it still manages to surpass the 33 minute mark, which should give you some idea of just how epic the songs are.
With the opening of the first track Tapestry of the Starless Abstract, things are extreme and heavy, with black metal screams (slightly resembling those of Dani Filth) and death metal growls. But it becomes clear pretty quickly that these guys go way beyond the borders of your average extreme metal bands, especially when the violin plays sorrowfully alongside the distortion guitars and the growls, and the sound becomes dense yet still very well coordinated and melodic. Opeth have no doubt had a huge influence on the progressive side of the band, but Ne Obliviscaris take it one step further as they rid of standard song structures altogether. Perhaps the greatest element of the band are the more melodic, quieter sections of the songs that are so beautiful that they may even bring a tear to your eye. The second track Forget Not is devoid of vocals for almost the first half of the song, and everything sounds gothic and technical. If you can imagine Trent Reznor doing a cover of a Tristania song, then you may be on the right track. There are some amazing melodies from the lead guitar, and everything seems to build up to a massive climax towards the end of the song which hails the clean vocals, which contrast well with the black metal screams when they are used together. The third and final track As Icicles Fall is less extreme than the other tracks, but still just as magnificient and creative.
Ne Obliviscaris have me in awe and I can't wait to catch them at the next local gig they play. This takes the best genres of metals past and mashes them together to create what I believe is the future of progressive metal, and definitely part of the future of Australian metal. And to think that I can pay fifteen dollars to see these guys, when they are just as great as some of the international bands that I have paid eighty dollars to see in the past. If The Aurora Veil is just a demo of their music, then I can't wait to hear the full onslaught that they could dish out on a full length album.