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NE OBLIVISCARIS

Ne Obliviscaris - Photo by JF Foto

Ne Obliviscaris – Photo by J-F-Foto

Advent Sorrow/Tangled Thoughts Of Leaving

Amplifier Bar

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Perth’s own Advent Sorrow took a break from recording their upcoming album to kick off the night, rewarding the early bird crowd with a couple of fresh songs – and a fresh guitarist, following the recent departure of longtime band member Tom Waterhouse. Disguised beneath the corpse paint that has become their signature was Hrodrik Segovia (also of Drohtnung), a fitting addition to the ‘torturous black metal’ six piece. Charismatic vocalist Rhys King overpowered the melodious cacophony of his bandmates with seeming ease, impressing on ambitious new tracks Absolute Perpetual Death and While Bones Are Broken.

Any self-respecting local music fan has at least heard of the beast that is Tangled Thoughts Of Leaving. The post rock stalwarts have amassed a fan base extending far beyond their humble turf, and happily, they far exceed the hype that follows them. For 45 intense minutes they held the tightly packed crowd in their thrall, building a wall of sound that was at once entirely their own, yet reminiscent of post rock legends Mogwai and even latter day Pink Floyd. The four piece made no discernible effort to connect with their audience, at least in a conventional sense – there was little to no verbal exchange, but I suspect I wasn’t the only one left feeling like a very privileged fly on the wall as they played tracks from recently released EP Downbeat with unbridled passion, ultimately exuding a sense of all-consuming unity.

By the time extreme progressive metal sextet Ne Obliviscaris took to the stage, the band room was akin to a sauna. It spoke volumes of their success that this didn’t deter the hordes of fans clamouring to be front-and-centre – that, and the exuberant cheers that dogged their entire set. Violinist Tim Charles stole the show with his masterful playing and beautiful clean vocals, the haunting shimmer of his violin lending a unique richness to what can sometimes be a tired genre. Lead vocalist Xen was the yin to Charles’ jovial yang; while the latter made nice with the crowd, Xen focused on tearing our collective eardrums a new one with his enduring high screams and super deep gutturals.

While the initial focus was on the spoils of their new record Citadel, a lovely acoustic interlude proved to be a surprising highlight, cooling punters down just enough for the onslaught of key track Xenoflux from 2012’s acclaimed Portal Of I. Famed for their rambling epics, it is in this way – and arguably, this way alone – that Ne Obliviscaris adhere to the conventional tropes of prog metal.

As they kept the audience satiated with their hypnotic soundscape, one awed punter could be heard shouting, ‘How do they do it?’ I was inclined to agree when, a full 90 minutes into their sweat-soaked set, they showed no signs of tiring. Ending on Portal Of I’s And Plague Flowers The Kaleidoscope, they finished a stellar tour on an equally stellar note.

ELLIE HUTCHINSON

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