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Portal Of I

4.8 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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Audio CD, August 7, 2012
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Editorial Reviews

Finally the debut album of one of the most revered and appreciated undeground band in the world: NE OBLIVISCARIS from Australia! 71 minutes of Intense Progressive Black Metal like you never heard before. Another Dark gem to the code666 collection. DELUXE Digipack Edition with Poster
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 7, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: AURAL MUSIC
  • ASIN: B0085X31VE
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #21,143 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
The highly digitalized cover art gives the impression that this is a typical power metal band playing a hybrid of melodic metal with the occasional guitar crunch and syrupy vocal lines delivering fantasy lyrics a la Rhapsody.

Well, thankfully, that's not the case. Then again, anyone who sees the name of this band should know better. Ne Obliviscaris (Latin for "lest we forget") is an Australian extreme progressive metal band that may be familiar to some for their highly acclaimed 2007 demo, The Aurora Veil.

Five years later, the band has released their debut album, Portal of I. It contains all three tracks from their demo, but they've all been reworked and modified with some parts completely rearranged, and of course, the production is a lot tighter. If you, like me, have listened to the demo a lot over the years, you'll notice that the beautifully pronounced bass solo at the end of "Tapestry of the Starless Abstract" is now hidden under a chant-like vocal melody that may or may not be to your liking depending on your tastes. Also, the overtly heavy buzzing guitar tone is replaced with a more central sound; the guitar tones are wider in scope and carry more tonal definition. This has obviously led to the 'blackened' vibe of the songs to be less readily noticeable; the focus is more on creating bruising riffs and dynamic shifts of tempo on this album.

On the other hand, if you've never heard Ne Obliviscaris before, they're a bit harder to classify. They present a powerful mix of growled and clean vocals, sometimes delivered simultaneously (much like some of the vocals on Ihsahn's last album
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Format: MP3 Music
There's a reason why Ne Oblviviscaris have been generating buzz on various metal sites and blogs, having left a lasting impression with their demo, The Aurora Veil. Not many bands have two vocalists, even fewer with guys who can sing as well as Tim Charles or Xenoyr, while the addition of Charles' violin is a nice change of pace for a heavy metal band. Sure, other bands may have violin every once in a while, but there aren't many that have a violinist in their lineup, My Dying Bride and Winds being the other bands that come to mind. Like those two bands, Ne Obliviscaris doesn't break out the violin too much, since the instrument tends to take the lead unless it's deliberately buried in the mix. However, the violin is one of the elements that makes Ne Oblviscaris' music stand out.

In the five years that have passed since the demo's release, the band has reworked those three songs, dropped a few other songs and worked on new material. Though there are only four new tracks on Portal Of I, they and the new versions of the three previously released songs make for quite an enjoyable album. However, I must admit that I prefer the earlier version of "As Icicles Fall", which I thought was the highlight of the demo; the vocals aren't quite as good, the guitars are lacking the sound they had before (even if they re playing the same thing) and the violin doesn't sound as prominent. "Forget Not" sounds different, but I don't think the changes to the song make it any better or worse than the original, while "Tapestry of the Starless Abstract" is greatly improved, although I still think it's the weakest link here.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I've had to go back and edit this review several times.

One reason for that is that this album has me totally stunned.

Perhaps blown away would be a better choice of words? It doesn't matter -- what matters is this: this is one of the greatest albums I've ever heard, in my life, in the past several years. Maybe in my life.

I don't know how to classify it. More orchestrally beautiful than much progressive metal... yet harsher and faster and more furious than it too. Yet softer than speed or thrash, with vocals that are between an anguished scream and a saddened whisper.

Perhaps you should listen to some of the tracks on youtube: but know that until you listen to the tracks in full fidelity you'll be missing out. And to miss out on this masterpiece would be a real shame.

A real, true shame.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Hands down this is my absolute favorite album of all time. Every second from start to finish is enjoyable and well-written and contains a little bit of everything I love about extreme music.

Harsh and clean vocals? Check.
Incredible drumming? Check.
Crushing guitar rifts and solos? Check and check.
Actual audible bass? Check.
... A VIOLIN?! I didn't know I wanted it till I had it!

These boys have a bright future ahead of them, and I recommend any fan of metal to check this out immediately. If you don't get it at first, try again later. It took me a few listens to fully appreciate and break down what I was hearing, as the songs are long and very dense.

I have strong doubts that And Plague Flowers The Kaleidoscope will ever be topped as the perfect song to me. I'll be enjoying this one for years to come. And to think it is the very first LP ever released by this group. Incredible \m/
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