Extreme metal bands who push the boundaries and dive into, dare I say, 'progressive' waters, are always going to catch the ear of this writer, and Citadel, the latest from Australia's Ne Obliviscaris, is no exception. Season of Mist is a good home for this terrific band, who combine complex death metal with soaring classical passages and plenty of melody. Think if you will, Blackwater Park era Opeth, but with some lovely violin thrown into the mix.
"Painters of the Tempest (Part II): Triptych Lux" is a perfect example of the above statement, as Xenoyr's deep, bellowing growls combat the wonderful clean vocals of violinist Tim Charles, with the music fluctuating between thunderous, complex death metal, to shimmering violin led classical sections, and folky acoustic guitar soaked splendor. A shout out needs to go to guitarists Benjamin Baret & Matt Klavins, both of whom contribute some mighty fine axe work here, from crushing, intricate rhythms, to blazing leads & sumptuous acoustic textures, and bassist Cygnus also drops in some mesmerizing lines on this epic length track. "Pyrrhic" just crushes with death metal might but wild violin solos by Charles adds a 'Jean Luc Ponty jamming with Morbid Angel' flair to this pummeling piece. The two-part "Devour Me, Colossus" again shows the bands progressive side, as it goes back and forth from death metal, to prog, to classical, to jazz-fusion, folk, and back again to balls out technical metal.
Citadel is mind blowing stuff, and it's safe to say that Ne Obliviscaris have created one of the most hauntingly beautiful extreme metal albums I've heard this year.
1. Painters of the Tempest (Part I): Wyrmholes
2. Painters of the Tempest (Part II): Triptych Lux
Movement I: Creator
Movment II: Cynosure
Movement III: Curator
3. Painters of the Tempest (Part III): Reveries from the Stained Glass Womb
5. Devour Me, Colossus (Part I): Blackholes
6. Devour Me, Colossus (Part II): Contortions