By Dr. Abner Mality

Sometimes you can just read a song title and know what you are in for. On "Citadel", we have a track entitled "Painters of the Tempest (Part II): Triptych Lux Movement 1: Creator Movement !!: Cynosure Movement III: Curator". That pretty much tells you everything you need to know about Ne Obliviscaris.

This is as proggy as death metal gets. If you are an old-timer with a Sodom patch on the back of your denim vest and an Old Style in your paw, chances are this is not your cup of tea. And if you worship the new Threshold album, the harsh vocals and blast beats are gonna knock you right out of your bean bag chair. However, if you're the type that can enjoy Cannibal Corpse and Dream Theater both, then you're the target audience for Ne Obliviscaris and "Citadel".

Six tracks here and four are virtual metallic symphonies that are almost albums in themselves. They range from ultra-fast death metal with diabolical roars to almost Kansas-like prog with violin and pleasing clean vocals. The dichotomy of beauty and brutality drives this band and I must say they do an excellent job with it. Most of the singing is on the harsh side but with enough clean stuff to avoid burnout. The violin playing of Tim Charles (I think he also handles clean vocals) is outstanding and enhances the heavier parts as well as the more prog metal stuff. The sound is pretty smooth....don't expect rawness like Portal or Teitanblood. This isn't that kind of band.

The band reaches their apogee with "Devour Me, Colossus (Part 1): Blackholes". The title is as pretentious as hell, but the song itself is magnificent, soaring heaviness mixed with some beautiful violin/piano interplay. By far the best tune here, although they all have their moments.

Ne Obliviscaris is a bit on the overdone side, but it you've got it, flaunt it! And these Aussies do just that! If you enjoy the progressive side of death metal, this is something you don't want to miss. If Six Feet Under floats your boat, you better pass on "Citadel".