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The Painted Progression of NE OBLIVISCARIS

For their first shows on home soil in over 12 months, Ne Obliviscaris are bringing with them a stellar support group, headed by Brisbane’s Caligula’s Horse and rounded out by three international heavyweights in Allegaeon, Beyond Creation and Rivers of Nihil. It is a travelling extravaganza dubbed The Painted Progression tour and one which clean vocalist and violinist for Ne Obliviscaris, Tim Charles, struggles to contain his enthusiasm about.

Ne Obliviscaris TOUR DATES

Thursday, May 9: Lion Arts Factory, Adelaide – Lic/AA

Friday, May 10: 170 Russell, Melbourne

Saturday, May 11: Manning Bar, Sydney

Sunday, May 12: The Triffid, Brisbane

Tickets on sale from neobliviscaris.com.au

“We’re all kind of related but different”, he laughed. “Caligula’s Horse are obviously one of Australia’s best progressive rock metal bands. Their last album In Contact was just phenomenal and I guess they’re a little more on the melodic side than some of the other bands. Allegaeon have a new album coming out in April which I’ve been lucky enough to get an advance copy of and I think it’s the best thing they’ve ever done. Those guys are a really fantastic live band, really technical but with lots of melody as well and super tight live. Beyond Creation – some of our Australian fans will already know them if they came and saw our tour back in 2014 – are again a phenomenal live band; super technical but melodic in their own way and a great bunch of guys as well – as are all of the bands on the bill – and Rivers of Nihil put out one of the most surprising albums of last year. It was a real progressive wonder of an album with these sweeping saxophone solos and all this sort of stuff and we really felt they were a perfect fit for us in the way that the approach being heavy but also progressive and extreme at the same time. They do it differently to us but in a way that we felt was really compatible with what we’re doing. Every band is a little bit different but they all kind of fit together”.

When Ne Obliviscaris first burst onto the Melbourne music scene in 2003 it is fair to say they were a breath of fresh air on a scene that was starting to choke up with progressive music. They refused to follow a set blueprint and instead set about forging their name in their own image, albeit it one which drew influence from some of the heavyweights of the time.

“Back then there was some pretty significant things happening in the metal world that impacted me”, Charles recalled. “It was probably not too long before that that I discovered Opeth through their Blackwater Park album and Enslaved came out with an album and Dream Theatre had not long before come out with Scenes From A Memory. All of these albums were my favourite records at that time so when we were starting this band I never wanted to sound like anybody but the idea that you could be an extreme and really heavy metal band but at the same time be melodic and have beautiful elements to your music was something that I had kind of recently discovered and been inspired by. Some of those bands like Opeth and Enslaved that were doing that opened our horizons to the fact of let’s not have any barriers when we write music. Let’s just write music and if we think it’s good it doesn’t matter what genre it is. If its metal or acoustic or prog or classical or jazz let’s not care. Let’s just try to write good music and not give a fuck what anyone thinks we should sound like and that’s how we came up with our sound because I don’t think anyone sounds like we do, and all we did was just try to be ourselves. We just tried to get rid of the barriers and let each member be themselves in the band. We’re all quite different musicians and everyone has that opportunity in our band to have that creative voice and that shines through in the music I think”.

With their debut album Portal of I in 2012 Ne Obliviscaris created a masterpiece that not only resonated with the fans but also had mainstream media singing their praises. It was one of the first times music of this nature had reached the ears of the mainstream and be met with appraisal and was a significant moment in Australian progressive metal music.

“That album was our first real attempt to create”, Charles reflected. “It was our first album so it was our first attempt to create a piece of music that was exactly what we wanted and as a first attempt, it’s never going to be perfect in every way. You learn something from every album but that was really something different to what a lot of people were expecting from a lot of the stuff that was being released in 2012 and so people would hear that record and there was a lot of people that either loved it and thought it was fantastic or they just didn’t get it at all – which is fine as well (laughs), but it is that thing where a few people seemed to connect with it and it gave us a lot of hope and positivity for the band in regards to believing that as a strong first step we could continue to move forward. It took us nine years to release that first album and it was really, really difficult to just make it that far in the first place. There were so many times in the band’s early career where we almost broke up. Our lead guitarist Benji is from France and his Australian visa got denied back in 2010 and he was deported and the band was basically on hiatus for 18 months and a few of the guys were talking about quitting the band – and Dan our drummer actually did for a little while – but thankfully we managed to get Benji back to Australia and the band got back together essentially and we released the album and when it did well it gave us the faith of hey it’s taken us nine years to get here but maybe all the struggle has been worth it and maybe we should keep pushing and see what we can do with some more releases”.

Most bands would be content to plagiarize their own successful formula on their sophomore album, but not so Ne Obliviscaris who decided to add more jazz and flamenco elements to 2014’s Citadel – a move that only served to solidify their growing reputation.

“We don’t really know any other way, to be honest”, Charles shrugged. “We just write and however it comes out is how it comes out. We try not to overthink it. We don’t think let’s write an album like this or let’s write a song like that. We just write and we really don’t care what people want us to sound like, but we have the confidence that we can write good music so the bar that we set is for us to be happy and for us to think that it’s great music. We have confidence that if we really believe these are the best songs we can possibly write at this stage of our lives then it will find an audience and people can connect with it. If it’s different all it will mean is maybe some people won’t like it as much but if it’s good then new people will discover you and that was our same approach on Urn as well which was different and the next album we do I’m sure will probably be different again and some people will like the older stuff more and some people might like the newer stuff more and that’s fine. But if you try to do stuff to please people then you lose that genuine aspect to your music. We’re trying to create art, it’s not pop songs so we don’t really care what people want it to sound like. We just want to make sure that we love and believe in what we’re doing first and foremost”.

Ne Obliviscaris TOUR DATES

Thursday, May 9: Lion Arts Factory, Adelaide – Lic/AA

Friday, May 10: 170 Russell, Melbourne

Saturday, May 11: Manning Bar, Sydney

Sunday, May 12: The Triffid, Brisbane

Tickets on sale from neobliviscaris.com.au

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