Progressive metal outfit Ne Obliviscaris is now revealing another emotionally charged single and music video. “Graal” is taken from the band’s long-awaited full-length, “Exul,” which is due on March 24 via Season of Mist. The song and stunning video can be seen below.
Exploring the result of oppression and mistreatment, Ne Obliviscaris‘ new song “Graal” is about the inner journey and struggle to understand our individual worth. In lieu of a comment, violinist/clean vocalist Tim Charles offers this thought-provoking poem inspired by the song “Graal” and its intensely charged video.
Drum tracking for “Exul”, the fourth long-player from Australian extreme progressive metallers Ne Obliviscaris, started in March 2020. There is an ominous tone to that date: March 2020. The pandemic demarcation line. That month, Daniel Presland laid down his drums in Nashville, Tennessee, with American producer Mark Lewis. As flight cancellations increased and borders shuttered, Presland made it home literally hours before Australia closed theirs. Lewis, guitarist Benjamin Baret and bassist Martino Garattoni weren’t as lucky. They were due to land in Australia in the days that followed to continue tracking, but were forced to remain overseas indefinitely. With recording studios shuttered throughout Melbourne, a slow, tedious, life-altering two-year grind to complete “Exul” ensued for Ne Obliviscaris.
What should have been the continued upward swing after 2017’s critically acclaimed “Urn” turned into the most fraught moment of Ne Obliviscaris’s career. Clean vocalist and violinist Tim Charles says the period “came close to breaking us completely.” It was a time filled with death, relationships breaking down, despair and financial loss. Presland, Ne Obliviscaris’s drummer since 2005, amicably parted ways in early 2022, throwing yet another wrench into the band’s plans.
Seven additional studios and three more countries later, “Exul” was finally mixed and mastered in July 2022.
The album personifies Ne Obliviscaris’s distinctive, boundary-pushing ethos. The band’s trademark blend of emotion and beauty is as towering as ever, if not even more compelling, particularly how Charles’ violin lines carefully weave their way around Baret and fellow guitarist Matt Klavins’ riffing. The duality of Charles’ clean vocals and Xenoyr’s growls remains the narrative anchor, elevating songs that emanate sophistication and are a masterclass in composition.
“Our approach is always the same,” says Charles, “which is essentially to just write and see what comes out. Exul definitely had its challenges during the songwriting process. Part of the beauty of how our music comes together is that we are quite different individuals bringing an array of ideas together. From there, we work out how to combine them into something that is seamless and beautiful to us. We were determined to make this our best and most complete album yet, which definitely resulted in it taking longer. But we are so proud of this album and it’s exciting to finally share it with the world.”
The album’s centerpiece is the two-part ‘Misericorde I – As the Flesh Fails’ and ‘Misericorde – Anatomy of Quiescence.’ (A Ne Obliviscaris album is not complete without a multi-part epic!) According to Charles, ‘Part II’ began by taking a song they thought was finished (‘Pt I’) and asking, “What if after that…?” The band then wrote a section that took the piece in a new direction and what was a seven minute song, became an almost seventeen-minute two-part epic.
“The bulk of ‘Part I’ was written more so by Benji and Martino,” notes Charles. “You can hear the very guitar-driven approach present throughout that track. ‘Part II’, by contrast, was written more so by myself in collaboration with others and the emphasis changes more towards expansive solos and slow-developing sections that build towards the epic finale. These two tracks are a great example of how it’s the combination of our different strengths as songwriters spread across an album that results in the sound that is Ne Obliviscaris.”
The “Exul” album title came to Xen when he was summing up the album’s feeling musically and lyrically. Coincidentally, it matched the experience of most people during the pandemic and the Russian invasion of Ukraine. “I think everyone at some point has felt at odds with the world around them, felt alone, cast out, or misunderstood,” says Xen. ““Exul” felt right to use in a broader sense and as a lone word, for we each have our own history and a story of exile.
“Overall, there’s a darker core to this album, perhaps more ominous than previous releases,” he continues. “However abstract the lyrics are, they involve some form of unwanted departure — all journeys into torment, passion, longing and even despair. They touch on the process of physical and psychological destruction that comes from that sense or reality of being exiled, whether forced from one’s land, ostracized from a community, shunned by a religion, or even simply being treated differently for being who they are.”
Touring will factor heavily into Ne Obliviscaris’s 2023 plans. The band will embark on headlining tours worldwide that will hit new territories. As luck would have it, the return to live show activity will coincide with the release of Exul and the band’s 20th anniversary. As one of Australia’s leading extreme metal exports, there is a distinct sense of gratitude from Charles and his band-mates. They’re looking forward to sharing it with fans when they resume touring.
“Simply getting the opportunity to perform music that we’ve written on stages around the world to people that genuinely love and connect with it,” finishes Charles when talking about Ne Obliviscaris ’s 20-year journey. “There is something incredibly special about the energy that exists between an artist and audience at a concert and it’s an honor to get the opportunity to spend 2023 connecting with people in that way once more.”
NE OBLIVISCARIS and BEYOND CREATION (with PERSEFONE):
10/05: Baltimore, MD @ Soundstage [TICKETS]
10/06: Philadelphia, PA @ Underground Arts [TICKETS]
10/07: Richmond, VA @ The Broadberry [TICKETS]
10/08: Atlanta, GA @ The Masquerade [TICKETS]
10/10: Tampa, FL @ The Orpheum [TICKETS]
10/11: Orlando, FL @ The Haven [TICKETS]
10/13: Houston, TX @ Warehouse Live [TICKETS]
10/14: Dallas, TX @ The Echo Lounge [TICKETS]
10/15: San Antonio, TX @ Vibes Event Center [TICKETS]
10/17: Albuquerque, NM @ Sunshine Theater [TICKETS]
10/18: Phoenix, AZ @ The Nile Theater [TICKETS]
10/20: San Diego, CA @ House Of Blues [TICKETS]
10/21: Los Angeles, CA @ The Belasco Theater [TICKETS]
10/22: San Francisco, CA @ DNA Lounge [TICKETS]
10/24: Salt Lake City, UT @ Metro Music Hall [TICKETS]
10/25: Boise, ID @ Knitting Factory [TICKETS]
10/26: Reno, NV @ Virginia Street Brewhouse [TICKETS]
10/27: Portland, OR @ BossaNova Ballroom [TICKETS]
10/28: Seattle, WA @ El Corazon [TICKETS]
10/29: Vancouver, BC @ Rickshaw Theater [TICKETS]
10/31: Edmonton, AB @ The Starlite Room [TICKETS]
11/01: Calgary, AB @ The Palace Theatre [TICKETS]
11/03: Denver, CO @ Gothic Theatre [TICKETS]
11/04: Lincoln, NE @ Royal Grove [TICKETS]
11/05: Minneapolis, MN @ Fine Line [TICKETS]
11/07: Chicago, IL @ Bottom Lounge [TICKETS]
11/09: Toronto, ON @ Opera House [TICKETS]
11/10: Montreal, QC @ Club Soda [TICKETS]
11/11: Boston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall [TICKETS]
11/13: New York, NY @ Gramercy Theater [TICKETS]
NE OBLIVISCARIS also recently announced a European/UK tour! For all upcoming live dates and tickets, visit the band’s website HERE.