Ne Obliviscaris at Arts ClubSupport: Oceans of Slumber| Kusanagi
October 5, 2016 at Arts Club
Promoter: DeathWave Entertainment
Australian black metallers Ne Obliviscaris have had a whirlwind 12 months since impressing when supporting Cradle of Filth on their UK tour last October. A successful crowdfunding campaign saw them raise enough money to be able to come back, this time as headliners on their own UK run. Unfortunately, Betreaus had to pull out of the show at the last minute, but that still left a decent line up for tonight’s show.
First up were local act Kusanagi, an instrumental four piece that a produced a huge sound belying the bare looking stage. With all of their focus on the music, the members were largely still during the short but powerful set. Their progressive sound drawing from several different genres and scenes and pulled together into one vast noise. The crowd had turned up early and given the openers a great deal of support. Even the few that weren’t paying attention early on in the set were involved by the end, and showed their appreciation for what was a great introduction to the evening ahead.
Main support was Texans Oceans of Slumber, on their first visit to the UK, and they really impressed. Taking the progressive sound that the openers had used to such great effect, and added some heavier more doom like elements, Oceans of Slumber took the evening in a moodier direction. Fronted by the amazing Cammie Gilbert, they used a combination of her soft clean vocals with the huge riffs and guttural backing vocals of Anthony Contreras and Sean Gary to produce something that was at times crushing, and at times beautifully melodic, but was utterly enthralling during the whole set. A very special prospect, with the band coming from all different area of music, from grind legends Insect Warfare to a jazz guitarist, their music covers that ground and pretty much everything in between.
Ne Obliviscaris had a lot to live up to with the two performances beforehand, but they didn’t appear at all worried about it. A loud group of hardcore fans and pledgers had gathered at the front of a decent crowd considering they were playing another show close by in a couple of nights and gave the Aussies a warm welcome. They played a set that moved from a more progressive sound right through to the blackest of black metal, and with it added a few moments of bluegrass along the way. A completely different prospect to any band that I’ve seen live for a long time (and I’ve can only think of Panopticon that is as broad in musical spectrum) and they manage to bring all these different influences together in a very successful way.
An issue with Tim Charles’ violin failing (the first time it had ever happened according to the frontman) didn’t even stop the band as they carried on playing during the short technical problem wasting none of their time onstage. Charles and fellow vocalist Xen (who added the more extreme side of the vocals) combined to great effect and tied everything together seamlessly as each song flowed from the melodious to the malicious with such ease. A really good band, building an exceptional live reputation.