Hailing from Melbourne, Australia, I had the pleasure of seeing Ne Obliviscaris open up for Butcher Babies and Cradle of Filth at the House of Blues back in February. An extreme progressive metal band, Ne Obliviscaris’ unique approach to metal managed to get them in the eyes of metal fans all across the world. Their first album, Portal of I, was released back in 2012, which was an absolute masterpiece, and followed it up with Citadel in 2014. When I first heard Portal of I the band immediately became one of my favorites, and when I heard they would be returning to Chicago to play at Reggie’s, I couldn’t help but buy my tickets right away.
The show was amazing. Accompanied by progressive metal band Black Crown Initiate and Chicago locals Starkill, Ne Obliviscaris proved they are a force to be reckoned with. Each member is a master of their own instrument, stylistically ranging from slow and soothing to fast and aggressive, all accompanied by the harsh vocals of their vocalist Xenoyr, and the clean vocals and violin work of Tim Charles. The band masterfully played through tracks both old and new; bringing the album to a live audience that sounded better live than what was recorded. From my place at the front of the crowd, it wasn’t hard to see that the members of Ne Obliviscaris putting their hearts and souls into their performance.
But besides the music, what floored me about this band was their dedication to their fans. I’ve only been to a few shows in the past where bands will go to their respective merch booths to meet with their fans, and those were only the opening acts. Ne Obliviscaris stayed behind to spend time with their fans, be it to take photos, give autographs, or simply talk to them; something I have never seen by a headlining act without a VIP pass. I managed to talk to violinist Tim Charles about their ongoing Patreon and the state of the music industry that brought it on. As any artist knows, it’s a struggle to make money living off of your work alone, and to do so is no simple task. A few members of the band decided to quit their careers to pursue their dream of making amazing and beautiful music and spreading it across the world. Through this they have gained a great deal of support from their fans, and continue to gain a following because of it. After the launch of their 2014, the band made a kickstarter to help them fund a world tour and received double the amount they asked for. Only a few months ago, they started a Patreon, allowing the band members to take home a check to support their families.
Ne Obliviscaris is a band with an amazing amount of talent and heart, and with their desire to help other musicians across the world grow and flourish, the band has what it takes to become respected on the highest levels. After such an amazing display of musicianship, I can certainly say that I will be waiting when they return to the United States.