Ne Obliviscaris + Xerath + Brutai
@Boston Music Room
5th August 2015
Review by Öna Genutyte,
Photography by Carina Martins
In a city tormented by a Tube strike – no London Underground trains for nearly two days – anyone headed towards Boston Music Room in Tufnell Park, London, depending on the distance they had to travel, experienced their fair share of travel chaos to and from the venue. With that in mind, the turnout was decent, metalheads gradually filled up the room, no doubt it would have been packed if not for the strike.
Boston Music Room is known for putting on quality gigs and with the venue being on a smallish side (250 max capacity) and no barriers between the stage and gig goers, it was a privilege to experience intimate performances from bands (namely Xerath and Ne Obliviscaris) that were playing much bigger Bloodstock Open Air festival stages that same weekend.
First on stage are London based metallers Brutai who are in the works of releasing a new album and open the show with single “Relapse”.
After losing their long locks over the last few years, Brutai line up guys have also noticeably moved from thrash to progressive, groovy djent with metalcore vocals. Choppy riffs and rapid drumming create intense sound.
Their performance is energetic but is plagued by some technical sound problems which do not seem to deter Brutai from giving it all on stage. With their quite streamlined sound, I can see all five members achieving great success.
Xerath take over the stage to produce symphonic, dramatic sound and powerful vocals. (How are they not making big money writing soundtracks for Hollywood sci-fi action films yet!?.). Having just released a new album, “III”, self-titled orchestral groove metallers start off with a first track from it, “I Hold Dominion”, which instantly hits home reminding how unique and balanced their sound is.
Their short half an hour set mainly comprises of songs from the new album and includes a few classics like “False History”. Like Brutai, Xerath are also plagued by sound problems and playing without their usual drummer, which results in difference between album recordings and live sound being distracting and noticeable a handful of times.
A solid performance nevertheless.
In future shows, it would be impressive to see string quartet/orchestral segments being played live on stage, it would certainly add a level of magnitude.
Ne Obliviscaris. After the airline had misplaced their gear, and with two of the guitarists being left-handed, the guys understandably were afraid they would have to cancel the show. Fortunately, most of the equipment was delivered to the venue last minute and the band put on a headbang-inducing show with their bewitching set.
Ne Obliviscaris is Latin for “Forget Not” – how fitting, as their performance is exactly that – unforgettable. These Australians really do know how to make metal.
Tim Charles and Xenoyr make a monumental pair of vocalists, the former with clean and the latter with harsh vocals, creating an idiosyncratic yin and yang effect with a unique combination of sounds: progressive and extreme, with definite influences from black metal, often melodic and also expertly incorporating a violin.
“Of Petrichor Weaves Black Noise” is greeted with growls of approval from the exited audience and a violin solo mid-song adds a powerful atmospheric touch and a soul gripping feeling. Other tracks are equally well versed in combination of genres, and songs are actually long enough (about 10 minutes or over each) to showcase deep complexity of Ne Obliviscaris song writing.
A first-class live performance. Unforgettable.