Drumsolo - Blastbeats - Black Metal high-speed shredding, distorted screech vocals - exactly that kind of music that triggers my ESCAPE reflex. Yet my instincts told me not to ditch the whole thing right away but to risk another ear...
And that was a wise decision, because the Australians NE OBLIVISCARIS develop quite differently after this BM shock effect: Complex rhythms, a variety of sophisticated sound dimensions, influenced by Prog, Melodic Death and even Folk-Jazz - I´d compare it with The Ocean, or maybe even The Sins Of Thy Beloved, because of the violin ... "Intense Progressive Extreme Metal" is the official definition according to the band info: Epic-heroic-passionate Clean Vocals (Tim Charles, who also plays the violin) contrasted with bestial growling (Xenoyr), melancholic virtuoso solo guitarren (Benjamin Baret) plus catchy-rolling riffing (Matt Calvins - git, Brandon Brown - bass) that was inspired by Land-of-the-thousand-lakes-sound, plus a drummer from another planet (Dan Presland) ... and this is just my description of the first song...
Well, I´m not going into detail for every of those 72 min, divided into 7 songs. Basically the positive impression of the first track is not deceiving - the major direction goes Melo-Death / Prog - but you better be prepared to expect pretty much everything, from elegic-atmospheric parts to Tango (And Plague Flowers The Kaleidoscope). The brilliant production should be mentioned too, the album was mixed and mastered by by Jens Bogren (Opeth, Ihsahn, Katatonia, Devin Townsend).
Summing up: "Portal of I" is one of those albums that leave you open-mouthed, and you know instantly that this is an ingenious masterpiece - a MUST for every record collection. Maximum rating - buy it!
1. Tapestry of the Starless Abstract
3. Of the Leper Butterflies
4. Forget Not
5. And Plague Flowers The Kaleidoscope
6. As Icicles Fall
7. Of Petrichor Weaves Black Noise