The rise in popularity of NE OBLIVISCARIS has been nothing short of meteoric. Over the past year, the Australians have shot up the ladder in the metal scene and with a legion of fans buying into their polarising Patreon scheme, the band are currently in the spotlight. Whilst previous ventures to UK shores have been either festival appearances or supporting roles, this tour marks the first time NE OBLIVISCARIS have performed a headline set on UK shores. But, will the band do enough to step up to the challenge?
Openers BETRAEUS gave more than a formidable performance. Granted their performance was short and sweet but the Manchester four piece did enough to keep people’s attention. Described as progressive death metal, the band weren’t shy to unleash a barrage of blasts from Paddy Monaghan‘s drums, intricate riffs from Eddie Johnson and guttural growls from vocalist Christian Sykes. That, and the inclusion of atmospheric elements; delicate riffs and subtle vocal deliveries were a treat to the ears. It may have been a short performance but BETRAEUS gave a performance that was fine-tuned to the night’s billing.
OCEANS OF SLUMBER have exploded this year. Their debut full-length, Winter, lapped up critical acclaim from the press and with a performance at Damnation Festival in the coming weeks to look forward to, their performance on this tour gave fans a glimpse into what to expect. And the result was a performance that oozed in confidence and wonder. Subtle and intricate guitar play from Anthony Contreras and Sean Gary was performed to exquisite precision which complimented the vocal deliveries of frontwoman Cammie Gilbert. Cammie‘s vocals were nothing short of brilliant, from the haunting deliveries on Sunlight to the emphatic chorus of Suffer The Last Bridge, Cammie Gilbert commanded the stage, injecting soul and emotion to their sound. It was a sight to behold.
Even when OCEANS OF SLUMBER kicked it up a gear through tremendous blasts from Dobber‘s drumming and monstrous growls from Anthony Contreras, Sean Gary and Keegan Kelly, the atmosphere wasn’t lost. Throughout their performance, the band ebbed and flowed through moments of tranquillity to segments of sheer explosive force. It’s a hard trait to pull off in the live environment but the band excelled in capturing the audience’s attention. The inclusion of a cover, Wolf Moon by TYPE O NEGATIVE, was a nice touch, one which the band made their own. From start to finish, OCEANS OF SLUMBER were infectious to watch, it was a performance of sheer brilliance, one that truly reflects just how special this band are.
With the bar being set immensely high from OCEANS OF SLUMBER, the pressure was on NE OBLIVISCARIS to deliver a memorable headlining performance. The Australian sextet have a reputation for outstanding live performances and their first headlining performance in Manchester more than matched those expectations. Opening into Devour Me, Colossus, Pt 1: Blackholes the band roared into life. Swirling blasts from Dan Presland set the tone at breakneck speed whilst frontman Xen unleashed guttural growls to devastating effect.
Yet where NE OBLIVISCARIS truly shine is with their melodic aspects to their sound and they accomplished this to phenomenal effect. Tim Charles‘ clean vocal deliveries and use of the violin was performed to precision and the melodic sound wasn’t lost in the mix in the live environment, instead just expanding the band’s ability to create a atmosphere. That, and when all the elements come together, NE OBLIVISCARIS truly shine on stage. Through Benjamin Baret‘s mesmerising lead guitar play, to Brendan Brown‘s iconic bass tones, each aspect of the band’s complicated sound held their own but when it all comes together for an epic and soaring segment, like on Pyrrhic for example, this is where the band are a spectacle to behold. From start to finish, the band owned the stage, dazzling the audience through their technicality and melodic deliveries and at times, sheer ferocity, it was memorable from start to finish. NE OBLIVISCARIS have more than proved they have what it takes to act as a headlining band and their performance reflects the sheer quality at the Australian’s disposal.
Check out our exclusive photo gallery from the night’s action in Manchester from photographer Sabrina Ramdoyal:
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