The prog-metal gods, Ne Obliviscaris, are back at it again with their new album, released on October 27th, 2017 entitled “Urn”. It had been three years since the release of Citadel, an album that showed intense mastery and style. As someone who is not a huge prog-metal fan, I didn’t think I would be as in love with this album as I actually ended up being. From the opening track entitled “Libera, Pt. I: Saturnine Spheres” to the stunning single that they pre-released entitled “Intra Venus” to the tear-jerking and absolutely awe-inspiring song “Eyrie” – it absolutely blew me away. I’m no expert, but I would highly recommend this album to literally ANY metal fan. Whether you’re into more thrash or more death, there are components of many different subgenres in this masterpiece. I’m an extremely picky person when it comes to metal, but the beautiful harsh vocals from Xen and killer guitar riffs piercing through Tim’s wonderful clean vocals and violin parts are just absolutely flawless.
Interview with Xen
I was lucky enough to discuss some questions with Xenoyr regarding the new album and the tour, below. Check it out!
“1) what were some of your influences while writing Urn?
Lyrically, the album covers various aspects of death, the one thing we all share in the end, regardless of who we are. I guess it was a subconscious direction after our line-up changed, with removing our long term bassist, it’s not an easy thing, but it’s a loss and a change for the band. The album took on a dark undertone however as usual it has moments of light shining through the cracks. Within the lyrics there are references to certain influences of mine; writers like John Milton (one of my greatest inspirations, a man with such a vivid mind), Jules Verne, Lovecraft (we can all use a little), and a lot of old art which I tried to influence the cover art a little with, I wanted a female figure in an almost old world pose that you may see in a Romanticism painting. She represents Mother Earth pouring the sun onto herself.
2) How would you say ‘Urn’ compares to previous albums?
I think this album is more collaborative on a deeper level, given the line-up change, we kind of banded together stronger than before and committed to focusing and writing on a tighter deadline. To me ‘Urn’ almost feels like a combination of both ‘Portal of I’ and ‘Citadel’, yet with a little something else. It’s kind of retrospective in a slight way, but has a lot more foresight and scope at the same time.
3) The first date of the tour was last night — how was that?!
It went great, better than we’d hoped, San Francisco treats us well and we’ve always enjoyed playing there. It’s given us high hopes for the rest of the tour. The first show is always the most stressful I think, always wondering whether something’s going to go wrong, anticipating how the new songs will translate live etc… but generally afterwards with each show, it gets easier and the band gets tighter. Granted there’s tight, but then there’s tour tight, I only really think that’s possible when you’re all on stage playing together, ironing out creases and feeling it all come together. I will say though, the day after the first show is always the most painful, the body is never ready for that, ha..gradually it goes away as you play each show.
4) What are you most excited about for this tour?
Probably just being able to share the new songs from ‘Urn’, promoting what we think is some of our best music yet. It’ll be interesting to see how everyone responds to them given that the album was just released at the end of October. We had to think a little harder about our set list for the tour, as obviously we need put ‘Urn’ foremost, but also to play material from our earlier albums to cover all bases. I think it’s a solid mix of tracks over 90 odd minutes or so.
5) Anything else you want to add regarding the new album/this tour?We’re just very pleased to be back in the US, it seems we’ve been accepted here far beyond most other places, which has been really surprising for us…this is the third trip in two years to the US and we don’t really anticipate slowing down, as there are cities we’ve missed which we want to make up for…ca
We’re just very pleased to be back in the US, it seems we’ve been accepted here far beyond most other places, which has been really surprising for us…this is the third trip in two years to the US and we don’t really anticipate slowing down, as there are cities we’ve missed which we want to make up for… can’t do everywhere in one tour unfortunately.
Also, our main support for the whole tour is Allegaeon, a very creative band from the US, and there will be local supports in each city. I think it’s good to help grow the smaller bands and give them a go, so everyone should definitely get to shows early and check out their local talent.
Thanks a lot for the questions, Danielle.”
Below are the dates on the “’Urn’ North American Tour 2017”
11/01/2017 Bottom Of The Hill – San Francisco, CA
11/02/2017 Whisky A Go Go – Los Angeles, CA
11/03/2017 Beauty Bar – Las Vegas, NV
11/04/2017 Loading Dock – Salt Lake City, UT
11/05/2017 Globe Hall – Denver, CO
11/07/2017 Studio Seven – Seattle, WA
11/08/2017 Dante’s – Portland, OR
11/09/2017 Rickshaw Theater – Vancouver, BC
11/11/2017 Dickens – Calgary, AB
11/13/2017 Park Theatre – Winnipeg, MB
11/14/2017 Amsterdam – St. Paul, MN
11/16/2017 Reggie’s – Chicago, IL
11/17/2017 Foundry – Cleveland, OH
11/18/2017 Mavericks – Ottawa, ON
11/19/2017 Les Foufounes Electriques – Montreal, QC
11/20/2017 Sonia – Boston, MA
11/21/2017 Webster Theatre Underground – Hartford, CT
11/22/2017 Le Poisson Rouge – New York, NY
11/24/2017 Blind Tiger – Greensboro, NC
11/25/2017 Masquerade – Atlanta, GA
11/26/2017 Haven – Orlando, FL
11/28/2017 Gasa Gasa – New Orleans, LA
11/29/2017 Rail Club – Ft. Worth, TX
11/30/2017 Acadia Live – Houston, TX
12/01/2017 Come & Take It Live – Austin, TX
12/03/2017 Club Red – Phoenix, AZ
12/04/2017 Constellation Room – Santa Ana, CA
Although Pittsburgh is not on the list of dates this time around, I will be seeing Ne Obliviscaris on tour with Allegaeon at the Webster Theatre in Hartford, CT on 11.21.
As Xen mentioned in the interview, NeO had parted ways with their previous bassist and filling in as their live bassist for this tour is Martino Garattoni – a killer musician coming all the way from Italy.
I can’t wait to follow up with this after the show!