EXTREME PROG: If you haven’t experienced the prog metal/extreme metal hybrid that is Ne Obliviscaris, prepare to have your world shattered. The Australian five piece shakes the confines of conventional metal, mixing the restrained and at times heavenly vocals of Tim Charles with the punishing growls of Xenoyr for a sound that is peerless. Known for their lengthy epics that often include odd pairings of classic violin and bruising guitar riffs, Ne Obliviscaris is in rare form with its third studio album, Urn. Opening with the crushingly beautiful “Libera (Part I) – Saturnine Spheres,” Urn is a mad vision realized, one that grabs frantically at multiple branches of the metal-verse, throwing in sophistication and finesse for good measure. While Urn can best be appreciated and savored as a total package, “Intra Venus” combines classic prog metal riffs with a can’t shake combo of ferocious and clean vocals. Before the brain has time to readjust, pulsating guitar solos intercut with violin elevate the track to the next level. Ne Obliviscaris may not be everyone’s cup of tea. Expressionism and star reaching don’t exactly fit in the mold of tried and true metal, but if you yearn for something different, brave, and unapologetically artistic, Urn may just be the finest form you’ll find in 2017. ~ Dillon Collins