Ne Obliviscaris, Beyond Creation, The Helix Nebula- The Bald Faced Stag, Sydney, 27/11/14

Ne Obliviscaris hits Sydney with Beyond Creation in tow.

There are some gigs that you just know are going to be special before you even walk into the door of the venue. The hype surrounding Ne Obliviscaris’ album launch show in Sydney was extensive; everyone was talking about it. So much so, that it even lead to the show selling out in advance. Ne Obliviscaris has always had a big following in Sydney, but this was unprecedented for the band, and the fact that it was a Thursday night show made it even more astounding.

The Bald Faced Stag has hosted many a gig I’ve attended in the past, but I’d never seen it as busy as it was that night. The line to get into the show room was so long that I completely missed the opening band The Helix Nebula whilst waiting to get in. Poor form on my part as a reviewer I must admit, but I heard they played a cracker of a set.

Ah well, thems the breaks as they say. I did, however, manage to get in just in time for main support act, the Montreal tech death crew Beyond Creation. It’s good that we are managing to get over the cultural cringe somewhat and become more comfortable with the idea of having international bands act as support to local acts as Beyond Creation managed to be the perfect warm up for this evening. Their mind bending brand of death metal reminded me of fellow countrymen Gorguts somewhat, which is no small compliment. They were the kind of act that made the very air feel heavier as you walked into the room, although that could have just been the humidity as there were plenty of people packed in to see them.

Beyond Creation’s set was quite impressive for someone such as myself who was being exposed to them for the first time. Vocalist/guitarist Simon Girard is a masterful player, as is the rest of the band and their captivating compositions had the audience hanging onto every note they played. 

Their raucous reception was only just the beginning however, as Ne Obliviscaris was the focal point of this evening’s festivities. Back during the headline run of their first album, Portal of I, the band played their first ever encore at a Stag show. Now, they’ve popped another musical cherry at this venue by having their first ever sold-out show take place here.

Needless to say, both the band and the crowd fed off each other’s energy. Hitting the stage to a warm reception, they launched straight into the 20 minute long Painters of the Tempest trilogy of songs. Most bands would be hard pressed to open with a 20 minute song, but then, Ne Obliviscaris isn’t most bands. In fact, throughout their hour and a half set, every song from the new album was included in the setlist, played with joyful abandon. The fact that the band could do this, and have it go over as well as the old material, speaks volumes about their creativity and vision.

The look on Tim Charles’ face throughout the night said it all. As he bounced about the stage in between his virtuosic violin playing and soulful singing, you could tell that this was a very special show for both the band and everyone else that was present and it’s not one we’re likely to forget anytime soon.