Drum tracking for Exul, the fourth long-player from Australian extreme progressive metallers Ne Obliviscaris, started in March 2020. There is an ominous tone to that date: March 2020. The pandemic demarcation line. That month, Daniel Presland laid down his drums in Nashville, Tennessee, with American producer Mark Lewis.
As flight cancellations increased and borders shuttered, Presland made it home literally hours before Australia closed theirs. Lewis, guitarist Benjamin Baret and bassist Martino Garattoni weren’t as lucky. They were due to land in Australia in the days that followed to continue tracking, but were forced to remain overeseas indefinitely. With recording studios shuttered throughout Melbourne, a slow, tedious, life-altering two-year grind to complete Exul ensued for Ne Obliviscaris.
“Getting an opportunity to have a song mostly done for a year or so and then go back to it, find what you loved about it the first time and maybe even improve it in some ways was a nice silver lining from all the delays,” says Charles. “I think because we had so many delays that were out of our control, we were even more determined to take our time to make sure when the time came to record and to mix, that we ensured it was the absolute best it could be in every way.”
Seven additional studios and three more countries later, Exul was finally mixed and mastered in July 2022.