Wintersun and Ne Obliviscaris in NYC

As the weather in NYC slowly moved into fall, it is quite fitting that Wintersun close out their tour in the Big Apple, at Irving Plaza. Sarah Longfield and Ne Obliviscaris have been the opening acts supporting Wintersun on this tour. Wintersun has been pushing last year’s album, “The Forest Season.” 

Starting off the night is progressive guitarist Sarah Longfield. She is a member of the band The Fine Constant, and according to her website, she is set to release new music on November 30th. Her even keel set was accompanied by a bassist and drummer playing along to perfectly tuned music with heavily processed sound effects. One could argue that she is the offspring of Robert Fripp. Sarah is already recognized in the pages of Guitar World and looks like she is ready to step out on her own. The clean instrumental music was different for a heavy metal crowd. Nevertheless, it was indeed a glimpse of the future of guitar playing. 

Ne Obliviscaris is a progressive extreme metal band from Australia. The band consists of two vocalists, Tim Charles and Xenoyr. They give each other the spotlight and have clear admiration for each other. Throughout the set, the group played with a happy go lucky vibe, and were clearly relishing the final night of the tour. Songs from all three of their albums were performed. Opening with the 15-minute song “Devour Me, Colossus” shows the group at it best and probably the most original of their catalog. They segued to the shorter song “Intra Venus.” It clocks in at only 8 minutes in length and was entertaining, to say the least. Closing in with the 12-minute song “And Plague Flowers the Kaleidoscope” shows that less can be best. As talented as they are, they are an acquired taste. 

Seeing Wintersun live is an amazing experience. The audience got to see Jari Mäenpää performing outside the stationary position which allowed him to sing freely away from his guitar. Maybe that is one of the reasons why a video camera crew was set up? It’s possible that a DVD will be produced from this show. Only time will reveal. Seeing Jari’s vision come to life on stage is incredible for the fans. As they are currently promoting last year’s release, “The Forest Seasons,” the setlist featured 3 songs from the album. Jari opened up with “Awaken From The Dark Slumber.” Tonight the audience was also treated to a new song titled “Storm.” We don’t know when this song will be released. 

Wintersun is sold as a band, but in reality, it’s all about Jari, baby. The last time Wintersun played in New York City was 5 years ago. Since then, they’ve added a guitarist named Asim Searah. This allowed Jari to interact with the audience during songs like “Son of Winter and Stars” and the epic closing song “Time.” Choosing “Time” as their closer can have so many different meanings to the Wintersun fan. While the fans are eagerly waiting for a follow up to the Time album, this  could indicate that they’ll be waiting a little while longer. 
Words by Sebastian Bjorn Benedict
Photos by Anya Svirskaya

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