HELP NE OBLIVISCARIS GUITARIST BENJAMIN BARET GET HIS AUSTRALIAN VISA!
I had no idea Ne Obliviscaris were so well-known when I posted about them back in March; I just thought their music was pretty cool and worth letting you all know about. Naturally Ziltoid chimed in with a few comments about how he’d known about them forever and only their first album was good (or whatever), but nearly everyone else who commented had nothing but fantastic things to say about these Australians. Except for DemonicLemming who said it was “too disjointed;” then again, this is a guy who supports the likes of Sarah Palin and Ted Nugent and therefore can’t be trusted, the same way it’s hard for me to take seriously anyone who believes that the earth was created in 7 days roughly 6,000 years ago and humans didn’t exist here a day sooner. I mean, really?
Anyway, Ne Obliviscaris; they’re from Australia, they play Classical-influenced black metal, and they’re really good… but they’re in a bit of a bind. Four MetalSucks readers emailed us within 15 minutes of each other yesterday to tell us that lead guitarist Benjamin Baret, who hails from France but moved all the way to Australia to play with NeO, has been denied re-entry to Australia after a grueling 14-month wait for visa approval. This after a series of other very unfortunate events that befell the band members in recent times such as family member deaths, illnesses, injuries, etc., and before the release of an album they’ve been working hard on for almost three years. Without Baret, the band cannot go on.
Why was Baret’s visa rejected? Check this cacamamie response from Australia’s Department of Immigration:
• “A metal guitarist with internationally recognized records could be expected to have collaborated with renowned metal bands such as Metallica, Iron Maiden or Disturbed. There is no evidence in the application that it is the case.”
• “There is also no evidence that Benjamin Baret has won any international awards by being a guitarist or a musician in general.”
Is that half-assed or what?
Without Baret the future of Ne Obliviscaris is in doubt, so the band is enlisting their fans via the ever-expansive power of the Internet to help. How can you get involved? First, read all about the situation on NeO’s Facebook page. Then get involved by signing an online petition and writing letters to Australia’s Department of Immigration.
Listening to Ne Obliviscaris once again I’m reminded how good this band is. It’s not like Australia’s overflowing with metal talent that’s reached the international stage right now… they could use a cultural export like these guys, and the proof of their value is right in the comments section of this here website. Hey, Australian Department of Immigration, you reading this? Help a brotha out. Your country was once a dumping ground colony for criminals and lepers for chrissakes… you can afford to let one talented metalhead in.