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Metal From Down Under: Obsidian - Northlane

Album: Obsidian

Artist: Northlane

Sub-Genres: #djent #techmetal

Label: Believe

Non-Airable Tracks: Clarity, Carbonized


If you haven't heard of Northlane yet, I'm so sorry. The Australian metal band formed in 2009 and now has six studio albums under its belt, the newest addition being Obsidian. Obsidian was independently released and is just shy of an hour of playtime and is easily one of my favorite metal album releases of 2022.

I was pleasantly surprised by Obsidian's sound. I was nervous that they would try to recreate the success of their previous album by releasing an Alien 2.0. Luckily for us, Obsidian stands on its own. Compared to Alien, Obsidian is more experimental, vaguely similar to early 2000s metalcore. Think Memphis May Fire or the album When Love Met Destruction by Motionless in White. Obsidians' lyrical content and delivery also felt more mature. When listening to the album in its entirety, you can feel the natural progression of emotions as the album is well-paced. Northlane placed their more exploratory songs between their more traditional metal songs, which helped prevent the album from sounding repetitive. Northlane's experimentalism and musical talent make this a very approachable metal album. If you aren't into metal currently, I think this album could change that.

An important thing to note is that Northlane changed lead singers in 2014. Marcus Bridges replaced Adrian Fitipaldes, and I think you can hear the difference. While both singers are incredibly talented, Bridge's vocal abilities allow for more creative freedom. He has a good singing voice and death growl, allowing them to play with different metal subgenres without it sounding off.

Nova is the odd one out on the album but in the best way possible. Nova offers a slow emo rock feel with techno influences that make you wonder if you're listening to the same album. The song to follow, Inamorta, does a great job of mixing the sounds of Nova with the tracks previously by balancing heavy guitar and aggressive vocals with a softer, more vocally focused chorus. Inamorta is a perfect transition Nova to the title track Obsidian.

Obsidian is the perfect follow-up album to Alien. Obsidian builds on their previous adventures into other metal genres and provides a solid foundation for future albums to test the boundaries of metal further. Their latest album could mark a change in their discography, and I’m excited to see what is next for Northlane.

Sounds Like:

  1. Slipknot

  2. Motionless in White

  3. While She Sleeps

Recommended Tracks:

  1. ​Abomination

  2. Obsidian

  3. Is This a Test?

Reviewer’s Name: Rose Prendergast

Date of Review: 04/26/2022

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