Album Review: Northlane – Obsidian
Australian band Northlane are known for their mind-blowing metalcore, and last month the band released their sixth studio album Obsidian. Marcus Bridge’s vocals kick every track of sweetness and havoc, and the guitar playing of Jon Deiley and Josh Smith fills the atmosphere with sizzling riffs. Nic Pettersen’s drumming produces solid rhythms. Although the record has a touch of experimental rock, Northlane still knows how to create his signature metal sound.
The smashing track “Clockwork” is a dynamic piece that has Bridge singing hard. Right off the bat, Bridge starts singing in a lower octave and timbre before shouting out the lyrics, and the sense of desperation can be felt through Bridge’s strong vocals. “Clockwork” is a powerful composition that shows just how dominant Bridge is as a lead vocalist.
“Carbonized” is a fair track that features solid guitar playing from Deiley and Smith. Listening, Deiley’s playing shakes the bottom with deep riffs capable of shaking the veins of those who listen. Additionally, the lead and rhythm guitar notes give the track a heavy dose of electric sound. Both Deiley and Smith are talented guitarists, and on “Carbonized,” their skills shine through in the way both musicians produce top-notch guitar riffs.
Always significant “Is this a test?” is a well-written composition that people can relate to. The words “Is this a test or just a consequence?/A side effect of the endless void/Is this a test or just a consequence?/A side effect of the endless void/Is this a test?” show how some people question themselves when they are going through a difficult period in their life, because most of the challenges they face can sometimes be seen as an unexpected surprise or threat. “Is this a test? is honest because of how the lyrics can provide insight into how people struggle in their lives.
“Nova” is a magical song that shows a softer side of the group, and the harmonic vibe can be felt through the music. As the music blares from the speakers, there are two notable parts to this track. The keyboard played by Deiley is perfect in the way each note delivers strong energy. Second, Bridge’s voice is beautiful as he sings in a lower range, and the emotion of sadness can be felt, as Bridge continues with his bittersweet vocal performance. “Nova” proves how good mixing metal and experimental rock can be.
Closing track “Dark Solitaire” wraps things up with some incredible drumming from Pettersen. All the while, Pettersen’s performance remains controlled, allowing him to perform different drum beats without changing his drumming style. Plus, it’s nice to hear how fast he can play while quickly adjusting as the band changes their musical structure. Pettersen’s skill as a drummer shines on “Dark Solitaire.”
Obsidian is loaded with brilliant tracks, and each track gives a perspective of how Northland is unafraid to express their creativity as a band.