Northlane push modern-day metal to ambitious new heights in new album ‘Obsidian’

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Northlane push modern-day metal to ambitious new heights in new album ‘Obsidian’

Credit: Kane Hibberd
Words by Alex Callan

Sydney award-winning metal band Northlane release 'Obsidian', their most expansive and dynamic album yet.

Over the years Northlane have adapted their sound so much that at this point nothing should be a surprise.

Well, surprise, they’ve thrown trance and dnb into the works and pulled it off in such a bold manner that has just continued to excel in their already prolific catalog.

From the techno heavy ‘Clockwork’, to the hip-hop characteristics of ‘Carbonized’, the self-recorded and self-produced Obsidian is an album that pushes modern-day metal to ambitious new heights, at times, even feeling more like you’re listening to a 90’s trance outfit than to the band that once brought out ‘Corruption’. But damn, it’s pulled off tastefully.

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Whilst the incorporation of techno or DNB into a metal song can at times feel gimmicky, Northlane executes it off naturally, with tracks like the hard-hitting Abomination feeling like they would be at home on The Prodigy’s ‘Music For The Jilted Generation’ and Is This A Test? feeling like the group channelled a bit of The Presets. ‘Plenty’ dominates, due to its anthemic breaks throughout that’ll be sure to transcend the group’s live set to new dimensions (pun intended), as do the tranquil vocal harmonies of ‘Xen’ and the off-kilter hi-hat patterns of ‘Dark Solitaire’.

Considering their unflinching ability to take bold risks and how well it has worked for them on their last release Alien, it’s no surprise that Obsidian experiments with different soundscapes for the group. However, what’s most impressive about this release is Northlane’s effortless ability to combine genres that few metal bands can, in a nature that is still so true to their sound. Which, at this point, is already incredibly expansive.

Listen to the album below and find out more here