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Northlane – Obelisk – Single Review

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Obelisk (single)
From the album Node, available 24 July
Review by Sam Sweeney

UNFD is perhaps one of my favourite record labels in that it consistently delivers the goods; 90% of the bands on the label are pretty damn fantastic, for lack of better words, and Northlane have a well deserved place amongst this majority. First single Obelisk is both refreshing and promising insight into Northlane’s third studio album Node, set for release next month, and serves as a reminder that the band are more prepared than ever to propel themselves once more into the spotlight.

Obelisk opens with a melodic guitar riff before the merciless drums and vocals take over; within the first 30 seconds, the single showcases Northlane’s musical breadth from transcendental-sounding melodies to domineering rhythmic components. The clean vocals are crisp and compelling and complement the unclean vocals of the verse, while there is a palpable shift in the dynamics of the song come the chorus. The chorus is profoundly uplifting, yet simultaneously encompasses heavier elements in a well-executed assertion of musical maturity. A relatively young band of only 6 years, I’d confidently dare to say that Northlane are yet to reach their peak, but when they do, they’ll push – if not completely defy – the boundaries of their post-hardcore genre.

The middle section of the song deserves particular recognition; comprised of an intense, soul-shaking breakdown, it once more fortifies the balance between the ephemerally mellifluous qualities of the song and the intrinsic heaviness of Northlane’s genre. This breakdown gradually subsides, giving way to a monumental, spine-chilling vocal solo on the behalf of Marcus Bridge. I am genuinely at a loss for words to describe the power behind Bridge’s voice; it carries the song with ease, and effortlessly manages to augment both the melodies of the guitars and crushing rhythmic components.

By the end of the song, the listener has completed a journey. Though just over 4 minutes in length, Obelisk seems to be more of a chronicle than anything else; it is filled to the brim with a plenitude of different musical elements and the oscillating balance of these components creates something well deserving of high regard. I’ve said it once, but I’ll say it again; Obelisk offers promising insight into Northlane’s forthcoming release Node and I’m confident that it will be one of 2015’s most memorable releases.




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