Obsidian - Flynn Effect
Artist: Flynn Effect
Review by Nicole Roberts
Brisbane's Flynn Effect are gifting us with their second album Obsidian, and it's an extremely strong release, with a much more refined and perfected sound than their first offering. While Skin was passionate, raw, and full of energy, Obsidian harnesses that energy, smooths the rough edges, and gives us a much more polished version of the rockers' distinctive sound.
The album opens with 'All For Love', with it's combination of synths and heavy guitars setting the mood straight out of the gate. It sets the tone nicely, bringing the energy and the atmosphere of the album to 10 straight away.
Next up is 'Fade', which is on a hugely different part of the spectrum to 'All For Love'. It's much more dramatic, with its pounding drums, moving vocals and hauntingly beautiful strings setting the stage, before the guitars take over to amp up the drama. It's a very strong song, and the difference between this track and the first one is astounding - the band certainly have musical diversity up their sleeves.
'Eastwood Blues' is next, and again, it takes a wildly different musical approach. It's much more militant, with almost a southern twinge to the guitars at certain points. This track is one of my favourites, as I just love the sheer emotion you feel with it, and I've got a bit of a penchant for southern rock and southern gothic music. All parts of the band work well together, creating an intense resonate without overwhelming us with a wall of sound.
We come to 'Gone' next, which is a very gothic, high intensity track, utilizing the strings again to create even more of an impact. The band then moves into 'Tremors', which is the bands longest, most dramatic and epic track on the entire album. It has a very Lacuna Coil-esque vibe to it, with it's high impact combination of heavy, gritty guitars with eerie strings and powerful vocals.
Flynn Effect's cover of Coldplay's 'Talk' is another highlight of the album for me. They put a really interesting twist on the well known track, taking it in a direction I don't think Chris Martin and co would've initially thought to take the song. The synths make another welcome appearance, fostering a very otherworldly vibe. It's easily one of the stand out songs on this album, with how unexpected it is.
The haunting piano kicks in on 'The Fight', still bringing the emotional intensity, but in a much softer way, musically. The song builds beautifully about halfway through, showcasing Tomina Vincent's impressive vocal range beautifully.
Next up is the energetic, 'Give In To Me'. This track is just straight up fun. It's upbeat, bouncy, and brings the mood of the album right up after the comparatively sombre 'The Fight'. It's obvious why they chose the track as one of their singles, as it's an unexpected track, but a catchy one.
The album closes with 'Never Let Me Go', which brings it back down to a moodier, more brooding place to finish the album. It's a strong finale as it very much encompasses everything the album brings. It's got the huge moments, where the sheer power of the band is clear, as well as more solemn, haunting moments, creating a beautiful contrast between the power and the calm.
All in all, the album is a diverse, dramatic, moody collection of tracks that takes you on a roller coaster of emotions - it really brings the intensity. Their songwriting has also really become tighter since their first album, with their sound maturing in leaps and bounds, with the experience they've gathered really showing through. It's a solid release, and with the many distinct sounds they've put together in this melting pot of an album, you're sure to find a new track to obsess over.
8.5 out of 10 stars.
Obsidian is out August 4th and is available for pre-order via Bandcamp.