NORTHLANE @ Metropolis Fremantle gets 8.5/10

Northlane @ Metropolis Fremantle 

w/ Plini, Sleep Token, Alt.
Thursday, June 16, 2022


After being pushed back from its original date in April, Northlane’s Obsidian tour finally hit Metros Freo last week. Bringing with them Alt., Plini and UK’s Sleep Token, the stage was set for a huge night of metal.

Whether it was due to the slow admission of the venue, or a testament to the devoted metal crowd arriving early, the entry line was down the street before the doors opened.


Opening with youthful enthusiasm was Adelaide’s Alt. The guys looked like they hadn’t quite found their sense of style yet, but their heavy, rhythmic metal was honed and tight. Lead singer, Dan Richards, had an impressive high range and the brutal screams from the bass player provided a good counterpoint to the melodic lead vocals.

With a sparse crowd awaiting Sleep Token, you’d think they must be the world’s best-kept secret. Initially it made for comfortable viewing right at the front of the stage, but soon enough the venue had filled to the point that they had to open the mezzanine level. With attendance going from comfortably roomy to capacity in a matter of 20 minutes, the feeling was that they were about to experience something special.

Sleep Token

Sleep Token walked on stage in their trademark masks, body paint and long hooded robes and started Alkaline with lead singer Vessel carrying the song before the band kicked in. As soon as the first break dropped, the venue exploded. If there ever was a secret it was clearly out now, with fans collecting to witness this historic Perth-debut performance.

Single The Love You Want was a crowd favourite, evoking mass singalongs and overhead handclaps. Throughout their set all band members were animated and engaging, beckoning the audience with their motions to be immersed in their dark ritualistic music.

Sleep Token

Sleep Token performed in stripped-back four-piece mode, (they are usually accompanied by backing vocalists and keyboards), and you could feel that they were deserving of a bigger stage. In fact it was strange to see a highly touted international-level act squeezed into the support half-stage set-up with the drums on stage right.

Just when it felt they were hitting high-gear it was suddenly over, with The Offering closing the set. Although they played an exceptional show, it was disappointing that they came all the way from the UK and only played six songs. Hopefully they will be back soon with their own headline tour with a full band and full production.


Sleep Token were a tough act to follow but Plini brought the energy and the venue was there for them. The packed-in crowd was engaged and attentive to their instrumental music. Plini may not have had the costumes and theatrics but they had the virtuoso shredding, going from crushing riffs to smooth soaring guitar, providing a sort of musical interlude between the heavier acts of the night.


Northlane then took to the stage with a wall of sound and light to introduce their latest track, Clarity. It was evident that the band have been honing their live act as the sound quality and visual light show was world-class.

Performing as a four-piece after the departure of their bass guitarist, some were unsure how it might affect the size of their sound. Surprisingly, the bottom end wasn’t lacking at all, and if anything it was more prominent thanks to the programmed electronics. Whether the bass was triggered or part of the backing tracks, it was there and it was huge, adding a thick foundation to the wall of guitars.


Singer Marcus Bridge was right at home on the stage and didn’t miss a note, powering through a 14 song set effortlessly shifting from singing-voice to scream-voice. His energy didn’t waver and his voice never let up. The band were in equally fine form, with their sound getting better throughout the set and hitting their peak on the exceptional 4D.


For a Thursday night, the crowd was absolutely mental. They were moving, crowd surfing, fist-pumping and singing along to every word, matching the power of the band as they went from high energy track to even higher energy track and at the one-hour mark, it looked like there was no slowing down. The polyrhythmic riffs of Cypher were face-melting with Bloodline and closing track Talking Heads amongst the other highlights. Indulging the fans, the band then came back for the encore of Clockwork, making it a massive four-punch knockout finale to a huge night of quality metal.


Photos by Adrian Thomson




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