ALBUM REVIEW: Oni – The Silver Line


The third album under the moniker of ONI from Canada’s Jake Oni continues the adept blend of commercial and cutting-edge progressive metalcore elements paired with big hooks and the odd curveball or three that helped explode ONI out of seemingly nowhere almost a decade ago. Enthusiasm bleeds from every measure, section after section building energy to satisfying conclusions.


It isn’t easy following up acclaimed compositions that featured the likes of everyone from Iggy Pop to Randy Blythe, co-writing with the late Chester Bennington for Lamb Of God guitarist Mark Morton’s solo joint a few years back. This is also to say nothing of the stellar ONI material that doesn’t feature cameos.


The Silver Line (self-released) faces this challenge admirably, each song never overstaying its welcome and finding this sick sweet spot between Saosin, TesseracT, Allegaeon, and Wovenwar, with dashes of contemporary hard rock. I also have to say that as someone who loves pulling random collabs out of my ass in my own schizo music project Walking Bombs, it is pretty darn impressive to see the heavyweight motherfuckers who have co-signed ONI.


Themes of self-growth or facing manipulation open up the album on the atmospheric “Silhouette”. The nu-Metalcore song is built for maximum crowd movement potential and wastes no time underscoring that Jake Oni has the potential to be a future scene mainstay. I would love to see this band on the road with Trivium and Mammoth WVH. Now that would be a tight-knit group of talents.


Let’s get to the meat and bones. “Underneath My Skin” featuring the talented Kellin Quinn is sure to be a standout, perhaps the most melodically strong example of range on the record. “Cyanide” might have heavier sections but doesn’t match the well-known thumper by Metallica, so it is a shame it shares a title with such a bigger band’s song. There are also a few spots that border on sounding a little like Machine Gun Kelly vocally, though otherwise this song will please genre loyalists.



As a long-time fan of the booming melodies of Howard Jones, “Aura” (Josh Gilbert (now of Spiritbox, and Jones) was already gonna probably be my favorite before I heard the record. It’s the most emotional and best example of heavy switching to melody and back again on this record. Closer “Burns My Soul” is another can’t-miss. It leaves things on a huge note and would be a powerful song in any metal or hard rock band’s arsenal. As I write this there is a pack of demonic-sounding coyotes howling outside my room in California and mixed with the metal it sounds truly insane!


Jake Oni and company have done a very good job editing this record into fine fighting shape and it can certainly go toe to toe with most of the more commercial-sounding metalcore records of the year with ease. The care and craftsmanship in every aspect is very high level, with these tracks ready to floor huge crowds without sacrificing personal involvement to the material for the sake of populism.


Buy the album here:

8 / 10