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Former Members




  • "Human Distortion" Black Rock Records 2001 CD
  • "Live & Unleashed" Black Rock Records 2004 CD
  • "untitled" Black Rock Records 2006 CD

External Links


Related Bands


High Plains Reader - Obsidian "Human Distortion" Black Rock Records, June 2, 2001

What is it with Fargo-Moorhead being a breeding ground for either the bluesiest blues men, the trippiest of the hippies and the heaviest of the heavy? Fargo’s Obsidian may be able to answer at least part of the puzzle when the band releases their new CD “Human Distortion,” a brutally heavy disc straight from the bloodlines of Fear Factory, Static X, and Six Feet Under.

Produced by Barking Dog Records co-owner Mike Coates (surprise!), the disc has an intensely professional sound that brings through their unique blend of music. The three-piece has taken what Ministry/Nine Inch Nails accomplished with electronics and brought it to a new level by playing without a live drummer - all beats are electronically programmed. Members Barney Haugen (guitar/programming) Tony Haugen (vocals) and John Frampus (bass) have taken a step in the local scene not yet touched on.

The opening track, “Hate,” shows the industrial vision attempted on the disc in full force. Vocalist Tony Haugen’s Robb Flynn/Machine Head vocals share a brash space within the music world. Projecting anger, frustration and an over-the-top angst, this disc will keep Obsidian off the Britney Spears tour, but also bring them the insanely devoted masses of Nu Metal fans that clamor to shows as if it were a religion.

Undoubtedly, the first single will be track five on the album, “F**k it Up.” One of the most memorable tracks, the band’s suggested national anthem puts them in the position of being a censorship target. And yet not ones to waiver, the track and its lyrics are out in full force, Obsidian style. It’s almost impossible to hear the track without that inner anger rearing its ugly head.

Every metal fan knows of the dreaded “metal ballad,” that five-minute epic when the band gets to reveal their sensitive side. While Obsidian does indeed utilize both clean and electric mediums to accomplish their dynamic sound, the ballad is a no-show with the exception of the ending track, “Blue,” a two-minute instrumental that showcases guitarist Barney Haugen’s guitar abilities. With a hand in the production of the album as well, Haugen wears his influences like badges. Riff heavy and non-stop, Obsidian has stepped up to join fellow local metal heads Sons of Poseidon, Undone and Harm’s Way on their mission of world domination, or maybe just Fargo domination.

--Bryan Grob

Barking Dog Records - Obsidian "Human Distortion" Black Rock Records, May 5, 2001

One of Fargo's heaviest bands, the guys in Obsidian go all the way to the edge of "death metal" -- and sometimes go right over that edge. A powerful, crunching commentary on all that is wrong with society and life in general, influenced by the likes of Sepultura, Static-X, Machine Head, Powerman 5000, and Six Feet Under. Obsidian is fueled by guitarist/drum programmer Barney Haugen, bassist John Frampus, and steel-throated vocalist Tony Haugen. Watch for their CD release May 5, 2001.....

Mike and Linda Coates