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by: Scott Turney
Northlane is a five piece band from Sydney Australia. Northlane’s ‘Node’ is no doubt, one of the most anticipated albums to come out in 2015. Last year fans were shocked at the departure of adored vocalist Adrian Fitipaldes due to health issues. Since then Northlane has spanned the edges of the Earth to find their new vocalist, and after over 2000 submissions they had found their singer close to home, right in Australia. Out goes Adrian Fitipaldes, and in comes Marcus Bridge. Node is all about showcasing Bridge’s talents and abilities. Northlane collectively chose not only to adapt to Bridge’s vocals, but to evolve as a band as a whole. Northlane tweaked their sound on ‘Node’. They still have their progressive metalcore sound, but they have added a more melodic, post hardcore sound and also more choruses to their songs which has now put Northlane on a whole new level.
‘Node’ begins with “Soma”, a track that picks up speed the second it starts with an impressive bass riff followed by amazing guitar and drum work. We are then introduced to what we have all been waiting for, Marcus Bridge’s vocals. His screams are more raw and raspy than the previous vocalist. Just when the listener isn’t sure if they like Bridge’s vocals, he lets a ferocious scream “I refuse to die here!” Anyone who doubted him was proven wrong in that very moment. Bridge not only has an amazing screaming ability, but his clean singing is equally as impressive as noted when he sings “I see the prison of a city destined for collapse“. Northlane are utilizing Bridge’s clean singing ability to the fullest, which is evident on most of the songs on ‘Node’.
The album continues with ‘Obelisk’. A very groovy song that shows flashes of the old Northlane with its heaviness, but is balanced out with a more melodic sound, and the title track ‘Node’ which begins with Bridge singing “You can be the change!” That one sentence is the focal point of the ‘Node’. It’s as if Bridge showing everyone, I just changed Northlane, now you all can go out and change the world. It only takes one person to ignite that spark to create something wonderful. Further on down the album there is a two minute interlude called ‘Nameless’ which really nicely separates the two halves of the album.
The second half of the album begins with ‘Rot’. It is undoubtedly one of the heaviest songs off of ‘Node’. The song has a brutal chorus where Bridge screams “Don’t let the world rot!” ‘Rot’ continues the lyrical theme of positivity that is shown throughout the entire album. ‘Ra’ the tenth track is another really heavy song. It may start slow, but don’t let that fool you. ‘Ra’ will make listeners head bang and is sure to get people moving in the pits. The album ends with ‘Animate’, which is the perfect ending for an amazing album. ‘Animate’ is very in your face, intense and powerful. It also continues to show Bridge’s clean tones. The song and album closes with some piano work and an ambient sound as Bridge sings “We’re not defined by a blueprint if we re-write the plans. So will you paint paradise with the stroke of an artist’s hand?”
Overall this is one of the most complete albums, that has been released in all of 2015. It would have be easy for Northlane to find a vocalist that was a carbon copy of their previous one, but instead they chose Marcus Bridge, who has allowed them to adapt and grow into something bigger and better than expected. Bridge brings new catchy choruses in songs such as ‘Leech’ or ‘Impulse’, and exceptional clean vocals in songs ‘Ohm’ or ‘Weightless’ that really bring Northlane to a whole new level. Not only did Northlane improve vocally, but instrumentally as well as every band member shined to new heights and brought out their very best. Without a doubt this album gets 5 out of 5 stars for bringing something new and exciting to the table, and creating something beautiful for everyone to hear.
POP DEFLATORS RECOMMENDS: “Leech”