Written by: MN on 07/04/2013 17:57:37

With prominent acts such as Parkway Drive and I Killed The Prom Queen gaining international admiration, Australian metalcore bands are playing larger festivals and shows across the world. Sydney-siders Northlane released their debut ”Discoveries” back in late 2011, and this warmly received debut cemented their position in the local metalcore scene. The key to the success of Northlane lies in their work ethic and musicianship, and despite playing under a genre label so painfully common, their music is a beacon of well-produced and atmospheric metalcore. Their follow-up "Singularity" is a beautifully structured album with a very mystical tone. Despite being hideously cliché, my initial thoughts on the album led to the phrase ”If it aint broke, don't fix it”. The compositions, as stereotypical for the genre as they may be, are so damn well executed and balanced that rarely did I find myself uninspired by their music.

"Genesis", the opening track, is an exposition to their soundscape and the listener is introduced to the different layers of their ambient sound. The track opens with a drone-like refrain, eventually adding the full-bodied drumming, containing spectacular uses of cymbals and ghost notes. The guitar and bass eventually release the full beast, culminating in a full-throttle slalom of sounds with the addition of Adrian Fitipaldes eclectic vocals. The second song is arguably the fastest, ”Scarab” is heavy distortion and double-pedal madness, but as strange as it may sound, I felt oddly relaxed and meditative while listening to this track. Northlane have a brilliant ability of providing an ambient soundlayer mostly created by guitar effects. This pulse of their music leaves the listener soaring skyhigh and never falling. As a personal favourite, the song "Windbreaker" contains some awesome low-pitch growling complimented by mathcore-like riffs. The first single ”Quantum Flux” displays their signature sound, but adds some melodic clean vocals, a good choice for a single seeing as it proves everything that Northlane stands for; perfectionistic and well-composed metalcore.

”Dream Awake” is another fast-paced track, but it is beautifully intertwined with slow and doom heavy passages combined with dreamy interludes. A definite highlight of the album. ”The Killing” contains some seriously catchy riffs, and the title track ”Singularity” contains some gorgeous use of delays and refrains which, as corny as it may sound, bring you into a moment of inner serenity and philosophically envelopes you. It also contains a befitting quote from the late American psychonaut Terence Mckenna: "We have to stop consuming our culture. We have to create culture. Don't watch TV, don't read magazines, don't even listen to NPR. Create your own roadshow. The nexus of space and time, where you are now, is the most immediate sector of your universe.”

The album is sealed off in the thunderous finale ”Aspire” which is a prime example of how sledgehammer heavy music also can be beautifully melodic. Northlane have tightened the bolts of their machinery, they are getting increasingly more put together, and I rarely witnessed a misstep in this album. Unfortunately the album is surprisingly short, at only 34:42, the album could use a track or two more to garner higher marks, yet I hope to see Northlane continue to take their time with the writing of an album, it pays off in the end, as we can see with "Singularity".


Download: Windbreaker, Quantum Flux, Singularity
For The Fans Of: Parkway Drive, Hand of Mercy, Erra

Release Date 22.03.13
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