Northlane: Node

Australia’s junior djent squad start to come of age

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Tipped for major success, but almost blown off course by the departure of original frontman Adrian Fitipaldes, Northlane must be relieved to be releasing a third album.

New vocalist Marcus Bridge is immediately a more convincing focal point than his predecessor, with a versatility and melodic instinct that suit the band’s distinctive but, until now, relatively tame blend of tech-metal textures, post-rock ambience and metalcore crunch.

While there’s still a sense that Northlane lack a little bite, the fluid mood shifts and deft rhythmic about-turns that drive the likes of Obelisk and Rot prove these are much stronger, more incisive songs than anything on previous albums. Melancholy interlude Nameless is part Radiohead reverie, part fidgety dub drift, while the gorgeous Weightless marries pulsing synths with a tense, low-slung groove. Node is a strong step in the right direction and a testament to this band’s fighting spirit.