Northlane
Node


4.0
excellent

Review

by Brett Tharp STAFF
July 28th, 2015 | 69 replies


Release Date: 07/24/2015 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Reanimation.

Losing a vocalist and frontman, especially one who played such a huge role in making the band’s package work, isn’t the easiest thing to power through for any artist. Sure, Northlane is admittedly a young band, and has an easier shot at a clean slate than a band going for twenty plus years, but the blow is still clearly going to be felt. However, as far as this pitfall usually goes for artists, Node is a handy indicator that Northlane is coming through the ordeal fairly unscathed. It strikes the right balance between holding down what Northlane is all about (spacey, semi-progressive metalcore) and treading into new territory to make an album that succeeds where it could have easily failed.

New frontman Marcus Bridge makes his presence felt right from the get-go by doing his best not to emulate his predecessor Adrian Fitipaldes. Instead of something akin to Adrian’s aggressive style, Marcus is comparable to Periphery’s Spencer Sotelo in that his clean singing dominates instead of harsh screams. Marcus certainly has the voice to pull it off at least, his soaring range matching perfectly with Northlane’s atmospheric melodies. On the other hand, his screams can’t match Adrian’s in a flat out comparison, but taken with no prior expectations they serve their purpose well enough. At the very least, the frantic screams keep his performance from being one-note.

Old fan’s will be happy to find Northlane’s soul mostly intact within Node’s eleven tracks. “Rot” and “Ra” especially exemplify this, with colossal downtuned bottom string notes booming underneath and background ambiance that speaks to extraterrestrial themes. These things are old hat to Northlane, no matter how well executed they might be. The new ideas on display are what shine, and it’s obvious that most are there as an effort from the band to build around the presence of their new vocalist. Atmosphere has never been as much of a focus as it is on Node. A surprising amount of time is spent on quiet moments and otherworldly textures, as compared to the more rhythmic focuses of the last two records, Discoveries and Singularity. There’s even a general feel of accessibility that drapes across the record, most likely due to the emphasis on Marcus’ cleans. At times it even feels like Northlane’s proggy metalcore is splitting off left field towards tightly structured post hardcore. There’s never a lack of balance though, and the accessible songwriting suits Northlane’s sound without blocking out their progressive leanings entirely.

Node is essentially proof that Northlane could power on after losing a key member, and in most aspects it succeeds. There are some issues that detract of course, enough that naysayers will have fuel for their pyre. Some flat production and mixing issues that undermine some of the heavier moments, a couple of filler tracks, and Marcus’ divisive harsh vocals hold them back for now, but at least the band is doing new things with this release as opposed to a total rehash. The new musical ground will surely turn off some, but new fans are always out there ready to replace the old ones. Northlane feels rejuvenated with this release, and not replaced. It’s still Northlane, just with some new tricks and an exciting new voice.



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user ratings (325)
Chart.
3.4
great
other reviews of this album
Nocturnalize (4)
Northlane forgetting what chugs are....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Gameofmetal
Staff Reviewer
July 28th 2015


10126 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yea



edit: oh yeah just realized this is my 49th review



better make 50 a big one

Digging: Wolves in the Throne Room - Thrice Woven

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
July 28th 2015


13096 Comments


Posd bro

Only thing i notcied

"semi progressive" should be "semi-progressive" right?

Digging: Palais Schaumburg - Palais Schaumburg

Gameofmetal
Staff Reviewer
July 28th 2015


10126 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah i think so



i mess that up a lot, thanks for catching it

Nocturnalize
July 28th 2015


2463 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Shit review



Hard neg

Gameofmetal
Staff Reviewer
July 28th 2015


10126 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

u bich

Nocturnalize
July 28th 2015


2463 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

suck it only bottom tier users would review this



pls ths ruls ahrd liek 4 arhd

bloc
July 28th 2015


43066 Comments


It's weird, I can't enjoy this stuff anymore. All these new djent or whatever albums are just boring.

DeadGuy
July 28th 2015


912 Comments


Does not rule hard

DatBeefPudding
July 28th 2015


1853 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

honestly this review was fucking fantastic.



although i would argue against the sotelo argument and instead give a nod to chino moreno

Digging: Anachronism - Reflecting The Inside

TooLateToGoBack
July 29th 2015


1952 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I like his cleans quite a bit, but the heavier tracks like Rot and Ra are still my favorites off this.



zmol
July 29th 2015


39 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Cool review, pos'd.



Just: "intact within Node’s ten tracks."



Should be eleven tracks. Unless I'm missing something?

Digging: Arcane Roots - Melancholia Hymns

Gameofmetal
Staff Reviewer
July 29th 2015


10126 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"Should be eleven tracks. Unless I'm missing something?"



yea you're right, mb



"make the 50th the next lsbp album"



i cud do dat

MattTD
July 29th 2015


678 Comments


Nah do Peach Panther when it comes out

Gameofmetal
Staff Reviewer
July 29th 2015


10126 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

wtf is that lol

Hopelust
July 29th 2015


2709 Comments


I feel like this band could be so much better. Kind of like august burns red in their early years.

DarthHideous1
July 30th 2015


174 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Pretty solid for what it is, but I HATE the production. It has like ZERO punch for what little heavy parts there are which makes it sound pretty flat overall.

ExhaleTheLight
July 30th 2015


228 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

The clean vocals here ruin this just like Spencers cleans on Periphery

Gameofmetal
Staff Reviewer
July 30th 2015


10126 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"Pretty solid for what it is, but I HATE the production. It has like ZERO punch for what little heavy parts there are which makes it sound pretty flat overall."



yea the production really falls flat in the heavy moments, but luckily those aren't the important parts in this album

DarthHideous1
July 30th 2015


174 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Oh yeah I know it's not as important, but with the lack of heavy moments on the record, making them have a punch allows the record to sound a lot more dynamic as a whole. Will Putney has been fucking up. First Holy War, now this. But it makes no sense because the new Counterparts sounds great.

Gameofmetal
Staff Reviewer
July 30th 2015


10126 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i thought the guitar tone wasn't as thick and heavy as it could be on the new counterparts, at least as far as the heavy sections are concerned, but they've never had a super thick guitar tone anyway



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