“Discoveries” (2011) marked a great start for Sydney, Australia’s Northlane. With the even greater delivery of “Singularity”, Northlane’s much deserved and rapidly expanding fan base is growing faster than imagined.

Heavy and hard-hitting, “Singularity” never makes a full plunder, remaining regal with the support of an ethereal influence that is exhibited in all instruments. Ambiance surrounds the listener’s body, barely keeping them afloat above the deep grooves. The album delivers terms that sounds torturous, but musically, when one is teased amongst a perfect balance of angst and bliss, the experience is boundless.

Each song seems to have its own individual power set but all songs carry a theme of soaring passion and a mood both, atmospheric and abrasive, which is accurately depicted by the album cover. Singularity is littered with interesting rhythms that play within the metalcore framework; but the added complexity of groove patterns makes Northlane an original blend. The feeling of floating and sinking is evident in the guitar work. Riff wise, the guitars jump between mathy pulses and higher neck licks. Layered above a continued ambiance, the riffs are multidimensional and catchy. Occurring in the areas of Singularity where riffing and breakdowns aren’t swarming about, a beautiful release is found in softer guitar fills. “Singularity” is a track dedicated to just this, a hypnotizing instrumental over a great Terence McKenna quote. The title track just pours into “Aspire,” the ruins where all of Singularity’s emotions collide.
Singularity’s, heavy but floaty zeppelin theme is continued through drummer Nic Pettersen. The driving of bass pedal is an undeniable force, but the contradictory feeling comes from the awesome cymbal play. Crashes and splashes along with neat snare pops and ghost notes provide a second tier of listener food. “Windbreaker” is great in this respect, as well as an album favorite. Vocalist Adrian Fitapaldes gives feelings of desire and apprehension as he hovers above the patterns. The relate-ability in the vocals is a one of Northlane’s best features. It doesn’t much matter that some of the lyrics lack a certain intellect. They serve their purpose of pumping inspiration and excitement into the music. “Masquerade” is a great example of Fitapaldes’ ability to add energy. The clean vocals amplify Singularity’s ecstasy, “Quantum Flux” being most noteworthy. The style of cleans are ones that allow the listener to sing-along. Never letting the cleans reach into a range that most of us will never reach, Northlane keeps frequent for easy acceptance.

Northlane’s Singularity will be loved by fans of Volume’s groove, Parkway Drive’s appeal and Elitist’s ambiance. They’ll be on tour soon with Structures, Intervals and Texas In July.

– Tyler Dermitt

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