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Album Review

Northlane – Node

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With the ferocity of a cornered beast, Northlane are truly untethered.

Label: UNFD
Released: 24th July 2015

Rating: ★★★★

The departure of vocalist Adrian Fitipaldes in the autumn of 2014 forced Northlane into an uncomfortable position. Adapt or die. Choosing the former Marcus Bridge joined the fold and, with a realigned sense of purpose, the band set about constructing ‘Node’.

From the wake up cry of “daydreamer, rise and shine,” the album charges with the sound of a band demanding a second chance; the initial double tap of ‘Soma’ and comeback track ‘Obelisk’ matched by the title track as a flourishing realisation that Northlane could become unstoppable.

With the ferocity of a cornered beast, Northlane are truly untethered. Crunching growls make way for textured delicacy as ‘Node’ swirls with atmosphere and focus. There are backwards glances into the abyss, and a few sneering digs at the way the world hangs, but for the most part Northlane are pushing forward, determined to make the most of the light.

‘Rot’ is a snarling anthem of determination, the self-contained journey of ‘Leech’ a carefully balanced wonder. Despite the occasion and all the distance covered, ‘Node’ feels effortless. The band have ducked pressure and pushed through to new possibilities with a daring sense of cohesion. Whether it’s the full throttle hurtle of ‘Ra’ or the deliberate meander of ‘Weightless’, they know how to command a recorded space.

“You can be the change,” Northlane implore on the title track; a simple message that lies at the heart of ‘Node’. “One small step will change the earth.” Ali Shutler