Another band causing me to re-think my opinion of them recently is Northlane, with their new album Singularity proving to be a prime example of what a band can do with some hard work and dedication. Listening to Singularity and comparing it to their last album; Discoveries, it’s obvious that the bar has been set much higher this time around, and what’s even more obvious is how much they’ve cleared it. This album has awesome heavy sections, beautifully crisp softer moments, lyrics that would make even the most tripped out existentialist lose their shit and overall you’re just gonna want to jump around and break stuff. Singularity is a testament to the progressive metal genre and the Australian music scene, and seeing as it reached #1 on the iTunes charts, I think most would agree.
Everything to do with this record is an improvement on Discoveries. I’ve never been an avid fan of Northlane, but I did kinda enjoy the sound established on their first full-length. But I’ll be fucked if I can remember a single stand-out phrase or riff or anything from all 40-odd minutes of it. Save perhaps for “Dispossession”. It’s not a bad album, it’s just not a particularly memorable one. This is where Singularity really trumps it’s predecessor. I’ve only been listening to it for a week or two now and it’s already stuck much harder in my mind than anything from Discoveries.
Another factor that’s been greatly improved is the vocals. Adrian Fitipaldes has a strong guttural sound that you probably wouldn’t expect from such a mangy-looking kid. His cleans aren’t too bad either, but they’re not really a focal point. Which is fine, because they’re used infrequently and very effectively. One main point of discussion about this album as a whole though is the lyrics. Adrian writes some really out-there shit. It’s really hard trying to single out just one phrase to use as an example here, but I particularly like this section from “Worldeater”:
Now I hear the voices of an ancient race
Peering through the veil of time and space
Emerging from the void I am reborn
I see the world for what it really is
Distorted visions of heaven
I have discovered there’s hope in my heart
For I am One
So there’s a very small taste of the wonderful lyrics contained within this album. It’s great to see a band with such verbal creativity, especially one that shares a label with the likes of Deez Nuts.
As for the instrumentation, everything is really tight and mixed well. The riffs are mostly quite interesting, the harmonies are nice and as an overall package it works great together. Some moments are catchier than others but generally each song is powerful and involving.
I would reccommend Singularity not just to fans of Northlane, but to any fan of heavy music in general. There’s plenty of depth to be found here, and it warrants several replays.