Published Jul 24, 2015Right as they were poised to make a bigger splash in markets outside of their native Australia, metalcore five-piece Northlane announced the departure of original vocalist Adrian Fitipaldes, who cited health issues as his reason for stepping down. While it was undoubtedly a major blow for the young band to lose Fitipaldes' dominant growl and his role as primary lyricist, the remaining members didn't let adversity get the better of them in choosing a replacement.
On their third studio record Node, new vocalist Marcus Bridge brings a style all his own to the band's progressive mastery, which proves to be quite refreshing. While his distorted vocals are noticeably thinner than those of his predecessor, his incorporation of soaring clean passages brings a welcome new element to the extreme dynamic shifts of "Rot" and the tempo changes of "Ohm."
The writing from the rest of the band is as tight as ever, anchored by commanding use of crushing guitars that maintain a sharp technical edge without falling victim to the ubiquitous one-note rhythmic riffing many in the genre employ. Much like Bridge's vocals, a lighter side has emerged in Jonathon Deiley and Joshua Smith's guitar work built upon clean tones layered with delays and reverbs, most prominently on "Nameless" and "Weightless." It's a bold new direction for a group with youth on their side that, while potentially divisive, points towards a bright future. (New Damage)