Groundbreaking material that could potentially forever change the way the underground music scene is discerned? Unfortunately no. Impressive nonetheless, considering its contents are fairly reputable especially when compared to their somewhat lesser genre counterparts? Undoubtedly yes.
While not the most genre-defying album to see the light of day, Australian powerhouses Northlane display far more vigor than most would presume on their sophomore full-length, Singularity. The album, clocking in at just shy of the 35-minute mark, contains arguably the most defined metalcore to be released so far in 2013. Chop-to-bounce breakdowns (“Windbreaker”), unexpected yet surprisingly impressive cleans (“Quantum Flux”), intricate guitars (“Scarab”), and commanding drums (“Aspire”) are all found throughout the ornate course of Singularity.
Lyrically speaking, the record is a whirlwind of honesty, anger and hope. For instance, while lead vocalist Adrian Fitipaldes aggressively bellows the lines, “The truth is we all suffer / We all suffer in life / We all suffer in time” in the pernicious “Scarab,” he also melodically croons “Can’t you see the joy of life is right before your eyes? / Infinite bliss, infinite love” in the optimism-based “Quantum Flux.” Far from cliché, Singularity’s lyrical content provides a sense of serious maturity from such a young outfit.
Despite the record’s aforementioned virtuoso, its imposing climax is ironically conceived during what will quite possibly be the most neglected three minutes and forty-six seconds on the entire album: the title track, “Singularity.” The song, which features an awe-inspiring pre-recorded message, was contrived simply to raise the follicles on the back of your neck and make your skin crawl with protuberances of satisfaction. While perceiving a seemingly miniscule face value, the track shows Northlane’s unmistakable versatility, which, if harnessed precisely, could potentially project them to the top of the genre.
To put things in a general perspective, Singularity is downright striking. They say in Australia, the phrase “sophomore slump” is more commonly referred to as “second year blues.” Well, with their sophomore full-length officially under their belt, it’s safe to say with being the Australian natives they are, Northlane have skillfully eluded those ever-so-dreaded “second blue years.”