“Node” by Northlane, Album Review

Node Cover. Image Cred: Rise RecordsNode is the newest release from Australian rock band Northlane. It’s filled to the brim with poetic lyrics, emotional themes, as well as captivating compositions. Some of the themes in Node are the same themes that their genre seems to gravitate too – the ups and downs of life. But Northlane tackles these themes from a totally brand new and original angle that’s all their own. Their creativity and passion is a refreshing change of pace. While Node is artistically stunning, it might not appeal to all audiences.

The album puts a heavy focus on the instrumentals right from the start. The intricately layered melodies of the album draw you in, and you can hear every instrument and element to each song. Northlane incorporates different elements and instruments to give the songs depth. The focus of the song shifts focus between different elements of the song to enhance it, and to enhance the meaning of the song.

This effect is used in every song, but you can notice it right off the bat in “Soma.” When the vocalist is screaming “I refuse to die here,” there’s a heavier focus on the guitars and drums that wasn’t there earlier in the song. This tool of shifting focus within the song is what makes the album so great. Node would be a totally different album if they didn’t utilize that tool so well.

The lyrics tell you what the song is all about though. What makes them so unique is how poetic they are. It’s hard to place what makes them come across so poetic, but they just are. The lyrics in Node try to describe the emotions and feelings of the song in a tangible way, so you can picture it perfectly in your mind’s eye. Whether Northlane met that goal in their lyrics or not is up for debate. But their lyrics definitely do stand out from all the rest.

The vocals were the most interesting part of Node, at least from my perspective. There’s a nice balance between singing and screaming, and what vocal style Northlane uses is in tune with the song and the lyrics. Depending on where the song is going and what element the focus is on, the vocal style changes.

All of these features blend together to create an original sounding album, possibly the most original mainstream album of 2015. However, the originality of Node might be ahead of its time. Since it is so far away from what others are doing at this point, some listeners might not feel a connect with Node. But you never know until you listen to it. No matter if Node becomes your favorite album or not, it’s definitely worth listening to.

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