Mesmer - Northlane
Artist: Northlane Album: Mesmer Genre: Progressive Metalcore
Review by Steve Jenkins
Friday, March 24th 2017 was certainly a good day to be a Northlane fan, with the band dropping a complete surprise in the form of a brand new full length album. In what is quickly becoming a running trend for bands, releasing an EP or LP without absolutely no notice whatsoever, it's a pretty cool tactic.
Flying the Australian metalcore flag for the past couple of years now, Northlane are one of Australia's greatest music exports with a massive fan base all over the World. This album is the second featuring vocalist Marcus Bridge fronting the band and proving everyone wrong who ever doubted him being a worthy replacement for Adrian Fitipaldes. Marcus is a key member and a perfect fit whilst Northlane continue to grow and evolve into one of the biggest band in heavy music.
The production on Mesmer is noticeably better than anything they've ever released before, with a huge sound coming through, leaving an incredibly powerful first impression. The instrumentation is always mesmerizing and engaging with Northlane, perhaps even more so on this release. The guitars are crisp and clean, with colossal down-tuned bottom string notes booming underneath and background ambiance. There’s never a lack of harmony or balance though, and the accessible songwriting suits Northlane’s sound without blocking out their heavier and more progressive sound entirely.
Marcus Bridge really does standout on this album, there's no hiding this, as his vocal talents shine in a big way right throughout Mesmer. If you're not a fan of his voice then you can't deny that the instrumental arrangements are enjoyable enough to keep the listener enthralled and interested. It's really hard to define Northlane to a specific genre, especially when they keep evolving and changing. To be perfectly honesty, keeping things fresh is not a bad thing when it comes to metalcore or music in general. You could put Northlane on a bill with a wide array of bands and they would find their own way to fit and to win over the crowd, that's how good they are at what they do.
With a solid release like this one being sprung on us, there's no question that Northlane are rejuvenated and ready to rule the heavy music universe with their remarkable sound. Whilst it won't be everyone's cup of tea, you should probably at least give this one a go, because you might find something you like. Mesmer is an explosive showing of evolution and pure raw talent, and whilst you may argue that it doesn't live up to previous releases, it sure is innovative and pretty damn good from start to finish.
4 out of 5 stars.
Check out their new video for the track 'Citizen' below: