I never thought a Djenty Metalcore band with the occasional atmospheric break could cause such fervent resentment from within me but for some reason Northlane
drive me up the wall. Whether that's from the painfully generic vocal performance to the lackluster musicianship, Singularity
irritates me much more than I would have thought possible.
The major problem I have with Northlane
is that everything feels incongruous, the vocal styling doesn't mix with the music, the growls and screams don't go well together and the breakdowns are painfully uninspired and out of place. From the introduction I could instantly tell I was on a bumpy road, opening with a Djent breakdown which is painfully average before erupting into Bring Me The Horizon
inspired yelling. It's an awful introduction and doesn't set this album up well at all.
The first proper track Scarab
shows us the musical direction that Northlane
want to take, Metalcore with Djent styling and the occasional Nu Metal
influence. The mix is horrendous. The music consists of some mildly technical lead work buried under way too many generic Metalcore riffs with an insipid vocal performance and the occasional Nu Metal
inspired chorus. The Djent grooves are relied on way too much for my liking in Singularity
, replacing the real riffs almost entirely, ruining whatever technical prowess might be hidden with Singularity
. Alongside the Djent grooves, there's far too many breakdowns for my liking, adding even more boredom onto the album, creating a wholly uninteresting and uninspired listen that quickly wears thin before the introduction even finishes.
I'm really struggling to see what Northlane
tried to accomplish with this one. On one hand of the spectrum they seem content to be worshiping at the feet of Bring Me The Horizon
with the vocal and guitar work. On the other hand of the spectrum they try to appeal to the Djent fans with occasional clean interludes and a lot of Djent riffing. It's a strange combination and one that doesn't work well together. Whilst I can gladly admit that the musicians are competent enough at what they are doing and they're probably quite technically proficient enough at it the problem is that they're not pushing themselves. The music is painfully simple by Djent standards, using way too many Djent riffs with the occasional progressive Metalcore riffs thrown over them. It's a mix that has been done to death before, and admittedly been done a whole lot better as well. Some of the chiming ethereal lead work that Northlane
play just simply doesn't work well with the Djent blueprints. Worldeater
is the worst offender where the lead plays a suitably melodic lead that gets buried under dense and heavily layered Djent riffs that completely ruin whatever atmosphere the song could have created.
The thing with Northlane
is that whilst there are sections that show that they could have been onto something quite nice, the rest of the time their music is excruciatingly average and generic. Taking cues from a number of different bands, with the most noticeable influence being Bring Me The Horizon
. The Djent elements sound ripped directly from Volumes
, being simple and powerful with harmonized leads floating over them. Yet whilst I like Volumes
for the way they can mix powerful Djent grooves with melodious sections, the way in which Northlane
does it sounds weak and flat. Lacking the passion and vigor that Volumes
are quite clearly competent song writers, the problem for me is that they wear their influences too clearly on their sleeves. There's no ounce of originality on Singularity
and that for me is a big problem, of course bands in any genre will take influence from more well known and accomplished bands. Northlane
take too much from other bands, not adding their own unique identity into their sound. The whole thing just sounds regurgitated and way too familiar, this style has been overused to the point that it's beyond repair. Northlane
are just riding along the path that previous bands have paved for them, yet instead of deviating from the path, even just a little to add something that is their own Northlane
just rip off a bunch of other bands ranging from Djent to Metalcore/Deathcore
to Nu Metal
is far too familiar and safe for my liking, there's not enough passion and vigor put into this one, creating a very boring and irritating listen. Singularity
is one of the most infuriating listening experiences I've heard in a long time and I would advise everyone, even fans of Djent/Metalcore to avoid this and get something that is actually worth your time. Singularity
is a faceless clone in an ocean of faceless clones. I don't think I could bare to listen to this a third time. I'm out.