nortH­lane

Mes­mer

Australian HIFI - - ON TEST -

After strug­gling to find their feet on 2015’s Node, pseudo-djent war­riors North­lane have stun­ningly per­fected their re­booted fu­sion of hy­per-ex­per­i­men­tal prog rock and pitchurn­ing met­al­core on Mes­mer. The gui­tars are heav­ier and more rest­less— Josh Smith nails the rhythm sec­tion with tem­per­ate bari­tone riffage, but lead ax­e­man Jon Dei­ley is down­right f***ing re­morse­less. Mes­mer is the can­vas on which the two wreak havoc: sepul­chral bends flood the sullen In­tu­ition, while Fade makes way for shim­mer­ing melodies and So­lar shines with a wah-tinged groove. The cuts Verid­ian and Fade dip into a louder, flashier alt-rock vibe—a cleaner sound than we’re used to, but one that does not un­der­cut their oth­er­wise car­nal shred­ding. The first half is marred by mun­dane jams, but made up for ef­fort­lessly by the sec­ond half.

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