Mesmer, Northlane’s newest album, is a hardcore album that talks about more than just the typical topics of love and heartbreak.
First track, “Citizen,” sets the scene, opening with screams and leading to clean vocals. This song mixes clean and unclean vocals very well, on top of bass, drums, and guitar that make it near-impossible to not nod your head along to. “Colourwave” is a bit heavier in both music and lyrical content. “In my darkest days / I only saw the shades of grey / In a world that drips in colour” is a great example of what metaphor for how depression feels on its worst days, where you know the world’s a beautiful place, but you’re just unable to convince yourself of it. The next two songs feel connected by a human-critical point of view. While “Savage” sees Earth from the perspective of the Sun, questioning why we “Wash away utopia with the tears of the undead,” “Solar” talks about the human impact on Earth’s resources, how “We bleed it dry,” and the “Forests evergreen wither to sand.” The middle song on the record, “Intuition,” is probably the hardest song on the record, with screaming found throughout most of the song. It advises to “Question everything you know” and “Follow your intuition.” Take outside pressures with a grain of salt and listen to the voice in your head. “Fade” starts as a hard-rock song, that soon adds in screaming as it addresses how the loss of Marcus Bridge’s (vocals) father affected him. The second to last track, “Veridian,” is another track about death, but one where death is something that’s welcomed, something that’ll bring peace and tranquility after possibly living just a bit too long. Looking back at this album, I love how each song is a varied perspective and makes the listener think about a topic in a new light. However, I wish each track on the album stood out as individual songs as much as they stand out together as a full record.
Overall: Mesmer is a GREAT choice for metal and hardcore fans, with songs about several different topics from death to human selfishness to questioning societal pressures.
Review by Shane Haley