Australian heavy vanguards Northlane have announced their new EP, Mirror’s Edge, out April 12 (Independent). Alongside the news comes the colossal new single “Miasma,” featuring Winston McCall from Parkway Drive.
“Miasma” is a throwback to Northlane’s early heavy canon with its scathing and complex guitars, dynamic drumming, and commanding vocals. A tense song born out of frustration that has reached its tipping point, “Miasma” features a crushing performance from Parkway Drive frontman Winston McCall. McCall’s guest appearance is a significant one for Northlane because, as guitarist Josh Smith explains, Parkway Drive set the blueprint for all heavy bands in Australia.
“Parkway Drive were always our number one inspiration as a band,” Smith says. “When we first started, their DVD created a roadmap to success, which we did our best to follow. At a time when every band was ripping their sound off, we chose to take our own path but instead emulate their work ethic, and for us it paid dividends. Over time, that respect has flowed both ways. With this track being so heavy, we couldn’t think of a more perfect guest than Winston. He flew down from Byron just after we toured together in North America and we tracked his parts in Jon’s home studio. His brute voice just tore the track to pieces and we were stunned with the result.”
Mirror’s Edge was recorded with their old friend and revered producer Will Putney in August this year. Described by Jon Deiley (songwriter/guitarist) as “the greatest hits of Northlane sounds,” the EP is a nostalgic journey through all the colors on their sonic palette, with bonus shades from special guests Winston McCall (Parkway Drive) and Ian Kenny (Karnivool/Birds of Tokyo) — two of the most influential artists in Northlane’s history. Their former bass player, Brendon Padjasek, also stopped by the studio to lend his scream to one of the tracks.
Penned just over a year after the release of their #1 award-winning album, Obsidian, the road to Mirror’s Edge was a bumpy one. Instead of riding high from the success of the album, the simmering tension and communication breakdown between band members threatened to engulf Northlane at any moment. Northlane tackled their issues head-on at a writing retreat in Victoria’s Yarra Valley, where they worked through their problems and unlocked new channels of creativity in the process that reflects through the EP. From the expansive prog of “Afterimage” to their signature bottom-heavy groove and viscous breakdown of “Kraft” and compulsive beat and electronic focus of “Dante,” Mirror’s Edge is full of Northlane’s most vivid colours and textures.
Thematically, the EP is about looking at yourself and reflecting on the past one final time before leaving it all behind to find hope in what lies beyond the mirror’s edge. With the recurring theme of acceptance binding these songs together, frontman Marcus Bridge is hopeful that Mirror’s Edge will be the coda on this part of his personal life, so much of which he has shared in the last couple of Northlane releases.
“It’s like looking at your reflection, looking at the past and everything I’ve been thinking about, or caught up within the last little while,” Bridge says. “There’s not much positivity in these songs, but it is about acceptance. Hopefully, by putting these songs out, I can leave that stuff behind and I can kind of find a new direction and something to be positive about on the other side of this mirror’s edge.”
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