Northlane offer the ultimate taste test with new EP Mirror’s Edge

Australia has been blessed with some legendary heavy bands over the years, but there’s one name that remains a regular on our roads and airwaves after leading the scene for more than a decade. ARIA award-winning Sydney alt-metal powerhouse Northlane have constantly evolved their sound and approach to push the envelope, and have today unveiled their highly-anticipated new EP Mirror’s Edge.

The six-track project is a collection of the band’s signature styles, taking elements from each of their creative phases and presenting them in a way that will resonate with fans both old and new. Featuring the singles “Dante”, “Miasma” and “Afterimage”, Mirror’s Edge is a punchy package of djent riffs, distorted synths and high-profile guest appearances complimenting the already huge vocals.

Recorded by the esteemed Will Putney, the EP boasts collaborations with the mighty Winston McCall of Parkway Drive and Ian Kenny of Karnivool/Birds of Tokyo – two of Northlane’s biggest sonic influences – as well as former bassist Brendon Padjasek. It was written a year after their #1 album Obsidian was released in 2022 and, instead of celebrating their ARIA win, explores the band’s internal issues. As the title suggests, Mirror’s Edge is about reflection and acceptance, something that hasn’t always come easy to them.


The EP opens with the simmering title track serving as an introduction that segues seamlessly into the progressive “Afterimage” featuring Ian Kenny. Interludes on EPs which already have limited tracklisting can seem like filler, although it can be forgiven in this instance because we still get another five full songs. The latter shines with Kenny’s dexterous cleans and vocalist Marcus Bridge’s haunting melodies over gritty grooves. Bubbling synths open up for a blistering breakdown where Bridge unleashes his fierce screams before Kenny offers a lifting final chorus.

The brutal “Miasma” featuring Winston McCall is the heaviest track on the EP, replete with syncopated rhythms and dark electronics. McCall enters with his famous gutturals for the bridge as the two vocalists weave between lines and let the song fade out with a cry of desperation. Up next, “Kraft” featuring Brendon Padjasek sees Bridge adopt a rap-like flow over hyper-pop programming and down-tuned chugs. A sludgy breakdown that might be one of the band’s hardest in recent times bleeds into a samey final chorus that gives us an impressive low if not much else.

An interesting deep cut is “Let Me Disappear”, the sole example of glitchy effects and Bridge’s harmonic da-da-da-ing on here. It’s still got the sweet cleans and serrated screams we know and love, yet offers something new in the back half of the EP to keep listeners engaged. Lastly, the unsettling electronics and more syncopated rhythms of commanding closer “Dante” act as shifting tectonic plates, with Bridge’s soft vocals floating above, before finding solid ground in the catchy chorus. The final line of the hook, ‘The things that we love just hurt us in the end’, is a sombre but fitting epiphany to round out the EP’s themes.

Northlane have showcased the best that they have to offer with Mirror’s Edge without sacrificing their integrity. This is not to say that they have played it safe, as their evolved sound has long distinguished them from their contemporaries, although these tracks would have fit comfortably on Obsidian. Nonetheless, the guest appearances and standouts like “Afterimage” and “Let Me Disappear” make it well worth repeat listening.


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