Live Review: Northlane w/Void Of Vision & Polaris @ The Electric Brixton

We’re left with one eyebrow raised following the news over at The PRP earlier this week here that Silent Planet had exited the “Alien” tour stage left for “reasons outside of their control”. Later on there is an essay from vocalist Garrett Russell about his Mental Health struggles being the reason they’ve gone home prematurely and we’ve got nothing but total respect for the man. It’s hard to be so honest at times and health comes first beyond everything else. Silent Planet will be back and better for Russell getting the break he needs.

So tonight is the Australian take over of Electric Brixton with a trio of their finest taking to the stage of the 1789 capacity venue, which is sold out tonight. Doors are at 19:00 but without Silent Planet the show doesn’t start for 50 minutes. When it does get under way, we get a 30 minute set from Void Of Vision [8/10] who as you might expect blast their way through a clutch of tracks from new album “Hyperdaze“. The trio of pre-release singles “Year Of The Rat”, “Hole In Me” and “Babylon” get the circle pit going while “Grey Area” from their “Disturbia” EP is a welcome addition. The bass sound is huge tonight and the crowd are just as hyped to see the opening act as they are the headliner, which makes a nice change. The quartet bring the bounce and energy, they could do with reigning in some of the clean vocals on the newer material though.

We’ve seen Polaris [8/10] grown from being a support act second on the bill at Camden Underworld to supporting Architects on an Arena tour and playing Tech-Fest last summer. They have been rewarded with the endeavour of “The Mortal Coil” and with their new album “The Death Of Me” appearing in February via SharpTone Records we get treated to a pair of new songs in “Hypermania” and “Masocist”. Both we’ve heard already in various forms and both are intriguingly opposites. The other treat is the opening cut from the bands 2016 EP “The Guilt And The Grief” entitled “Regress”. You can never be sure about these things but it’s interesting that the track makes their top 5 most popular on Spotify, so we wonder if that is why it got included tonight.

Normally on a tour for a bands current album you get five or six new tracks in a set, especially if the band are as deep into a career as Northlane [7/10] are. The “Alien” tour is however a different beast. Bathed in neon green light the band play nine of the eleven on “Alien” in a fourteen song set including a two song encore. Marcus Bridge and the band have fully embraced Industrial DJent and use various echo, delay and reverb effects on the vocals to make everything sound huge. The fans love it with songs like “Bloodlines”, “Talking Heads” and “4D” becoming big sing-a-long anthems with slab after slab of DJent groove and break beats being the reoccurring theme. Some of the riffs and nuances of the songs are indistinguishable it has to be said but that is partly down to the sound quality of the venue and some minor technical issues. Older songs like “Obelisk” and “Citizen” are a break from some of the relentless battery and we’re honestly surprised that Northlane don’t take advantage of the absence of Silent Planet to shoe horn in a couple of additional songs. It’s a fine night for a party.

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