I had no idea what to expect going into this track. The only Canadian metalcore band I had heard of was the ever-so-talented Counterparts. Yet, with "Usurper," The Northern stake a claim to be in that same conversation as their Canadian contemporaries.
With the release of "Usurper," The Northern also dropped a music video supporting the track. I do not know how to feel about the music video; it has the same pitfalls and cliches as many metalcore videos. Yet, there is a charm to it, with the man in the suit trying to murder the characters in a Michael Myers-esque mask.
The track itself is intriguing. It starts with a bang, a screaming intro fit for Spotify's algorithm. Then I was a little unsure. The verse and the chorus have the same-old Architects-inspired riffs that metalcore contemporaries Currents have made a household name again. Instead, it is when the song slows down, and they show their djent, almost deathcore, inspired sound where The Northern shines.
I mentioned how they blur the line between "core" genres, and that is what interests me the most about this relatively unknown band. When I thought this was another of the countless Architects-rip bands, they showed something different. Their vocalist, Mike Cutway, has an inspired and brutal performance that uplifts this track into another stratosphere, and I look forward to hearing what they come out with next.
Listen to "Usurper":
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