Northlane are a band known for focusing on the world around them but with their latest album, inspiration has come from closer to home. As the band hits their tenth anniversary, they would prefer to look forward rather than dwell in the past. The ever-growing band’s latest record Alien – due for release on Friday 2nd August through UNFD – is by far their most ambitious and personal entry to date. It is also their most impressive! It broaches topics that aren’t easy to talk about, are difficult to hear, but are unfortunately all too common in the world today.
Alien tells the story of Marcus Bridge’s upbringing and his journey to become the man he is today. When talking of his childhood, Bridge says, “I was raised in hell but I made it out. Raised in a place I shouldn’t have been, and no child should have been. But I’ve been able to break free.” The album is heavy; musically, lyrically and thematically … and it works! The songs are all aptly named – with titles like Bloodline, Eclipse, Freefall and Sleepless to name a few – and hint at the story that Marcus has to tell.
At times Alien is difficult to listen to because of the rawness and honesty in Marcus’s lyrics, but the album is well-crafted and has stayed with me long after the final track ended. Opening track Details Matter is a powerful track that had me speechless. The repeated screams of I’m still here and You can’t make me disappear are almost unbearably honest statements about the painful past Marcus has overcome. A well-chosen opener, it sets the tone for the entire album.
Bloodline, the first single, is astounding. The music is haunting and the words even more so. It paints a vivid picture of a childhood gone horribly wrong: We grew up scared. This track beautifully combines tragedy and hope, and is above all else, a story of strength and survival: I was raised in Hell / I made it out by myself. It is a reminder that while the past may not be completely inescapable, it doesn’t have to rule you. Jinn is perhaps one of the most notable tracks on the album. While it opens quite heavy, it throws you off guard by expertly blending the anguished screams and distorted guitars with moments of beautiful and pure melody. Definitely one of the most well-constructed songs on the album!
Alien is music at its best: it is real and emotionally engaging and tells its story well enough that you feel as though you have been with Marcus on his journey. It is a big step for the band and one I dare say will bring them even more success than they have seen so far! With their last three albums making the Top Five in Australia – Node landed the Number One spot – and an ARIA for Best Hard Rock or Heavy Metal Album, Northlane show no signs of slowing down or disappearing into the ether!
Alien is available from Friday 2nd August through UNFD
Order your copy here
WITH GUESTS COUNTERPARTS, SILENT PLANET & VOID OF VISION