Review: Northlane “Alien”

Artist: Northlane
Album: Alien
Label: UNFD

Aussie metalcore maniacs, Northlane, have never been shy about experimenting with their sound. Never moreso than the acquisition of current vocalist, Marcus Bridge. So it stands to reason that their upcoming album, Alien, would be “out of this world,” right? Space jokes aside, it is exactly that but the title speaks to more than just extraterrestrial beings. The entire album shows incredible vulnerability, lyrically and emotionally. The title refers to something a bit more complex. It’s referencing feeling like an outsider, feeling like you don’t belong.

Each track tells a story of survival and reclamation of identity. It’s no mistake that the first single, “Bloodline” was one of the most hard-hitting pieces of music, from a lyrical standpoint, that the band has ever written. Its a bold proclamation of what this band, and this album, seek to accomplish here. While the track is born from metalcore roots, its the nu-metal style chorus that really makes it stand out. While this has become divisive to their fanbase, in terms of those who prefer their heavier material, Its the message that really sticks. Regardless of what one is going through, there is always a way to push forward and get through it. I’ll include the video for this track below but, be forewarned, none of the videos from this album are for the faint of heart.

Of course, if you’re looking for the more heavy-hitting, balls-out style, there are tracks to satiate your appetite such as the djent-fueled “Jinn,” or new crowd favorite “Talking Heads,” which shares the same nu-metal style chorus as “Bloodline.” Even heavier still, in both tone and subject, is the newly released “Eclipse,” which does a great job of mixing Adrian-era Northlane with the evolution the band has undergone in recent years. While there are plenty of surprises around each corner, none are more shocking than the closing track, “Sleepless.” Minimalistic in approach, they take a much more chilled-out and industrial approach, while softer, melodic vocals lull the listener into a trance.

While there are some that will call this album “generic,” their ability to explore and exceed the limitations set forth by their genre is what make it anything but. In fact, in many ways, the term Alien fits this album perfectly as it’s a clear stand-out from any of their previous material. Be sure to pick up your copy, out Friday via UNFD! They’ll be out on tour with ERRA, Currents and Crystal Lake this Summer so get your tickets!

Pre-Order Alien

8/14 — San Francisco, CA — Slim’s
8/16 — Seattle, WA — El Corazon
8/17 — Vancouver, BC — Bitmore Cabaret
8/18 — Portland, OR — Bossanova Ballroom
8/20 — Salt Lake City, UT — The Complex
8/21 — Denver, CO — Marquis Theater
8/23 — Minneapolis, MN — Amsterdam
8/24 — Chicago, IL — Bottom Lounge
8/25 — Detroit, MI — The Shelter
8/27 — Cleveland, OH — Beachland Ballroom
8/28 — Pittsburgh, PA — Rex Theater
8/29 — Toronto, ON — Mod Club
8/30 — Montreal, QC — Fairmount
8/31 — Boston, MA — Brighton Music Hall
9/01 — New York, NY — Gramercy Theater
9/03 — Philadelphia, PA — The Foundry
9/04 — Baltimore, MD — Soundstage
9/05 — Greensboro, NC — Blind Tiger
9/06 — Atlanta, GA — Masquerade
9/07 — Tampa, FL — Orpheum
9/09 — Houston, TX — White Oak Music Hall
9/10 — Dallas, TX — Gas Monkey
9/11 — San Antonio, TX — Paper Tiger
9/13 — Mesa, AZ — Nile Theater
9/14 — Anaheim, CA — Chain Reaction
9/15 — Los Angeles, CA — Teragram Ballroom


“Eclipse” (Official Music Video)

“Bloodline” (Official Music Video)