Australian Metalcore 5-piece Northlane is celebrating their 10thanniversary in 2019 with the release of their 5thstudio album Alien. Having become a force to reckon over the year’s thanks to their unique sound that has constantly evolved between each release. Their latest release Alien instead of focusing on issues of the outside world looks inwards on vocalist Marcus Bridge and his internal struggles and the alienation he felt growing up.
From the first notes of opening track ‘Details Matter’, longtime fans are introduced to the new experimental sound that has been so masterfully crafted by the Aussie Metalcore titans, bringing a unique blend of sounds I’ve yet to see done before. Despite the newer electro-industrial sounds prominence, Northlane is still as heavy as they’ve always been with track 4 ‘Talking Heads’ delivering a non-stop assault of riffs that carry the almost 4-minute track. Tracks like ‘Freefall’ and ‘Jinn’ are a much welcome addition too, harking back to the sound fans will be most used to while still sounding fresh.
Where the album starts to stand out the most though is when it gets truly experimental. Single ‘Eclipse’ is 4 minutes of pure industrial filth while ‘Rift’ is highly reminiscent of dance and EDM music thanks to the almost haunting clean vocals and overall bass-driven electronic sound.
‘Paradigm’ stands out thanks to the blending of new and old. Keeping the bass pumping EDM and blending it with vocals and instrumentals that would feel at home on the band’s last release ‘Mesmer’. Following this is easily the heaviest track of the album, the first single released ‘Vultures’. With the guitar taking centre stage and delivering an all-out assault of brutally aggressive riffs that unrelentingly assault the listeners.
The entirety of Alienculminates in the final track ‘Sleepless’. Blending the insanely wide range of sounds and influences into one track is no easy feat in itself, especially when there’s such variety in each song. Starting with a Drum and Bass section that builds into an orchestra of guitar riffs, pounding drums and a breathtaking vocal delivery.
From start to finish, Alien is an unrelenting musical journey, filled with emotion and obvious love for the craft. Despite sounding nothing like anything released by the band before, the entire album still manages to sound familiar. Alien is a must-hear album for both Northlane and general Metalcore fans alike.
26th November Engine Rooms Southampton
27th November Academy 2 Manchester
29th November Garage Glasgow
30th November o2 Academy 2 Birmingham
1st December Electric Brixton London