Have you ever wandered somewhere you know you should not be, but you stay. Imagine doing that, but where you are is someones soul, but they have opened the door and let you in, you feel you shouldn’t be there, but you can’t help but stay, even if it scares you. Now imagine that soul is being bared in the form of a piece of music. That piece of music would be “Alien” by Northlane. When you press play, you are firmly living in the soul of the band, and more specifically the bands vocalist Marcus Bridge.
“Alien” (released August 2nd on UNFD) isn’t about Aliens, but as Bridge explains “Its about who grew up in a weird, unusual household and who was bullied at school because of it. 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.”
Kicking off with “Details Matter”, which to me is the sound of a primal scream put into a song, wanting to make sure its heard above all in the world, and delivered with a musical sledgehammer. “Bloodline” starts to divulge the details of Bridge’s upbringing. He grew up the product of two heroin addicted parents, in a physically abusive environment, and the story he tells almost gives the listener a front row seat to his life.
“4D” cries for help pushing brutally industrial sounds, but showing beauty throughout while “Talking Heads” – continues from that and gives a sense of struggling to belong somewhere, and not being able to find your place in the world. Looking at it from a Childs point of view makes it very confronting as does “Freefall” with its emotionally swirling music but the lyrics bring out extremely emotional subject of Marcus’ father being held at gun point in front of his kids. Again, take yourself back to childhood and seeing that in front of you.
“Jinn” combines its powerful music with almost religious style quotes in the lyrics, its dark for most but offers a light at the end of the tunnel, and when paired with the next track “Eclipse” which is almost a pheonix rising from the ashes tale, that makes a statement that the past will not be repeated, bringing a sense of calming hope. “Rift” follow on from “Eclipse” to continue the story, but more that the fact that every beginning has an end and for us its death.
“Paradigm” takes the listener in a few different directions, just when you have settled in, its comes along and shakes you from your comfort and makes you think and rethink over.“Vultures” once again touches on alienation and the fear of who is on your side? And who you can trust as the vultures circle around waiting to swoop “Sleepless” progressive and powerful, perfect closer, an ode to his sister who has faced her own struggles but unlike their parents, has come out of the other side.
Alien is a personal story, a soundtrack to that movie you will always go back and watch, without realising it was created from a real life, the life of someone who had all the odds stacked against them, but somehow dug deep and knew they were the only one to be able to walk away and break the cycle. This album is brilliant in so many ways, but the only way to find out how brilliant, is to hit play, and let it into your heart and soul.
“Alien” was produced by the band themselves, the album was recorded at Chris Blancato’s studio in Sydney, where Northlane recorded their first EP, 2010’s Hollow Existence. Bridge did his vocals at Sydney’s Electric Sun Studios, where the quintet made their 2011 debut album, Discoveries.
For a band marking their 10th anniversary in 2019, Alien is a bold leap forward; the work of a group fighting their way out of their corner by moving forward rather than looking back. Their previous three albums may have debuted in the Top 5 in Australia – with Node landing at Number One before going on to win an ARIA Award for Best Hard Rock or Heavy Metal Album, an accolade also awarded to Mesmer – but Northlane are in no mood to play it safe.
Those eager to see Northlane live won’t have to wait long. They’ll be heading to North America for a headline run throughout August and September with Erra, Currents and Crystal Lake. October will see them tour Australian home soil for their national headline tour supported by Counterparts, Silent Planet and Void of Vision and a run of dates in New Zealand.
Northlane’s European Headline tour in November and December is supported by Silent Planet and Void of Vision.
triple j presents
ALIEN WORLD TOUR
AUSTRALIAN TOUR DATES:WITH GUESTS
COUNTERPARTS, SILENT PLANET & VOID OF VISION
UNSW ROUNDHOUSE, SYDNEY FRIDAY OCTOBER 11
TRIFFID, BRISBANE – SOLD OUT! SATURDAY OCTOBER 12
170 RUSSELL, MELBOURNE THURSDAY OCTOBER 17
170 RUSSELL, MELBOURNE – SOLD OUT! FRIDAY OCTOBER 18
LION ARTS FACTORY, ADELAIDE – SOLD OUT! SATURDAY OCTOBER 19
CAPITOL, PERTH SUNDAY OCTOBER 20
TICKETS ON SALE NOW
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