With Northlane’s new album Alien, if you were expecting a repeat of the desolation Northlane brought in their 2017 release Mesmer, think again.
Their fifth LP is a destructive demonstration of Northlane’s true potential that remains sonically curious.
In an oddly intimate way to express personal grievances, Northlane turn themselves inside out to expose bitter and conflicting innards. The album is melodically mad, concise, cohesive, but most importantly, creative – as a result, revealing a Sydney outfit at the peak of their powers. ‘Alien’ is a great word to explain what you’re hearing. They’re still volatile in their delivery, but it’s the unexpected manipulation of traditional synth effects and similar crafty nuances dotted through the release that make this such an impeccably enjoyable listen.
Tracks like ‘Talking Heads’, ‘Jinn’ and ‘Rift’ operate within a traditional Northlane restlessness – the crashing drums, screeching, passionate vocals and terrifically heavy riffs. But ultimately, the band adopt a persona in their delivery and thematic content that reveals a whole new side to the Northlane we thought we knew. It’s the freedom of expression and creative confidence that positions Alien as their best album yet.
Northlane purists would say the album doesn’t sound like the band at all, but there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s exciting, refreshing, exciting some more, and definitely worthy of several spins so you can really get intimate with all the nitty gritty touches Northlane have put into their new masterpiece.