Metal album “Alien” exposes past trauma and breaks new ground for Northlane

Australian metalcore band Northlane seemed to kick up their production game and incorporate many musical influences in their fifth studio album, “Alien”. Everything from Nu metal to alternative to industrial and beyond can be heard in echos throughout each track. They took a sharp turn away from what their fans were expecting, which would have been something softer and dreamier- instead they released a vengeful, highly emotional electronic metal monster.

The first track hits you with tuned down distorted guitars and synth-y sound effects; despite being overloaded and layered, vocalist Marcus Bridge’s vocals conquer through the intensity for the most part. One could say that much of this album is overproduced, but it continually grew on me as I found myself playing tracks over and over again. Some points are almost danceable, some reminiscent of dubstep or house. Everything is so incredibly layered, it is worth a decent pair of headphones- as you will definitely hear more with each listen.

Music video for “Eclipse”

Since Northlane are masters of atmospheric production, nothing ever sounds trite or redundant in this record, every song has a clear identity and even manipulates Bridge’s voice in several ways. Once you’re acquainted with all the electro breakbeats, wobbly bass and futuristic sounds this album with pour out on you- there is a lot of dark depth to the lyrics. They also utilize exceptional melodies, that kinda embody hurt, but also catch- every riff of the album easily sticks in my head and the whole album seems to be one sonic blur on my subconscious now.

The main theme centers around Bridge’s toxic childhood and home life. He recounts writing “Talking Heads”, as the catalyst for relieving his insecurity of vulnerability.

“’Talking Heads’ talks about the insecurities and anxiety that come with growing up in a violent home with drug addicted parents,” Bridge admitted. “…I think writing it actually started to erase a lot of that insecurity, helping me open up a lot more for the rest of ‘Alien’. I think it’s important to know that there are a lot of people who feel the same way. I hope with this song and the issues talked about on rest of the album, that people will start to feel comfortable opening up about their past, turning it from a weakness to a strength in the process.”

It’s a truly incredible when an artist can transform suffering into an art form for others to relate to and feel that they are not alone in their experiences.

More about the creation and meaning of “Bloodline” can be seen in an interview with Bridge and guitarist Josh Smith below.

Lyrics for Bloodline:

I can’t escape you
No matter how far I run (can’t escape you)
I can’t erase you
From who I’ve become (you’re a part of me)

Memories coursing through my veins
Like the scars in yours, my roots remain

I was raised in hell
I made it out by myself
I was raised to bleed
Bad blood runs wild and free

Bad blood runs wild and free
Bad blood runs wild and free

I thought you were dreaming
Eyes rolled to the stars
Sinking slowly in muddy water
Set beneath the tar
You left me in the dark

We grew up scared
Bruised and battered
Youth torn and tattered
As long as you were sky high
Nothing fucking mattered
Hotel homes in the cross
Under the bridge and lost
With your heads in the clouds above
You call this love

You call this love

I was raised in hell
I made it out by myself
I was raised to bleed
Bad blood runs wild and free

I thought you were dreaming (hell raised me)
I thought you were dreaming
Bad blood runs wild and free

Bad blood runs wild and free
Bad blood runs wild and free

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s