Marking their third LP fronted by Marcus Bridges’, Alien highlights further developments on Northlane’s ‘Periphery’-esque prog metal approach; one that has been carefully refined over the last two albums to now embrace a much more industrial and electronic atmosphere.
Whilst I’ve found ‘Mesmer’ and ‘Node’ to bear too many similarities to one another in their overall sound, Alien offers a fresh twist whilst still highlighting the true intricacies that make Northlane unique.
For starters, Nic Pettersen’s drumming which I have always seen as unparalleled and enigmatic is still well and truly on display and showcased especially in songs such as ‘Rift’ and the sonically huge opener ‘Details Matter.’
‘Talking Heads’ and ‘Jinn’ uphold the heavy quota of the album whilst introducing a weird and creative approach that helps to really differentiate Alien from all previous Northlane material. This is especially on display in ‘4D’ which has one of the most interesting breakdowns I have heard in a while.
‘Eclipse’ and ‘Jinn’ proved the highlights on the album due to their avante-garde contrast of genres, with both songs marking interesting parallels to electronic dance music. Although this isn’t the newest concept, I found these tracks to be interesting due to the sound Northlane created via their instruments and not through adopting synths and samples like many of their contemporaries.
Reviewed by Alex Callan