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For a band with their backs to the wall, writing songs about such deeply personal issues, there was comfort in returning to familiar haunts to record Alien, such as 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.

Having in the past worked with some of the world’s most acclaimed producers in David Bendeth (2017’s Mesmer) and Will Putney (2013’s Singularity, 2015’s Node), the band’s decision to self-produce new album Alien not only reflects the clarity of their vision, but also their determination to give this material the care it deserves.

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.