‘Enemy Of The Night,’ a new Northlane B-side from the upcoming deluxe version of ‘Alien.’
Earlier this month, Northlane announced they were releasing their own shiraz and pinot wines exclusively through Crowbar Sydney, dubbed “Enemy Of The Night,” made from Geelong grapes and bottled locally. Guitarist Josh Smith being a big wine lover, to put it lightly, it’s honestly not the most out-there move for the Aussie band.
As they’ve proven for years now, Northlane are masters at creating different or interesting promotional campaigns to stir up listeners during the lead-in to new announcements or fresh content. So with a new B-side also called ‘Enemy of The Night‘ and a deluxe version of the incredible ‘Alien‘ (2019) having been teased, the announcement of a wine just had to have something more in it. And that it did! With QR codes on the wines ready to be scanned, keen-eyed fans purchased and followed the clear breadcrumbs and discovered the lyric video for this bonus song to their most recent record online, ‘Enemy Of The Night,’ before it’s official release yesterday evening.
In terms of the song itself, ‘Enemy Of The Night‘ is an utter monster. It furthers the wicked nu-metal-bathed tones, sick acid-techno sounds, cyber-punk aesthetics, and awesome industrial prog-metalcore songwriting from that of ‘Alien,’ sounding like the in-between point of ‘Bloodline‘ and ‘Freefall.’ Nolly’s mixing and Jon Deiley’s approach to synths and songwriting are as detailed as ever here. Marcus Bridge’s evocative singing is haunting, his keyless deadpan spoken vocals are just creepy, and the polished synthesizers and crunchy guitar riffs churn like metallic oceans alongside the downright skull-caving breakdowns. Even with their B-side material, Northlane are still crushing the competition, making something unique; creating something that’s them.
The main focus of ‘Alien‘ was, of course, Marcus’s childhood and his family; the awful things he experienced – addiction, violence, poverty, substance abuse, etc. – and how that shaped him and his whole family. Many of those things come from his father and what he did, which most of their latest record focused on, and ‘Enemy Of The Night‘ follows this same route. It’s a no-holds-barred track, honestly portraying how his father was never destined to change his ways, his actions putting him down a one-way path to self-destruction, with Marcus, as just a young man, pulled along for the cruel and devasting ride, as this songs’ lyrics put it. Yet it’s the added little details about a brutal assault on his father that left him in the hospital, his efforts to get clean, and the financial struggles his family endured (the second verse speaking about the singer purchasing his first-ever CD with what monetary scraps his mother had) that bring this piece to startling, arresting life. Like the larger record that it was originally apart of, ‘Enemy Of The Night‘ sure doesn’t pull any punches!
So let’s count it all up. There was the smashing critical success of the musically adventurous and deeply personal ‘Alien‘, local and worldwide sold-out shows that followed, another ARIA win, Unify 2020, the Negative Energy doco, now a hot new B-side and their own goddamn wines, with ‘Alien Deluxe‘ arriving July 31st with full instrumentals of all the songs, and a supposed live set from their 2019 Roundhouse show eventually still coming? You could not hope to stop Northlane at this rate!