“Don’t shift your view. You might slip and fall.”
While I’m not as fond of ‘Node‘ as many others were and still are, I do give Northlane (and the team behind them) big points for their marketing creativity and on being able to generate real hype with the band’s releases and announcements.
For instance, the way that they teased ‘Singularity‘ back in 2013 and their epic 2014 ‘Free Your Mind Tour’ (which was supposed to be a regular event, yet has since been seemingly forgotten about), the emails and websites for ‘Node‘ and it’s tracklisting; Northlane and UNFD really know how to get the word out about their work in more engaging ways than most other bands ever could with a mere Facebook post of “OUR NEW SINGLE IS OUT NOW!”
And today, Northlane have done that yet again.
This morning, the band released a new video titled ‘Mesmer‘, presented without further comment. Well, that’s not entirely true. Along with the video came a link to their Facebook Messenger page, which works on both mobile/tablet devices and desktops. Once there, you click ‘GET STARTED’ down near the text box and you are delivered the first automated responses – “Hello” and “Are You Mr. Snow?” – in which you’re given two answers to respond with; “I AM” or “I AM NOT”.
(Don’t worry if you fuck it up, you can just start all over again and it only takes a minute or two anyway.)
As for who this Mr Snow is, I haven’t the fucking foggiest. It could be an alternate name for Santa Claus because Northlane is going to pull an August Burns Red and get into the Christmas song game, referencing The Hunger Games character, or it could be a reference to the Mr Men character but I highly doubt the plausibility of either of those cases. Well, unless Northlane have well and truly gone off the fucking deep end, that is.
I will also say that with Citizen being capitalised, that’s either going to be a song title, maybe even the new album title, or at least, a key character or narrative element when the full music video for ‘Mesmer‘ (or whatever else from the band) eventually drops. That’s just an estimated guess for now, though.
Anyway, following on from that part, you’ll get to ask either “WHAT IS THE TRUTH” or “WHAT ARE WE” and you get the following.
(Note: I got “I am Citizen, and you are Alex Sievers” when asking the latter.)
Now, if you then answer ‘SAVE US NORTHLANE, OH SAVE US PLEASE MISTER KIND SIRS’ you will be asked if you want to be freed from this “rabbit hole”, with the only response being, ‘WHAT CAN YOU TELL ME’. Then comes this response – “Maybe if you look upside down, you will see.”
And so that’s just what I did. When you flip the three short GIFS that you’re sent, you get these shots of singer Marcus Bridge, guitarist Jon Deiley, and drummer Nic Pettersen.
Yes, cryptic, indeed.
Once these three GIFS are shown, you’ll be asked if you’re finishing looking. Considering that there’s nothing else to really see or find in those three shots (even though I’m sure some fans will probably find something there cause some of those people are fucking nuts), you then receive this filtered shot from the ‘Mesmer‘ video, with the band informing you that a transmission is coming soon and that more cannot be revealed just yet.
And that’s… that.
The hype train rolled up to the station today, and many jumped on board and it departed, with me still at the station, watching it leave and chug off into the distance. Sure, the way that these guys have marketed their band, and their new music works really well and it generates buzz in the right way; keeping people interested and also engaged. However, until I hear some actual music and not just have a dark ambient soundscape that sounds like the intro song to a new Northlane album, my judgements will remain reserved for now.
If you’re interested, go check out the band’s automated Facebook Messenger bot here. But wait! Before you do that, you should watch the very slick, and very well-edited, Inception-like cinematic video for ‘Mesmer‘ below.
As for what it all means, it’s obviously just going to be the sci-fi/dystopian visual narrative for the next single from their yet to be announced fourth album, but I appreciate the marketing and the hype effort nonetheless, as it gets people talking and engaged with the art in question.
Besides, the video is very cool on its own!
Oh, on top of all of this, you can also leave Northlane a review. So I did just that.