Band: Alpha Wolf
Album: A Quiet Place To Die
Label: Greyscale / SharpTone Records
Location: Burnie, Australia
FFO: Varials, Polaris, Gravemind
Alpha Wolf is a band I have only heard in passing. I never looked into them until recently before the album dropped so I’m not going to pretend I know everything there is to know about these guys. From what I can tell though, they put together a rather aggressive form of metalcore. They started with a couple EPs before releasing their debut in 2017 and up to this point, they’ve garnered a solid fan base. The build up to this new album “A Quiet Place To Die” has gotten many fans and new people like myself excited. I didn’t hear all the singles but one certainly stood out enough to make me interested in writing a review about them. Their sound production wise is a continuous step up from their debut and even more-so from their EPs of course. As stated before, they also have a more aggressive sound to their style of metalcore. Nothing too technical and isn’t afraid to just go full on brute with it in a hardcore fashion. That’s something I can always appreciate.
The beginning to these 36 minutes is intro’d perfectly. A quiet atmosphere opening transforms into a very heavy hello. A great gesture as for what’s to come, and the lyrics fit in with that theme of “Here we are, this is it, this is happening, here’s what to expect.” I love that. However, that beginning becomes a faint memory once the second song, ‘Creep’, comes on. THAT song kicked this thing off; my jaw literally dropped out of excitement but also out of surprise because I did not see it coming. This song is a perfect example as to what I mentioned earlier when it comes to the hardcore sound, because this thing has straight beat down involved. This song also allows the drums to show off a bit in the bridge. Now I know I’m saying a lot about just one song, but that’s because all it takes is one song to really explain everything there is to know about this album. It’s heavy, groovy, diverse within the instrumentals enough to not get boring even though they don’t ever get too technical, and it’s overall a very well balanced song, and record. Most of these songs also have a formula that is decently hidden under the mix to where you don’t always know what is coming next. A song like ‘Restricted’ however, has a little bit more of a predictable course. Nothing wrong with that since it’s such a good and emotional song, just worth pointing out. I could go from song to song and say something good about each, but let’s not drag this on. If there’s any complaint at all I have about the vocals, it’s that I wish he used his lower register a little more. I see the value in just giving short bursts here and there, it really packs a punch for the moment. But he also just sounds too good in the lows not to bust it out a bit longer more often. Then again, the [guitarist?] also throws in some lows so perhaps that could all be him. Again, I’m not all that familiar with these guys so please excuse my lack of knowledge. Regardless, I enjoy it. Lyrically, most of this LP is emotional in some way. Angry, sad, angry, even a little “in your face” attitude I don’t mind. With all these elements of the great instrumentals and solid lyrics, there’s never a dull moment and hardly ever a moment that isn’t intense for one reason or another. I also can’t forget to mention; Lizi Blanco sounded sooo good on ‘Bleed 4 You’. Utilized perfectly. Bone chilling feature.
The most important change for this band in my opinion was the vocalist. It upgraded their performance and lyricism that I found was lacking on their debut. The lyrical topics span more diverse topics here. Vocally this new guy is pretty similar in tone however he is more tight and organized in his style. As for the replay value, through the roof. Crank this thing on whenever and wherever. I know it’s going into my daily rotation for the time being.
Permanent stank face throughout this whole thing. I tried to find something I disliked, as I do whenever an album seems too good to be true. Alas, I could not. This thing is a beast. Perfect run time, diversity in lyrics and instrumentals. A perfect piece of hardcore/metalcore music.
Strongest Song: yes
Apple Music: https://music.apple.com/ca/artist/alpha-wolf/446108591