Alpha Wolf – Fault review

Feisty and with plenty of stamina; Alpha Wolf could become leader of the pack. 8/10

 

Alpha Wolf band photo. The band are pictured in a black room with lightbulbs hanging in front of them. The five members of the band are wearing streetwear - beanies, hoodies, baseball caps and glasses.

Australian ‘nu metalcore’ outfit Alpha Wolf formed in 2013 have previously released two EP’s: Origin (2014) and Dark Soul (2015) and their debut album Mono which came out in 2017.

After building on their reputation for over 5 years, last year saw the band in crisis following assault allegations against vocalist Aiden Ellaz, leading the metalcore band to drop off their own tour. Unsure whether there was still a fanbase, Lochie Keogh, as a buddy was invited in.

“I’d always been a fan of Alpha Wolf; but in early 2015 I went from being just a fan to being mates with them. They let me tag along on some of their interstate runs, helping out wherever I could; selling merch and lugging gear. Before Mono, when John stepped down from vocals, Sabian asked if I would be interested in joining the band, however I was focused on a project of my own at the time, as such I was unable to accept; and they went on to release one of my favourite albums to date. Soon after everything transpired at the start of this year, I found myself with a message from Sabian containing a link to a song now titled Black Mamba, once again Sabian offered me the vacant position; I wasn’t going to refuse a second time.”

Released earlier this year, Fault: A Retrospect is a mini documentary, which runs for a little over seven minutes in which the band give a genuine and heartfelt explanation to fans as to their new direction. You can view it here

Now featuring Keogh on vocals and Mitchell Fogarty on drums, fans were impressed with their first stand alone single Black Mamba and Fault does not disappoint. A brave yet concise amalgamation of music, united under the common theme of fault whether it’s self loathing or every day failures. Each song relates to the title and each band member was involved in this cathartic release.

No Name was the second single to be released with the new band members and from outset it is as brutal as you would expect, if anything, more so. Breakdowns are in abundance, which is certain to generate a tsunami of energy live. The tempo increases for the more calculated Spirit Breaker the addition of synthesisers and harmonics adds a prog/math metal edge to the tack while Keogh screams as though his life depended on it. Fuzz, distortion and angst are key for Russian Roulette. The groove is dirty and energetic, the pace frenetic and the vitriol palpable. It’s an aural assault which is mediated by the ambient Fault. Atmospheric synthesisers and spoken words, relating to failure allows the listener to catch their breath before hurtling into latest single (and the track at the start of the documentary) Sub Zero. It’s a ferocious and relentless beast, spoiling for a fight. The Lonely Bones closes the album in a  mid tempo, but unforgiving intensity. Alpha Wolf fight valiantly and honourably with an energy and perseverance that would have felled others. Perhaps one day they will become the leader of the pack.

Alpha Wolf's EP Fault cover picture. The picture is difficult to make out but looks like plastic stretched over a some knives and tools. Perhaps an evidence bag?

Tracklist:

  1. No Name
  2. Spirit Breaker
  3. Russian Roulette
  4. Fault
  5. Sub Zero
  6. The Lonely Bones

Fault is released April 19th and can be purchased via Amazon here

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