Given the climate under which I write this, It’s difficult enough for bands at the moment. Let alone one under pressure to deliver on the traditionally ‘difficult second album’.
Enter Alpha Wolf, with Australia’s answer to the question ‘What can Covid go do to itself?’
Having formerly toured with personal favorites of mine Polaris and August Burns Red it’s clear these guys have learned from their peers whilst avoiding the pitfalls of blatant emulation. The term ‘Metalcore’ so often bandied about the heads of phenomenal bands left to flounder on the fringes of ‘genrefication’ when there are so many elements to their multifaceted bows.
Opening with a barrage of irresistible driving groove, the title track represents perhaps a contradiction in terms to the implication of its name. ‘Creep’ once again does quite the opposite featuring some impeccably crafted rhythmic elements. A trend continued through ‘Golden Fate; Isolate’ which ups the pace as it progresses. Lead track ‘Akudama’ arguably a standout, represents the very definition of a neck breaker. I’d challenge even the most staunch critic not to bounce to this one. My only fault with this record is that there’s a stylistic void as it continues. The latter tracks do meld together somewhat but there’s nothing necessarily bad about that for the thoroughly initiated. ‘Ultra Violet Violence’ another clear pit opener and there’s a welcome reinvigoration to the final 2 tracks ‘Restricted (R18+)’ and by their standards the almost ballad-esque ‘Dont Ask…’.
Masters of their craft? Not yet, but there’s enough here to prove them worthy of their position. ‘A Quiet Place to Die’ is quite frankly anything but. With their middle fingers firmly raised to those who say there’s no good ‘new’ metal anymore, this is a suitably ‘Djentelmanly’ return to the fray.