It has been something of a journey for Melbourne Australia’s Alpha Wolf to this new EP “Fault”. Having amicably parted ways with vocalist Aidan Ellaz (now fronting Supergroup Dealer) the band didn’t need to look too far to find his replacement in mutual friend Lochie Keogh when choosing to continue the dream. Having dropped the phenomenal single “Sub-Zero” we subsequently got a feel for what the EP might be like when we had the pleasure of witnessing their high energy live show when they opened for Emmure in London earlier this month.
After a dark and and and atmospheric build of swirling riffs and rising buried vocals “No Name” kicks in proper with some Mosh heavy bounce riffs and a big pummelling drum sound from sticksman Mitch Fogarty. Nu-Metal introspective lyrics fused with some Nu-Hate Gloom stylings and some seriously venomous intent make for a pile driver of an opening track. Burying that wooden steak through the heart “Spirit Breaker” keeps up the electric pace and high energy with some seriously good riffs. The breakdowns quickly pile up and Keogh uses the opportunity to show off some impressive vocal range in the unclean department. Taking the edge off with with some synths across the chorus that has a real sing-a-long quality, the edge is soon replaced with some impressive lead flourishes. “Russian Roulette” brings slabs of thick chugging guitars while Keogh rap-screams about the naysayers. Showing off some of their Metallic Hardcore influences, the guitars bounce around some riffs that wouldn’t be out of place on a Knocked Loose track while a buried off kilter lead part adds an eerie atmospheric quality that works phenomenally well.
A warped speech sample with a pouring rain backdrop is a real surprise in the 44 second title track “Fault”. It serves as a pointer to some Mental Health issues and serves as the introduction to the savage guitars and vicious vocals of lead single “Sub Zero”. While the rhythm guitars chug alongside pounding bass riffs and Earth shattering kit work, the second guitar delivers quirky noise leads with an Emmure quality to them. Keogh rap-screams and waves the lyrical finger for what is already a firm love favourite. It flows straight into “The Lonely Bones”, a song about a broken relationship whereby Keogh has been repeatedly let down by false dawns and broken promises. It’s a powerful piece of material that squeezes an extra 10% of feel from the vocals while the guitar work brings wave after wave of heavy riffs.
If this is a new start for Alpha Wolf, they’ve picked up where they left off with some phenomenal circle pit riffs and mosh worthy rhythms. If you’re after a band that bridges Void of Vision with Emmure and maintains a high energy flow of continual battery, this is the one for you. It’s a gem of an EP and should be plenty good enough to set the band up on their future plans for world domination [9/10]
“Fault” by Alpha Wolf is out now via SharpTone Records and available over at bandcamp.