LOUDER REVIEWS: ‘A Quiet Place to Die’ - Alpha Wolf
Australia are back at it again with the finest modern metalcore, this time in the form of Melbourne’s Alpha Wolf with their long-awaited sophomore album, 'A Quiet Place to Die'. Aggressive and bouncy at times with a djenty edge, the record deals with negative emotions such as loss, anger and anxiety. It successfully stirs up a distinct combative yet cathartic feeling in a way that only this genre does.
On the recent single and penultimate track 'Restricted (R18+)', guitarist Scott Simpson comments “We knew we wanted to push the boundaries of how heavy we could take Alpha Wolf”, which is evident from the violent hardcore feel paired with several styles of vocals from across the metal genre, returning to an unmistakeable hardcore breakdown. Vocalist Lochie Keogh also gives some insight into the lyrics: “[they are] about selfishly bearing the burden and weight of something terrible that's happened to someone you love”. Clearly, this album deals with some complex issues that go beyond simply being mad at the world.
Some tracks are centred around issues within the music scene itself, with 'Creep' based on the band’s experiences of being let down by other musicians, and 'Akudama' describing Keogh’s experiences as a new member of the rising band; of being a first-timer in feeling the negativity that the scene can bring at times. Again, this is matched by savage vocals and riffs, especially in the latter track, which is a song that often sounds like an out-of-control push pit.
Another notable moment is 'Rot In Pieces', which is about as aggressive as its name makes it out to be! It boasts a slight groove in its verses and one of those built up, simple, hard breakdowns that seem to force your head to move and fix your face into a snarl.
In terms of production, this album has the best kind for this genre: largely unnoticeable. It’s not overly polished, nor does it sound like it’s been recorded in a bin. It’s at that sweet spot in between, where the music itself shines, with just a few intentionally production-heavy moments such as screeching and atmospheric effects to compliment or contrast with the breakdowns. One such example is 'Bleed 4 You', which also features some softer background vocals from Lizi Blanco of The Beautiful Monument. Almost ethereal, the track shows that Alpha Wolf have maintained their ability to produce softer music with more distant yet unwavering vocals, as previously seen in tracks such as 'Mono', from their 2017 album of the same name.
'A Quiet Place to Die' is out now via Greyscale Records and Sharptone Records - stream the record here:
Check out the video for 'Restricted (R18+)' below:
Official website: https://www.alphawolfcvlt.com/