Australian metal band Alpha Wolf released their sophomore album, a quiet place to die, today via Sharptone Records. The heavy album shows that the five-piece is here to make their mark on the heavy metal community.
Alpha Wolf is Lochie Keogh (vocals), Scott Simpson (guitar), Sabian Lynch (guitar), John Arnold (bass/vocals) and Mitch Fogarty (drums).
The band released their 2019 EP, Fault in joint partnership with Greyscale Records and SharpTone Records.
“[Fault] became a line in the sand that set expectations for all that would follow,” states a press release.
The new album definitely crosses that line. It starts off with the album’s title track; an eery, crawling intro that sends chills down your spine when you hear Keogh scream
“I’m so cold, lost my soul to the sky // Lifeless corpus, Corvus carry me home // Questioning myself why? // I’ve lost hope I’ll ever find a quiet place to die.”
The technical skills in this album truly shine through. Fogarty’s drum work carries the low guitar tones that are mixed with intricate lead guitar.
“If Fault was the line in the sand however, Alpha Wolf desired to make their mark permanent, something etched in stone for all to see,” states a press release. “The band needed to push themselves harder, the band needed to prove they were worthy of their name, the band needed a quiet place to die.”
What this album does really well is highlight specific lines and words while drawing back on instrumentals’ allowing those lines to shine. For example, in “Creep” the bridge falls quieter until right before the breakdown Keogh screams
“sleep with one eye open.”
“2020 sees Alpha Wolf bite harder than ever with their sophomore release a quiet place to die, the culmination of every lesson learnt, every hit taken, and every loss felt,” states a press release. “a quiet place to die is the end result of five individuals who have faced the fire and refuse to flinch, pouring their every-thing into making something they are truly proud of. The path to this point has only made their thirst greater, and soon enough, the wolves will be out for blood.”
The aggression that radiates through this album is far from unbearable. It fuels the fire that continues to burn from the opening track to the very last. Personally, it’s one of the heaviest hitting albums in the metal community that I’ve listened to in 2020.
The transition from the end of “Golden Fate; Isolate” into the debut single “Akudama” highlights this trend. One ends with “where was my fucking goodbye?” and a brief moment of silence between tracks lingers just long enough to make the opening tones and line “watch the bodies drop” have just that much more of an impact.
“Acid Romance” will be a crowd pleaser when live shows return. The choppy, low and slow tones will make for a perfect two-step moment in the pit. The unique, almost scratchy lead guitar in this song stands out as well.
The next track, “Rot in Pieces” follows with a quicker cadence. The lyrics in this song are some of the most twisted of the album, with lines like
“No memory, no sentiment // Another homesick runaway // Another noose on the family tree.”
The breakdown of this track is definitely the best of the album. The song goes silent before two more heartbeat like tones. The song ends with the aggressive lines
“Regret never sufficed like a bullet in between the eyes // Nothing satiates better than a bullet to the fucking brain.”
“bleed 4 you” introduces some of the first “clean” vocals of the album with guest feature Lizi Blanco of The Beautiful Monument.
It’s no secret that this album has heavy themes of loss, anxiety, animosity and death. Two tracks in the album strongly highlight these details. “The Mind Bends to a Will Of its Own” explores anxiety, mental health and suicide.
“Migraine like a freight train // Mind gone down the sink hole // Nothing for me here //Might drive home, with my eyes closed”
“Restricted (R18+)” opens with a distorted audio of a female narrator that ends with the audio “hurt you like you’ve hurt me.” This song holds some of the heaviest lyrics of the album. The lines are accompanied by fast paced, determined riffs that present a sense of urgency and demand. Ultimately, the song ends with the short but heart wrenching line
“If I were you, I’d wanna kill myself too.”
The album closes with “don’t ask…” The build up of the beginning notes makes it feel like it’s a euphoric end to the album. In addition, the lyrics resolve the sense of anger and defeat that the album carries until this song.
“One day I will be okay // And I’ll say it again.”
Alpha Wolf’s sophomore album a quiet place to die is available for purchase and streaming across all major platforms. Visit their website and follow them on Facebook to keep up to date with what they have in store.
To read more album reviews by the Resurget team, visit here.