Alpha Wolf – Fault EP
Released: April 19th, 2019
Lochie Keogh // Vocals
Sabian Lynch // Guitar
Scottie Simpson // Guitar
John Arnold // Bass
Mitch Fogarty // Drums
Its no secret Alpha Wolf have had a pretty rough trot over the past year as depicted in their Fault – A Retrospect documentary where they detailed the highs and lows which almost saw the band call it a day after the release and success of their debut album Mono back in 2017. From there, they’ve lost a few members, gained some new ones and come back fighting and howling ready to go with their next collection of songs and we are all on the tips of our toes, waiting to run with the wolves and what they have to offer with their Fault EP.
It kicks off with ‘No Name‘, the second single to be released with new frontman Lochie Keogh and drummer Mitch Fogarty and you may remember fans collectively losing their shit wondering if the boys would be able to back up the success of ‘Black Mamba‘, their first, new phase single and goddamn they did it well didn’t they! From the second the guitars fade in, we’re taken on a heavy AF journey of self-doubt and brutal lyrics you can’t help but sing along to if you were once an outsider like:
“Been telling myself I’m a freak since I was six/Should’ve known that I’d turn out like this/Call me deranged, call me mister no name/I’m the static peering from the back row”
Everyone loves a good breakdown callout right? This track has one of the best I’ve heard in a few years consisting of “Can you hear that? That’s the sound of me not giving a fuck” before the boys launch into a heavy, industrial type break guaranteed to get you throwing down at their future live shows. ‘Spirit Breaker‘ is up next and the pace/tempo is increased dramatically for an eerie, prog-metal-esque assault on the senses, that evolves into a rough, chuggy track complete with bellowing screams, growls and synth backing sounds that only add to the atmospheric instrumentals this song produces. Seriously, hearing this in a large scale venue like Hordern Pavilion or Eatons Hill in Brisbane would be an incredible experience with the sound bouncing around the room. ‘Russian Roulette‘ brings back the distorted, talking stop-downs during the song, which were scattered throughout Mono, so it’s great to see the boys throwing back to their previous release, which no doubt gained them a few more followers in the first place. It’s a big “fuck you” track with lyrics unrelentingly directed towards a certain person from the get-go and you can’t help but sip some tea trying to figure out who it could possibly be they’re talking/screaming about… It leads into ‘Fault‘ which is an instrumental/synth filler at 45 seconds in length that takes the listener to their sick new single ‘Sub-Zero‘ which just oozes Alpha Wolf through it’s entirety. Every member is on show with this song, from Mitch’s fantastic drumming, Sabian, Scottie and John bouncing off each other’s guitars/riffs and Lochie screaming with an intent and purpose to get his message across, this is a pure example of just how fucking good this band is. If you love breakdown callouts, as I mentioned above, there’s yet another great one to add to the list of favs (or even a tattoo idea) with:
“Strapped with apprehension because I am just not like you/You’re barking like a dog, but I’m a fucking wolf”
You’ll be howling in the pit when this song comes on, guarantee it. But the EP isn’t done yet, there’s still time for one last kick to the head with closing belter ‘The Lonely Bones‘, a song that from start to finish doesn’t give up for a second, blending metalcore/industrial metal and nu-metal styles throughout which will have you feeling scattered as you try and keep up with all of the tempo changes. How Lochie manages to scream from start to finish with his unique, scratchy vocals and not need a soothers afterwards is impressive in itself, but the deeper his cries get, the more depth they add to the song which in my opinion, is how you wrap up a fucking EP this monstrous.
Fault proves Alpha Wolf are a force to be reckoned with and this latest offering is exactly what fans have been waiting for. There may have been a lot of drama in the past year for the band, but they’ve managed to bottle all of that up and produce one of the best heavy releases of the year so far. The only issue is it’ll leave you wanting more, so here’s hoping they’re cooking something up for us all right now.
Alpha Wolf – Fault EP tracklisting
1. No Name
2. Spirit Breaker
3. Russian Roulette
5. Sub Zero
6. The Lonely Bones