Alpha Wolf – Metalcore Snitches Tour
Amplifier Bar, Perth WA
June 9th, 2022
Supports: Fit For A King and Darkmatter
With Fortress WA’s walls having been brought down just a few months ago, the anticipation for a stacked metal gig was palpable, with a bucketload of attendees arriving for doors. Despite winter just beginning, the cold temperatures, strong winds and rain, let you know a storm was brewing – or maybe it was just the absolute storm of a show we were about to witness.
Perth’s own Darkmatter opened the show to a fairly packed room and did not waste the opportunity to impress. The boys got straight into it, with an onslaught of doublekick-driven mayhem juxtaposed with groovy electronic parts, with some hefty sub drops thrown in for good measure. Punters lapped up Darkmatter’s self-described blend of nu-metal and electronic with a solid pit opening up in the first track. The crowd continued to show the locals some love, moshing throughout the set, with some impressive throwing down during their crushing breakdowns. The four-piece definitely set the tone for the rest of the night, even earning a shoutout from Alpha Wolf’s Lochie Keogh that they are “his new favourite Perth band”. The boys showed a high level of polish for a band that’s only a year or two in, and I for one am excited to see their career unfold.
With this being Fit For A King’s first visit to Australia in almost a decade (last here for Buried in Verona’s Faceless Tour in 2014), you could sense that punters were ready to throw fists to the boy’s hitlist. As the music changed from classic tracks to an undeniably ambient opening track – the crowd’s energy noticeably shifted to anticipation and erupted in a cheer when the boys got on stage. Wasting no time, vocalist Ryan Kirby greeted the crowd with a quick “Australia, how ya going?” before Fit For A King jumped straight into ‘Shattered Glass’ with everyone joining to scream “ARE YOU BURIED ALIIIIIIIVE”. Fit For A King did little to hide that they were here to bring the house down, commanding the attention of the crowd with a polished stage presence – power stances and guitar spins a plenty.
‘Vendetta’ sent the crowd into a fury, letting the Fit For A King boys know their return to Australian shores was going to be one to remember. “Price of Agony’ was next on the setlist, and Ryan Kirby demanded everyone jump when it hits, and the crowd was happy to oblige, taking it one step further as the song progressed, breaking into a sizeable circle pit. ‘Breaking the Mirror’ followed, and guitarist Daniel Gailey ripped through the solo with precision, before the crowd was pumping fists and chanting “Hey, Hey, Hey” in preparation for the breakdown. After a bit of a singalong to the final the chorus, Kirby announced it was time “to get back to some heavier shit” and that when he pointed at the crowd they had to yell “BACK BREAKER”, something punters were all to happy to do. To finish the song off in style, Ryan Kirby asked the crowd if they knew what time it was. Which they did, splitting the room before unleashing a chaotic wall of death as the breakdown hit.
Fit For A King slowed it down just briefly for the intro of ‘When Everything Means Nothing’. The crowd sung along to the chorus, but really erupted when screaming “LET THIS DESTROY ME”, with a few punters letting loose for some stage dives. Ryan wanted the crowd to let him hear them sing the last chorus and the room did so at the tops of their voices. A couple of tracks from the album Deathgrip were next, starting with Pissed Off, and the entire floor started moving, with one punter even climbing the notorious amplifier pole and moshing while hanging off it. Fit For A King slowed it down once more for the title track ‘Deathgrip’ and had the whole room with their hands in the air swaying side to side.
During the quick breather between songs, Ryan Kirby acknowledged it had been way too long between visits to Australia and that “they weren’t going to make that mistake again”. This was followed by a new song ‘Eyes Roll Back’, which was an absolute belter, filled with blast beats, breakdowns and shreddy riffs that had the whole room bouncing. This seemed to be a favourite for bassist Ryan “Tuck” O’Leary who unleashed some massive punk jumps and perfected guitar spins throughout, all without missing a note.
‘God of Fire’ was the set closer, and punters set it off, before Ryan Kirby demanded “absolute chaos, everywhere” for the final breakdown, the crowd responding with neck-breaking headbanging, spin kicks and crowd surfing. Drummer Trey Celaya continued to unleash fury on the kit, utterly punishing the crashes and snare to finish the show. As the crowd applauded a top tier performance, Kirby expressed gratitude on behalf of Fit For A King, saying “thank you so much Perth, what an incredible welcome back to your beautiful country”.
Anticipation was in the air as the crowd waited for Alpha Wolf to hit the stage, and again the atmosphere became electric as the ambient hype track began to blare over the speakers. The band minus vocalist Lochie Keogh emerged on stage and the crowd exploded in a roar, Lochie Keogh appeared moments later, and bellowed “What the fuck is up?” as the band launched straight into ‘Ultra-Violet Violence, the crowd moving as one to the aggressive chugs and beat. Alpha Wolf barely had a breath between songs, ‘Creep’ the next song to assault punter’s ears. Lochie wasn’t here to mess around, his screams tearing through the venue, with record-like precision. Again, barely a second passed between songs as the band dropped into ‘Russian Roulette’ with the whole crowd yelling “WHO DIED AND MADE YOU KING”. Bassist John Arnold unleashed the rapid vocal line “you know you’re rotting your teeth when you keep running your mouth” while matching the pace with the groovy bass riff that sets up that crushing drop into the breakdown.
Alpha Wolf finally took a breather, the crowd appreciative of a chance to catch their breath, after moshing throughout the three-song barrage. Lochie Keogh addressed the room, showing appreciation, because he was “99% sure this was a sell-out show”. Drummer Mitch Fogarty threw a stick into the crowd and Lochie Keogh joked that they wouldn’t continue “until someone died over that drumstick”. ‘No Name’ was next on the setlist, the boys playing with perfection, the crowd opening up for some two-stepping, before Lochie Keogh demanded of the crowd “left, right, front and back, show me some shit”. What followed was complete anarchy in the pit as Lochie Keogh unleashed a furious scream “that’s the sound of me not giving a fuck”. The brutality continued throughout the next track ‘The Mind Bends To A Will Of Its Own’ before a short electronic beat-infused break.
Alpha Wolf then continued the onslaught, with ‘Acid Romance’. The room was bouncing as the boys showed the remained a well-oiled machine despite the havoc of COVID over the last few years. The soul crushing final breakdown sent the crowd into madness as punters unleashed. A crowd favourite, ‘Sub-Zero’ was next, with the whole venue screaming along with vocalist Lochie Keogh to the infamous opening line “You’re just a pussy in a black hoodie pushing your luck”. The boys continued to slay, the huge chuggy riffs threatening to bring the roof down. Lochie Keogh could obviously sense this, commanding the crowd to “destroy this room” as the final breakdown hit.
The Alpha Wolf boys then unveiled a new song ‘Hotel Underground’ – a devastatingly heavy track filled to the brim with aggressive vocals, chuggy and shreddy riffs, monster drum fills and of course, a bone shattering breakdown. Despite not knowing the track, the room never stopped moving, a sure sign the new track was a banger.
Alpha Wolf followed this with the trio of ‘Golden Fate´ tracks; ‘Water Break’, ‘Gut Ache’, and ‘Isolate’. The boys continued to play with precision, showing their stamina, as they were now over half an hour into an unrelenting setlist. Punters responded, also relentless in the mosh pit – circle pits, crowd surfers, stage dives. If you had a list of what you wanted to see at a show, this ticked all the boxes.
Lochie Keogh let the crowd know they only had a few songs left, thanked them for being amazing, and acknowledged that he would be flat on his face if it wasn’t for the crowd. He proceeded to give a shout out to Fit For A King and thanked the crowd for giving them the welcome they deserved. With that, the onslaught continued, ‘Restricted (R18+)’ the next track to incite ruthless head banging. Guitarists Sabian Lynch and Scottie Simpson impressed with their tight tremolo picking. Alpha Wolf then slowed it down, just a little, with ‘bleed 4 u’ which had the crowd singing along loudly, before almost breaking the floor during the song’s closing breakdown.
Lochie Keogh then decided to have a bit of fun with the crowd, inciting a “two more songs” chant, as some of the band members faked a walk off stage. Lochie proceeded to take it a step further, beginning a “seven more songs” and then a “thirty-six more songs” chant, which the crowd had a good laugh to. Alpha Wolf continued with the slower pace, playing ‘don’t ask’, the whole venue singing along to the chorus. As soon as the song ended, someone yelled “play akudama” to which Lochie responded “We just played a really sad song, give me a minute, I’m crying”, again the crowd had a good laugh. The boys did finish with ‘Akudama’ and the venue completely exploded. After the chaos, the band was met with deafening applause, and Lochie Keogh thanked Perth for making the opening night of the tour one they will never forget.
All in all, this was a rip-snorter of a metal gig, showcasing some top-tier bands, who all put on stellar performances. One thing’s for sure, bodies will be sore tomorrow.
Review by Anthony Santoro
Fit For A King
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