Alpha Wolf – Half Living Things [Album Review]

Review: JD Garrahy

This is Alpha Wolf Motherfuckah!!!!!

Truer words were ne’er spoken. If you came here looking for the same old Alpha Wolf, you’re about to be disappointed. THIS is the future of Aussie metal, and I for one am damn excited for this new era to begin.

Half Living Things is the latest offering from the Taswegian metal lords and this album does not rest for one second. Hard, heavy and full of break-neck beats, it’s as brutal as it is brilliant.

As the album kicks off with the semi muted intro to Bring Back The Noise, it’s the full, balls to the wall mayhem that we have come to love so much from these lads. Following it straight up with Double-Edge Demise, it’s clear to see the Alpha Wolf boys came to lay some fuckin heavy roots in not only the Australian metal scene, but to really shake things up overseas as well.

This. This is metal at its best, we were given a taste of Haunter at Cvltfest and it brought out so much energy in the pit it was hard to catch a breath. From the “haunting” (yeah, i used it, fight me) intro to a verse section that just screams heads getting cracked in the pit, to the breakdown that just annihilates everything in its path, this is why its easily my favourite track on the album.

It would be remiss of me to not acknowledge the next track. Sucks 2 Suck premiered to a wave of “What The Fuck?” and “Ho….leeee…..shiiiiiit” worldwide. With Ice-T gracing the breakdown section with his iconic voice and attitude, its worlds above what any Aussie metal band has achieved in such a small time in the industry. Fuckin massive lads, i tip my hat to you.

The mid section of an album is usually reserved for the slower part of the album. However, in this instance, its raw skull crushing greatness brought to us by Whenever You’re Ready, Pretty Boy and Mangekyõ. These are 3 tracks that need all the recognition they deserve as they hold the structure of the album together and leave you amped for the remainder, to see how it will flow from there.

A Terrible Day For Rain kicks everything into overdrive and I have to pay some respect to Mitch for his percussive work on this track. It’s just relentless, face smashing goodness that, in a live setting is going to destroy some venues. Couple that with Lochie’s gut wrenching vocals and its the perfect metal anthem for the new age of Aussie brutality.

Feign hits you straight in the face and then continues to flog you into submission. If this is what we can expect from future AW releases, myself and the rest of the metal community are in for a hell of an era. Garden Of Eyes signals that it’s time to wind down this monstrosity of an album. But its only the intro that gives you that sense as this track is just as heavy and riff-tastic as the rest of the album. It really showcases Scotty and Sabian’s unique guitar work skipping between over-extended harmonics, deep guttural thrash and melodic intricacies. Makes ne want to pick up my guitar once more.

Its time for the title track Half Living Things. What a way to start a finish to an album. It gives no indication that this is the end and you can’t help but hope that there is just one of those early 2000’s ‘secret’ tracks that you had to skip 60 sections of silence to get to. But, be not afraid avid reader, we have one more track to dissect.

Album closer Ambivalence showcases all band members abilities to their core. There’s hefty riff work, heavy and clean vocals, ripping bass lines and drum work that is both a mix of groove and metal. This is the track that should define this album and its kept till last to show just how versatile Alpha Wolf is as a band.

If you’re looking for that album that plays flawlessly from beginning to end, don’t search any further, the promised land is here. I’ll call it now and say that this is my AOTY. Happy listening mere mortals, as i said at the start, THIS IS ALPHA WOLF MOTHERFUCKAH!!!!!

Half Living Things due out Friday 5 April via Greyscale Records and SharpTone Records.