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REVIEW: Alpha Wolf Grows Further And Offers Pure Adrenaline Metalcore With ‘Half Living Things’ 8

REVIEW: Alpha Wolf Grows Further And Offers Pure Adrenaline Metalcore With ‘Half Living Things’


Australian metalcore front runners Alpha Wolf have returned with their third full-length record, with ‘Half Living Things’. This marks their first full-length release since 2020’s ‘A Quiet Place to Die’. This record dives into a little new territory, such as nu-metal and the band refining what people love about their band to begin with and show why they’re one of the best bands in the genre right now. It’s super in your face musically and lyrically, and offers pure non-stop metalcore throughout. 

The record opens with the first single, “Bring Back the Noise”, and it works better here for me as an album opener than as a single. It’s fun, straightforward, and sets the tone for the record pretty well. It almost seems modest compared to what we’ll get on the rest of the record, but it’s effective. Also, having record scratches on a metalcore song will always work so well for me and get me hyped. The callout “where my dogs at” feels like one I’m sure will be heard by crowds worldwide loudly. The album continues on with a more non-stop type of track, with “Double-Edge Demise”. The guitar tones on this track delivered by guitarists Scottie Simpson and Sabian Lynch are truly unmatched, as is the production on this record. The tick-tock line delivered throughout the song feels pretty effective, and it makes for a memorable track from this album. The breakdown also hits so hard, and it builds up to it pretty well. We push forward to the next track, and the energy continues nicely with “Haunter”. This one I enjoy from the jump, it keeps the heavy type of vibe while distinguishing itself from the previous two tracks. I appreciate vocalist Lochie Keogh‘s delivery on these lyrics here, they’re brutal and done so well. This definitely feels like the kind of track to go over well at their live shows. This feels like the kind of track that “Creep” was on their last record, one that’ll be a highlight with fans. The outro is pretty cool too for them and it gives this record some identity. We’re followed up with the second single from the record, “Sucks 2 Suck”. The riffs go absolutely wild here and continues from the vibe of the end of the last track, into new territory. This song dives into more of a nu-metal type of sound, specifically in the verses and Ice T‘s feature of course. His feature is a bit on the nose, but it’s all worth it for him to end it with “THIS IS ALPHA WOLF MOTHERFUCKER, YOU WANNA DIE?”. This one’s a highlight for me as well, and it was my favorite single among the three. 

The record slows down a bit with its third single, “Whenever You’re Ready”. This one’s the ballad type of song of the album, similar to the previous album’s “Bleed 4 You”. This one carries a lot of emotional weight to it, in both it’s delivery and lyrical content. Especially having lines such as “we found the space between hell and home, and it wasn’t enough” and “i’ll be your resting place, bring you back to me”. And bassist John Arnold delivering the chorus is a nice touch to this song, and new for this band despite having had these kind of elements before. It’s placed nicely here in the middle of the record, before we get back to the madness. Speaking of, we continue on with the next track with immediate riffage in “Pretty Boy”. This one didn’t stick out to me a whole lot at first, but I think the chorus helps the track out. It’s delivered quite well, it reminds me of when Gideon throwing singing into their songs. I appreciate how refined this album is, Alpha Wolf definitely saw what worked on the last record and made adjustments to expand their horizons a little. The energy doesn’t let up with the next track, “Mangekyō“, as it opens with some pretty show-y guitar parts. The quieter parts on this song kind of remind me of Korn and how Jonathan Davis delivers his lines, and it won’t be the last comparison to them on this record. The first breakdown hits quite well, one of the better on this record I should say. And then, the change-up afterwards is absolutely nuts and is sure to be a crowd pleaser. It makes for one of the highlights on these twelve songs. We’re then followed up with “A Terrible Day for Rain”, and the intro feels reminiscent to Make Them Suffer. The song itself feels more on the progressive metal side instrumentally at least. The buildup into the breakdown of this song is a pretty solid one, and definitely sticks out in a song that isn’t as notable as its surrounding tracks. 

We’re on the last run of tracks on this record, starting with “Feign”. The immediate urge to headbang at the start of this song is strong, and I truly appreciate how the riffs play out on this one. This track does stick out in a nice way, especially in its placement on the album. Lochie‘s delivery on the vocals feels pretty effective once again, attesting to how raw and sinister they can be at times. It builds up into a decent breakdown, despite me expecting something crazier. It then follows up again into another change-up, catching me off guard but feeling very on-brand for this band. The heaviness and crazy riffs continue with “Garden of Eyes”, and they’re really pulling no punches on this one. The drums delivered by drummer Mitch Fogarty are quite notable and well done here especially. The guitar parts throughout also shine here, really the whole band is highlighted quite well on this one. The breakdown at the end, and the vocals sounding absolutely hell-like really put the song over the top. We’ve reached the penultimate track, with a title track of the record. The riffs are maybe the best on this one, and the nu-metal is strong once again. It’s crazy how well this kind of track and vibe works for them. It’s very fun, and I’d be surprised if this doesn’t become a set staple going forward. It’s an easy highlight of the record, and it goes crazy and what I love about this band. The last track, “Ambivalence”, dives most into it’s early 2000’s nu-metal vibes on this closing song. The melodic kind of intro and buildup reminds me of 2022’s “60cm of Steel” and it’s clear they’re continuing that vibe here a little. Arnold‘s vocals continue to be well-placed on this record and sung in a wonderful manner to feel at home. It’s another track that gives this record a nice sense of identity for this band and where they’re at in their career. It shows they’re willing to take some risks here and there to grow further as a band.

As we reach the end, ‘Half Living Things’ feels like a step in the right direction for Alpha Wolf. It shows they’re willing to experiment a little and expand upon the things they already excel at. I may not think it’s as good as ‘A Quiet Place to Die’, but it feels like a very worthy addition to their sound and discography. This record also shows why they’re one of the best bands in metalcore right now, and that they’re about to be the future of it. 

Check out the video for “Haunter” below.



Reader Rating: ( 1 vote ) 9.1

Mathew Abraham I love movies just as much as I love music.