Mono - Alpha Wolf
Artist: Alpha Wolf
Genre: Heavy As F*ck
Review by Steve Jenkins
With somewhat of an infestation of metalcore and whatever sub-genre you want to label certain heavy bands lately, the sound of the genre has unfortunately become music's most productive deliverer of mediocrity and unoriginal content. Inexplicable as it may sound, I was intrigued when I heard the new material from Melbourne 5 piece, Alpha Wolf, it's refreshing with a more breakdown orientated approach that surprisingly doesn't sound stagnant. Something which is quite rare, and upon listening to Alpha Wolf's first full-length studio album, Mono, what I heard was one of the most raw, real and heavier sounding releases I've heard in a long time.
Alpha Wolf absolutely brought it on this new album and I’m extremely pleased with it. The band sounds legitimately pissed off and psychotic throughout the album and it’s an awesome factor on Mono. If you haven’t heard of this young and upcoming band yet, then you're sure as hell about to. The album starts out with an extremely grungy dark message titled 'Ward Of The State', it definitely sets the mood for the rest of the record as it displays an array of dark tones and heavy chords. 'No.2' is the second track believe it or not, and those acute guitar sounds will drill their way through your skull while the crazy vocals yell into your ears with authentic and vicious anger.
Such heartfelt and real vocals are hard to find nowadays and vocalist Aidan gives an outstanding and emotional performance. It’s the sound of a voice that doesn’t give a shit about fitting in with society and straying from that path to become original. It’s simply the voice of somebody who felt what he’s belting out because his heart and mind crossed that line bringing blind hate, yet lucid and aware of the target: someone, something, but often himself. The heavily down-tuned chugging and bass kicks are almost omnipresent, providing a perpetual supply of breakdowns throughout the album that are strong and never boring, as heard on my favourite track and probably the most brutal and extreme sounding song on the album, 'Failvre'.
Heaviness, bass drops, and vocal intensity give way to a couple of very appreciable melodic apertures. This is especially found in 'Promise Stays', but also 'Golden Fate; Gut Ache' and their inclusion is definitely wise and well placed. Musically the album stays consistent with the playing style, riffs and intensity. Each song is written with a different structure and different patterns, and seems to have a common theme of mixing up between speeding up and speeding down.
Mono is an album you need to check out. Maybe not for its originality, but definitely because Alpha Wolf brought this music back to that apex of authentic anger, hate and illness in a way which hasn’t been reached for quite a long time.
8.5 out of 10.
Mono is out July 14th via Greyscale Records. Pre-order it here.
Watch the official video for the track '#104' below: