"Half Living Things is a record that satisfies that mosh-hungry hardcore itch." Alpha Wolf mix rampaging heaviness with injections of vulnerability on album number three

This is textbook Alpha Wolf, and we are here for it

Alpha Wolf
(Image: © Press)

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In the sneering words of rapper Ice-T -“this is Alpha Wolf, motherfucker - you wanna die?” 2020’s A Quiet Place To Die demonstrated the Aussie metalcore crew’s ability to unleash absolute vitriolic carnage - and Half Living Things is here to reignite that flame of frazzled, antagonistic wrath. 

From Double-Edge Demise’s maniacal stampede of drums to the goading snarl of nu-metalcore stand-out Sucks 2 Suck, Alpha Wolf serve up colossal waves of hardcore fury with a vengeance. Each swing packs a remarkable punch, frontman Lochie Keoghthe on a ruthless tirade of self-loathing. Garden of Eyes and Feign are absolute walls of noise, scratching with guttural pain - you’re left wishing you could hand the poor guy a throat lozenge, honestly.

However, while Alpha Wolf are adored for their grit, the gang consciously balance brash hardcore venom with tenderness. There is a conscious effort to expand their palette; while snarling sonic assaults are abundant, the Aussie wolf pack also serve up some lush, softer soundscaping. It’s become somewhat of a staple, embracing the odd contrast - even their 2017 debut boasted the atmospheric Mono, as well as the soft confessional of My Untold Memoir

While Half Living Things can often thrive in its confrontational hardcore swagger, the few moments of introspection are earnest and gentle. Whenever You’re Ready mournfully muses, while climactic closer Ambivalence floats in a whirl of echoing soundscapes. Ambivalence in particular delves deep, as an anguished Keoghthe admits “I know there’s something wrong with me” .

Half Living Things is a record that satisfies that mosh-hungry hardcore itch, while still showcasing the gang’s nuanced range. The scarce injection of open wound vulnerability is especially poignant in the midst of their typically acrid rampage. It’s textbook Alpha Wolf, and we’re here for it.

Emily Swingle

Full-time freelancer, part-time music festival gremlin, Emily first cut her journalistic teeth when she co-founded Bittersweet Press in 2019. After asserting herself as a home-grown, emo-loving, nu-metal apologist, Clash Magazine would eventually invite Emily to join their Editorial team in 2022. In the following year, she would pen her first piece for Metal Hammer - unfortunately for the team, Emily has since become a regular fixture. When she’s not blasting metal for Hammer, she also scribbles for Rock Sound, Why Now and Guitar and more.