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Sharptone Records

August 15

Words by Lewd Scoff

2021’s A Quiet Place to Die saw Melbourne, Australia’s Alpha Wolf nominated for an ARIA (Australian Record Industry Award) in the category of Best Hard Rock or Metal Album category. Losing out to Tropical Fuck Storm (yes, who?) was a travesty to say the least, but now leaves the heavy quintet in a ‘what’s next?’ situation.

The band met Greyscale/SharpTone Records label mates Holding Absence on the European Impericon festivals back in 2019, and instantly hit it off.

“We really enjoy their super catchy tunes and luckily enough they enjoy our heavy tunes. We talked a bunch over social media and kept up to date with what they were doing and when Lucas Woodland (Holding Absence vocalist) mentioned that we should do a split, it surprisingly just seemed like the best
idea ever”
muses Alpha Wolf rhythm guitarist Sabian Lynch.

And that was how The Lost and the Longing E.P came into existence. Written across streams in the pandemic, the E.P is the perfect metalcore/post hardcore/ alternative blend that hopefully will promote more collaborations like this in the future.

Opening track 60cm of Steel, as the name suggests, is definitely Alpha Wolf featuring Holding Absence, as it sits in the brutal spectrum that the Aussies are known for, with minimal melodic reference from the Welshmen, but enough to notice their contribution. Starting with that deep chordal resonance Holding
Absence do so well, it soon turns mega violent with pummelling riffery until a very catchy chorus shouts ‘I’m lost, a consciousness I can’t recall’, with a melodic hook that will stay with you for days. Coupled with a breakdown that breathes as it smashes, this is destined to be a classic.

Alpha Wolf take matters in their own hands with Hotel Underground, and don’t hold back. I’m actually scared that they tune down 14 steps from standard tuning, making this song, drop, drop D. And it fucking rocks because of it. There is a reason why Alpha Wolf are at the top of the metal core game internationally at the moment, and it’s their command on low end riffery and aggression that cements this fact. ‘I’m still stepping over roaches, setting fire to the locusts, hide in plain sight, peel the paint back, lay the strychnine’. Not a hotel I’m keen on frequenting anytime soon.

Aching Longing is the strongest example of collaboration on the E.P in my opinion, as it seamlessly blends the 2 bands styles perfectly into something new. As lush as it is bellicose, the song would be amazing live with all creators on stage at once. Truly amazing, and something I hopefully will one day
witness. The song would need several ‘cores’ to fully classify into genre. The sign of things progressing, which, in this mode, is great.

Rounding out the E.P is Holding Absence, making great use of their ‘alternative’ moniker with the soulful Coffin. Released as a single on August 4, the song is already becoming a fan favourite with 145k views in a week. ‘With a voice so melodious and clear’ croons Lucas as if singing about himself.

Overall, I feel the 2 bands compliment each other enough to create something new, whilst still appeasing the fanbases of both acts.

4 on 5.

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