Alpha Wolf are back in the game with ‘Black Mamba’.
When Melbourne’s Alpha Wolf officially brought in new vocalist Lochie Keogh and drummer Mitchell Fogarty to the pack recently, the band left in a little clue for their next release; a braille code spelling out the phrase “Black Mamba”. As expected, the band’s latest release with their current lineup is the aforementioned titled ‘Black Mamba‘.
On this pissed-off and scathing musical sinkhole of rage and riffs, everything is so much heavier than what’s come before it in their past discography. The song slots nicely into their beatdown-heavy nu-metalcore sound, but it’s done well; a safe but effective sound injected with the fast-rising Aussie outfit now having a massive chip on their shoulder to unload.
The repeated screeching nu-metal guitars in the song hit hard, slithering around the rest of the polished-sounding instrumentals. Elsewhere, the song’s breakdowns and tight grooves are all solid, laced with as much venom and hate as you’d now expect from the band. (Seriously, expect this shit to go off live). Vocally, and while on a different emotional level to what 2017’s ‘Mono‘ offered, Lochie is a goddamn perfect fit for their sound as a frontman. He makes the Greyscale Records favourites sound even heavier with his inclusion of lower-pitched screams and deeper growls. The dude was also solid behind the mic in his previous band, the defunct Earthender, but his vocal performance here proves that time hasn’t lessened his abilities at all!
Now, while Mitchell has been keeping time for Alpha Wolf on the drums since late 2017, as for the story of Lochie joining, it’s a tale of any fans dream, with a second chance offering that he wouldn’t turn down. The new vocalist put it as such, saying:
“I’d always been a fan of Alpha Wolf; but in early 2015 I went from being just a fan to being mates with them. They let me tag along on some of their interstate runs, helping out wherever I could; selling merch and lugging gear. Before Mono, when John stepped down from vocals, Sabian asked if I would be interested in joining the band, however I was focused on a project of my own at the time, as such I was unable to accept; and they went on to release one of my favourite albums to date. Soon after everything transpired at the start of this year, I found myself with a message from Sabian containing a link to a song now titled Black Mamba, once again Sabian offered me the vacant position; I wasn’t going to refuse a second time.”
Judging by the lyrics of “Fuck your mind games“, “You abandoned me“, and that direct call-out of “coward” halfway through, the single focuses heavily on being betrayed by those who we were meant to trust; backstabbed by friends and people who we thought would always cover our six. Explained by guitarist and founding member, Sabian Lynch, the song is about how it’s “…so hard to trust anyone these days, you always find yourself with one eye over your shoulder, continuously on the lookout for snakes amongst the grass.
Now, to some that might seem like a damning critique of what the band experienced earlier in 2018 with their mini-hiatus and the way in which former vocalist Aidan Holmes departed. However, the guitarist clears up any misconceptions, adding that: “While I’m sure there will be assumptions made, the lyrics for this song started a long time ago, and are not directed at any one person in particular; the song is directed at humanity itself.”
To me, ‘Black Mamba‘ is of a very similar experience to when the band dropped ‘Nail Biter’ back in 2016; seeing Alpha Wolf hitting that next level with new members, while also re-installing confidence they’ll be more than fine moving forward.
Check out ‘Black Mamba‘ below and the band’s forthcoming tour dates after the drop.
Upcoming Alpha Wolf live show:
‘BLACK MAMBA’ RELEASE SHOW
w/ Gravemind, The Gloom In The Corner, and Lone
SAT 03 AUG – Workers Club
DEATH DEALERS TOUR
w/ Thy Art Is Murder, Antagonist AD, & Exile
FRI 09 AUG – Sol Bar, Maroochydore,
SAT 10 AUG – Miami Tavern, Gold Coast
SUN 11 AUG – Crowbar, Brisbane
FRU 16 AUG – Karova Louge, Ballarat
SAT 17 AUG – Barwon Club, Geelong
SUN 18 AUG – Pelly Bar, Frankston
FRI 23 AUG – Uni Bar, Wollongong
SAT 24 AUG – Miranda Hotel, Miranda
SUN 25 AUG – Tattersalls Hotel, Penrith
FRI 30 AUG – Home Tavern, Wagga Wagga
SAT 31 AUG – Beer Deluxe, Albury
SUN 01 SEP – Village Green, Mulgrave