It’s taken me a while for form an opinion on this topic. In all honesty, I came into this one as blind as a bat. I’m no self-proclaimed metalcore expert, but I know a pretty good bit and a good knock in the teeth from an aussiecore band has always been my drug of choice. The house that AC/DC built has built acts such as Parkway Drive, In Hearts Wake, The Amity Affliction, I Killed The Prom Queen, and many others. So when I heard of the possibility of some metalcore beef, I had to get in on it. Diss tracks typically take their place in rap music, but that’s not to say it can’t happen. Try telling Alpha Wolf or Dealer that and they’ll probably make a fool out of you. For this write up, I took the time to research both of these Australian youngbloods to see who won this lyrical battle.
I’ll be up front about it, there is no Mr. Nice Guy to be played here. I hate to speculate, but all signs are pointing towards the idea that Dealer and Alpha Wolf are not too fond of each other. Let’s start with Alpha Wolf. They built themselves from scratch back in 2013 and brought in frontman Aidan Ellaz. Ellaz was a functional piece in the band’s claim to fame across the scene from 2016 to 2018. I wouldn’t say they peaked in that period, but they were a brutal outfit with a world of potential in front of them. 2018 rolls around but Ellaz rolls out. No need to speculate on why Ellaz departed, but he was officially out in mid-February 2018. Alpha Wolf announced their new vocalist, Lochie Keogh, in June of 2018.
So you may be wondering, what does the band Dealer have to do with it? Well, here it is. 2019 comes into play and the band Dealer hits the scene hard. Their first release, “Crooked”, arrived approximately one year after the departure of Ellaz from Alpha Wolf. Significance? “Crooked” is a shot at somebody. Just so happens Aidan Ellaz is eating the mic for the supergroup Dealer, currently signed to Stay Sick Recordings here in the states. Not only does Dealer have Ellaz, the band also features Alex Milovic (ex-Northlane), David Wilder (Iconoblast), Josh Ang (Codeine Kings), and Joe Abikhair (Capture The Crown).
Alpha Wolf didn’t miss a beat following the exit of Ellaz. Frontman Lochie Keogh brings the same vocal style to the band as Ellaz with a bit more aggression. Keogh starred as the frontline mercenary to confront Ellaz through Alpha Wolf’s song “Sub-Zero”. Here’s where it gets interesting. Dealer releases “Crooked”, which for all assumptive purposes is a shot to the mouth of Alpha Wolf. Alpha Wolf counters with “Sub-Zero”, a hit that pretty much identifies Ellaz as the target. Take it for what it’s worth, we have some full fledge aussiecore beef on our hands and it’s a matchup for the ages. Not to mention, this is just the beginning. Let’s break down both tracks and see who takes the early title:
“Crooked” – Dealer (Stay Sick Recordings)
“Crooked” was the first of the two releases between these hard hitting Australian groups. It hit all streaming platforms on February 7, 2019. It was the first look at the group for many, and it made a heck of a first impression. Ellaz screams through ferocious breakdowns, preaching no forgiveness for those who hung him out to dry. Ellaz concludes the song by assuring his domination in this “dog eat dog world”. I have to say, I’m pretty convinced by his work and this release as a whole. “Crooked” is one of the heaviest releases I have heard in the past two years. Dealer is the real deal (no pun intended) and holds nothing back. Check out the song below:
Throne Magazine Rating: 9/10
“Sub-Zero” – Alpha Wolf (Sharptone Records)
“Sub-Zero” arrived shortly after “Crooked” in mid-March. All things considered, it’s a heck of a comeback and in a short turnaround. Of the many things Keogh knocks at the door of Ellaz with, one of his deepest is “hang your head in the light and show your teeth in the dark.” Implying that Ellaz is all talk. He ends the track with the line “come and break it off if you want a piece.” Rest assured, it’s no empty threat from either side. Alpha Wolf is more brutal than ever before and is quickly arriving to their peak. “Sub-Zero” is a solid release and an even better diss track.
Throne Magazine Rating: 8.5/10
Judging by the ratings above, you can assume who I’ve given the edge to here. In focus of just these two tracks, Dealer has truly let it loose and opened up a can of an old-fashioned brawl. Who knows what the future will hold in this battle, but we know neither of these bands are afraid to hold back in terms of going after each other or anyone else standing in their way.