Alpha Matter
Alpha Matter EP

This is a tidy little package from a young band out of Belgium.  On their short and punchy debut EP Alpha Matter executes an aggressive hybrid of modern metal featuring elements of death metal, melodeath, thrash and metalcore; all of which is refreshingly released for free via their website. Self-released EP’s from unknown bands don’t exactly set expectations all that high but Alpha Matter’s unbridled energy, dynamic arrangements and strong production values serve them well during the short duration.  And while there is nothing out of the ordinary about this 4-song package it does portray a hungry young band with plenty of potential.

After perusing their professional-looking website (hindered by some vague and rather scant information) it reveals that several members of the 5-piece have collectively been involved with various small, underground and admittedly unfamiliar metal bands such as The Reckoning, Setsthetime, Obscurum, Thorax Serpenti, Gorash and Flesh MouldAlpha Matter is the beginning of a new chapter for the band members, and the focus is on meshing different styles together into an accessible modern metal palette akin to Lamb of God, Sylosis and other modern crossover bands of similar ilk.

“Children of Destructology” has a catchy opening riff, chugging slower parts and some upbeat and melodic faster moments.  It’s further embellished by occasional blast beats, thrashy bursts of speed and a decent guitar solo.  And most of it works a treat within an interesting structure, although the mid-paced grooves and faster tempos work more effectively then the slower chugs.    “Vortex Vultures” has an aggressive, thrash metal pulse coupled with some melodic inflections and a swaggering southern metal groove.  It’s probably the most complete track on the EP, benefiting from a more aggressive, straight-forward approach.

The remaining two tracks are solid enough but essentially Alpha Matter sound like a band in its early phases and not quite equipped with enough truly killer riffs and blood pumping intensity to really make the listener sit-up and take notice.   That said, this is a concise collection of solid tunes from dudes that clearly enjoy what they do, and there is enough potential brimming beneath to suggest they could deliver a full-length of greater substance and memorability down the track.

Sound-wise, the production has a professional polish with an emphasis on clean and heavy tones.  .  The clicky bass drums sound a bit weak but are offset by the otherwise robust drum tones and the heavy slice and chug of the twin guitars.  Vocalist Ruben has a nice variety of screams and guttural outbursts that occasionally straddles the line between the convincing and the contrived, but generally fits well.  And elsewhere the musicianship is accomplished and well played.    The drumming is especially tight and varied, with a strong sense of groove and dynamics.

Alpha Matter have not yet developed their song-writing enough to create any great waves in the metal underground, but if they can continue to improve and hone their craft they may just have the potential to make a greater impact in the future.  They avoid aping any one particular band or sound and generally manage to steer clear of clichéd, derivative trappings.  And the EP is free (!) so at the very least it’s worthy of a listen, and maybe next time they might rethink the band photo on the cover style of artwork.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Luke Saunders
January 25th, 2013


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