An old rule says that musicians usually write their best material when they leave all commercial considerations, market analyses and the public’s supposed expectations aside and simply follow their innermost artistic instinct. Which is precisely how Alpha Tiger from Freiberg in Saxony went about writing and recording their most recent oeuvre, and the result is an offering that’s as impressive as it is surprising: their latest, self-titled release sounds rock-oriented and melodic, anthemnic and diverse, and – thanks to its completely analogue production – wonderfully organic. “This is the album that I’ve always wanted to make,” explains Peter Langforth, the band’s guitarist and songwriter. “It’s definitely our most mature and grown-up release to date.”
Mind you, the omens didn’t seem to bide all that well, seeing that Alpha Tiger had to come to terms with the departure of their previous vocalist immediately after the completion of their 2015 album iDENTITY. The timing couldn’t have been worse: iDENTITY garnered brilliant reviews, album sales were extremely promising, the band received increasing numbers of enquiries for concert and festival appearances; which Alpha Tiger, who suddenly found themselves without a singer, had to refuse. Langforth: “Unexpectedly, we had to deal with existential questions regarding the band’s continued survival. It was obvious that we wouldn’t have been able to continue the way things were.” Luckily their short, intense search via social media produced the solution to the problem, a kind of singing saviour named Benjamin Jaino.
Jaino joined Alpha Tiger in summer 2015 and immediately underwent a real endurance test: without much time for preparations, he found himself performing live on stage alongside his new colleagues Langforth, Alexander Backasch (guitar), Dirk Frei (bass) and David Schleif (drums) only a few weeks after his enlistment, supporting Alpha Tiger shortly afterwards on their joint European tour with Battle Beast. “This way, Benjamin had already fifty shows with us under his belt when we started working on the new album. So we knew what to do to make the new material suit his voice,” Langforth describes the challenge that the band faced and praises the new band member’s commitment: “Benjamin identifies totally with Alpha Tiger and delivered an awesome performance at the studio. His vocals are full of emotion, he literally screamed his heart out.”