Say hello to the best heavy music release of 2012. Wolves at the Gate have a remarkable story of quickly rising out of nowhere, and they only will head to bigger places in the future. Two EPs as an unsigned band caught the attention of Solid State Records, who signed them after hearing the 2nd one (which they re-released after some remastering). Fast forward to this week’s release of the Andreas Magnusson produced (Akissforjersey, Oh Sleeper, Haste the Day, etc) and we have a masterpiece on our hands.
“The Harvest” knocks down the gates with the perfect track to introduce us to what the band is all about. Steve Cobucci is undoubtedly one of the best clean vocalists in the genre (having taken voice lessons from Christine Kimball, the wife of a church friend of mine, I wouldn’t doubt it). Nick Detty doesn’t have the most unique style ever, but it compliments Cobucci’s singing well. “Awaken” is a cry out to God to give us the “eyes to see” what is truly going on around us from His point of view. “Morning Star” carries a bit of Thrice influence (a sound many journalists agree permeates Captors) and the prodigal son story inspired “Dead Man” is a great choice for a first single from the album.
Brutality takes more of a front seat in “In Your Wake.” The track begins with a balladesque verse before segueing into loud breakdown backed by Jeremy Steckel’s adept guitar tapping. The verses are undoubtedly a showcase for harsh vocalist Nick Detty as well, who seems to draw some inspiration from Underoath’s Spencer Chamberlain. “Slaves” is bookended by a soft acoustic section at the front and back ends of the song. “Step Out to the Water” is one of the catchiest and most adrenaline inducing songs on the record. “Amnesty” showcases more brutality, and “Man of Sorrows” does what album enders seldom do, which is succeed in being simultaneously catchy, a showcase of the best of every band member’s talents, and generally be epic but not over the top.
Hometown bias aside (which probably exists a little bit) this record really is one of the better heavy releases of the year. It might even be an album of the year candidate. Even the nonreligious are hailing the immense talent of this young band, and I’ll be one Christian guy that agrees with them!