The Ohio based Christian hardcore band Wolves at the Gate made quite an impression on critics and fans with the release of their 2011 EP We Are the Ones. The band may be young, but they definitely have a vision of who they are and what they want to deliver to the people. They have just released their full length debut album Captors on Solid State Records and it looks to be a solid delivery for the guys. The album was produced by Andreas Magnussen (Oh, Sleeper/Haste the Day).
Lead vocalist Nick Detty and the boys come out of the gate with a thunderous crashing of guitars provided by Steve Cobucci and Jeremy Steckel on the track “The Harvest”. It’s a great opener for the album as if gives a little inside of who the band is and what they have to offer. It also sets a great tone for the album and what’s to follow. Detty has a great screamo voice that shows quite a lot of depth to it. They also mix in some clean vocals on the chorus and other parts.
“Morning Star” changes up on the vocal delivery as the song is mainly done in the clean vocals of Cobucci. “In Your Wake” is a standout track on the album and one of the most solid selections on here. The guys show that they can mix it up within the confines of a 3 ½ minute song. This one is slow and melodic at the beginning, but then it crosses over to the heavy side. Cobucci’s vocals on this song are very strong and this is a prime example of how his style and Detty’s screaming style truly complement each other. There are other bands out there who attempt this, but they come nowhere close to the results that these guys accomplish.
“Slaves” is a very interesting song on many levels. It starts out acoustically and builds up intensity and changes speeds as it tells the story of a slave attempting his escape. It manages the art of storytelling in 4 ½ minutes and that’s an art form that is sorely missing in music today. It also exits out acoustically, just as it began. “Step Out To the Water” may very well be the best example of how Wolves at the Gate is able to almost perfectly blend the clean vocals of Cobucci and the screams of Detty. They do it effortlessly in a way that they blend well and complement each other.
It’s hard to believe that this album was recorded less than a year after they released their EP. Cobucci is a double threat on guitar as well as providing the clean vocals for the group. Jeremy Steckel is the other half of that dual guitar attack. The rhythm section of Ben Summers on bass and Ben Millhouse on the thundering drums are a powerful and solid unit. It’s a rarity in a young band to find such a seasoned and polished sound. It’s almost scary to think how far these guys can go if they are this strong out of the gate.
They show a great deal of diversity as they can play heavy, grinding rock with breakdowns and heavy riffs and then they can switch to something acoustic or a little mellower. They wear their faith and display it proudly in their lyrics. Wolves at the Gate are definitely a young band top keep an eye on. The industry is complacent and stagnant and can use a band like Wolves at the Gate to make them stand up and take notice.