|Wolves At The Gate: Captors | Posted July 18, 2012
Solid State Records seems to be rebranding themselves lately. They recently signed Wolves At The Gate, as well as The Overseer, both of whom are a cool cross-breed between heavy metal and awesome rock music. Both bands lean more towards the melodic metal side of hardcore music, and both bands to it pretty well. Captors is the band's debut album, and it is definitely one of the top metal debuts I have ever heard. Every time I listen to the album I fall more and more in love with it. Seeing as I am a sucker for great clean vocals on a metal album, I instantly fell in love with Wolves At The Gate.
The album begins with "The Harvest," which quickly became one of my ultimate pump tracks to listen to when I work out or play basketball. The song is a call-to-action, calling us as Christians to be out there sharing Christ's love with the lost. This track instantly caught my attention, and made me so excited to listen to the whole album. "Awaken" finds vocalist Steve Cobucci marveling at how great and awesome God is. I love a lot of the lines in the song, but I think my favorite may be "When nations rage agains your throne, You are unchanging, still the immutable God!"
"Morning Star" talks about fixing our gaze on Christ and looking forward to His return. I love how the song talks about eliminating all the distractions out of our lives and living totally sold out for Christ - "For only to the cross my arms will cling." "Dead Man" follows that up, with easily my favorite song on the record. If you want an example of a perfectly executed melodic metal song, this is the best example I have ever seen. There is a great mixture of clean and unclean vocals that make for a pretty heavy song, but also a very melodious one at the same time. I love it when songs can get me head banging and singing along all at once, and this song does that for me. The lyrics to the song are also spectacular, talking about how we were dead before Christ came into our lives and breathed life into us.
"In Your Wake" is another perfectly executed song that sounds almost like a praise and worship song to me when I listen to it. There are very few metal songs that can get me in a place of truly worshiping Christ (mainly because most are call-to-action songs, rather than worship songs), but "In Your Wake" does a great job of that. I love, love, love the lyrics to this song; they are as good as the lyrics to any Hillsong track. "This is justice for my wickedness with your Son descending onto this world bearing our sin. We're helpless in need of Your grace. This freedom is not in our hands, still Your grace remains." The words to this song are powerful, and so refreshing to listen to.
The sixth track, "Slaves," is a little different than the rest of the songs on the album. It starts out with just an acoustic guitar and Cobucci singing along, and moves slowly into a little more heavier stuff , until it goes full-out metal at about the one and a half minute mark. The song is definitely one of the more melodious on the record, and is one of the more intriguing as well. In the song, Cobucci, calls out to God asking Him to free him from the bondage of sin. "Step Out to the Water" is a song for those who are skeptical about God, telling them there is nothing to fear because He loves us - in fact He loved us so much that He died for us. The song shows Cobucci's heart breaking for the lost, especially in the chorus when he says, "So just as You have given grace to me, I'm pleading Father that their eyes will see the clearest vision of Your love shown on Calvary. For redemption's story's in my heart may be seen through me." If only all of us had that same prayer.
"Amnesty" may be the heaviest song on the record, starting from the very beginning with explosive vocals and great guitar riffs. The song once again deals with being slaves to sin, and talks about all the grace God has showed us. "Safeguards" follows that up with a song where Cobucci is asking Christ, "How can I repay You Lord for this all-forgiving love?" The English student in me comes out when I look at the lyrics to this song, making me want to print them out and annotate them to death. I love reading the lyrics to this song, because they are so understandable and at the same time very complex. On a side note, the title of the album, Captors, came from the line in "Safeguards" where Cobucci says, "When safeguards turn captors it will stay."
"Through the Night" is another pretty heavy song, with one of my favorite breakdowns on the album. The song talks about being totally focused on the eternal goal of living for Christ and doing His will, kind of going back to the them expressed in "Morning Star." "Man of Sorrows" closes out the album with a beautiful song about Jesus that talks about all the things He went through for us. Then Cobucci basically says, if He has done all this for us, why would we not give our whole lives for Him? The final lines of the song sum up the song, and really the whole album, very well: "This is not a simple story. Our lives are for Your glory. Beyond my words and written pages, Your song across the ages."
Needless to say, I have fallen in love with Wolves At The Gate. Melodic Metal is the new popular thing to do it seems, and Wolves At The Gate are leading the pack (see what I did there?). This album is spectacular, from the vocals to the lyrics to the breakdowns. This album has really rejuvenated my love for metal, and is probably one of my top two or three metal albums of the year so far. If you want to hear the best melodic metal you have ever heard, then do not even hesitate to buy this album. There is no doubt in my mind that you will fall in love with this album.
Favorite Song: Dead Man
This review has been reprinted on NRT with permission from The Christian Music Review Blog. Click here to visit today!
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