The "Dawn" of Greatness Posted October 15, 2020 By RyanAdams_NRT, Staff Reviewer
What You Need To Know: Wolves At The Gate's EP, Dawn, features six new versions of songs from their previous album, Eclipse. This is the second EP like this, previously done with Reprise, though that one also included a new song and guest vocals one each song, unlike Dawn.
What It Sounds Like: Because this EP is focused on redoing songs in a softer, melodic way, none of the songs are heavy or intense like most of Wolves At The Gate's music. The band beautifully weaves instruments you do not normally hear from them, such as piano and acoustic guitar, into these "reduxes." To further add to the new listening experience, we hear new vocal styles from both Steve (singing) and Nick (screaming). Don't be mislead though, these are not just acoustic versions, but fully revised and complete songs.
Spiritual Highlights: The lyrics do not change from the originals, which is fantastic, because Wolves At The Gate's songwriting is superb. The first song, "The Cure," is about overcoming our pride to accept the crucial but often bitter help we need. "Counterfeit" condemns hypocrisy and fighting against the lies around us. "A Voice In The Violence" is a back-and-forth struggle between our thoughts of despair and the voice of God.
"Face to Face" is about facing our great sins and weaknesses in order to see the even greater forgiveness in God. "Drifter" is a signature Wolves At The Gate song. It is simply a cry out to God to save us in the midst of hardships and drifting in our faith. The last song, "Alone," explores how many lives are wasted when they are not following God's plan, and that life with God will be infinitely better than anything now. As usual, the spiritual content in these songs is deep and relatable.
Best Song: Each song is captivating and beautifully remade. I loved how each song kept the majority of the structure and flow, but remained distinct from one another. Some are even heavier than others with some restrained or echoed screams. "Drifter" is a great pick for the best song here, though as explained, not by a long shot. The original song's emotion is intense already, but to strip back the music to hear the heartbreaking lyrical journey is an experience every fan needs to hear.
Bottom Line: It's rare for heavy metal bands to create soft songs, but Wolves At The Gate proves it can be done and done well. Not only does the band create memorable new versions of these songs, but they also showcase new vocal and musical talent with Dawn. Dawn is fantastic, and if I were to offer any criticism, it would probably only be the tracklist, but even that is subjective.