Formed in 2009 and signed to Solid State Records in 2012, Wolves at the Gate screamed (no pun intended) onto the scene. The band now roars back with VxV. Despite the grunge and distortion of guitars and the guttural vocals of lead screamer Nick Detty, the overall album sound is very clear, clean, and professionly presented. The album blends both regular rock vocals with screams, which lends a nice break to what could otherwise feel like a 40 minute, non-stop scream session. The focus of the project is fully set on what Jesus’ did for us on the cross.
The album starts off with a Sermon Jam-esqe speech, but laid out in hardcore fashion. This carries throughout the rest of the project with many tracks beginning and/or ending with a spoken word. The tracks then begin with a punch as Nick Detty delivers with electrifying Wake Up. This track is then followed by a series of rolling riffs and pounding rhythms, with tracks like Dust to Dust, which is the album’s first single, Relief, East to West, Wild Heart, and The Convicted. The tracks do provide what could be considered a pause from the adrenaline pumping beats with songs like The Bird and the Snake (The morning is coming with a hunger to feed/I’ll do what I got to get the taste that I need/Minute per minute/And hour by hour/My faith is pinned with water from the lighted sky). The album ends with the compelling track, and personal album favorite, The Father’s Bargain. It begins with a spoken word about the Gospel and lightly treads into the rest of the track with emotion-drenched vocals from Steve Cobucci which eventually leads into heavier sounds and screams. (Calm down my son/Here’s a company for miserable souls/Cold and undone/Searing their conscience with hearts black as coals/Here now they lie/Objects of justice deserving of wrath/Speak Your reply/What shall be done for them?/Draw out Your plan)
Sophomore projects can usually tend to be the make or break for a band. VxV would be considered the make for Wolves at the Gate. It shows that they are headed in the right direction with their music and mindset. The project is presented with solid lyrical content. Each song maintains a consistent punching rock beat on every song, while stylistically blending in other musical and vocal components, which in turn emits the paradox of a fresh feel yet dirty hardcore style. VxV presents a solid stamp in the world of hardcore music and carries a strength that solidifies the band’s presence in this genre of music, and possibly beyond it, as well.
Rating: 4 out of 5
Genre: Hard Rock
Label: Solid State Records
Release Date: June 10, 2014
Buy it: Amazon - iTunes
Dust To Dust (3:03)
Wake Up (3:16)
The Bird And The Snake (4:51)
East To West (4:55)
The Convicted (3:29)
Wild Heart (3:34)
Majesty In Misery (4:18)
The Father's Bargain (6:31
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The sound must have been a maddening echo that haunted him at first, tormented by the rooster’s crow that mocked his empty proclamation of loyalty. For three days, his faith lay in the grave with the Savior’s body, darkened by the memory of his public desertion.