Review Summary: Change isn't always necessary, you just need to expand your horizons.
Nobody likes Christian rock and metal anymore, except for Christians themselves. Many people just assume that most CCM bands are nothing more than rip-offs who are trying to make a name for themselves while trying to portray a message about God in their music. True, they do have their all-too preachy lyrics and I don’t blame anybody for hating Christian music for that reason, but the one thing that I can say is that it gives them a reason to write their music, which in turn gives them the passion to perform their music. Take Wolves at the Gate for example, they are a Christian post-hardcore band that contains the typical “Jesus saves” lyrics, so you would expect to hate them because of it. However, there’s a surprise at the end of the tunnel, especially when it comes to VxV
By all means, Wolves at the Gate are hardly original, but what makes them a stand out group is the ability to write and perform with feeling, as if they have an ongoing mission that they need to accomplish. They bring out their energy so amazingly well yet their sound provides a mature and enjoyable experience that never feels bland or tired throughout. VxV
flows so nicely and consistently that it was hard not to appreciate their style and passion to their writing. However not only do they continue that flow, but they improve and expand upon it rather than change it with such integrity to create an even more complex yet focused record.
The blend of musicianship that VxV
shows is incredible. The vocals fit so perfectly within the instrumentation, as the harsher vocals give out that punch in the gut feeling such as in the starting song “Wake Up” while the cleaner vocals flow with the music excellently and shows the emotional depth that’s placed within the music. The vocalists, Cobucci and Detty, work together beautifully, creating an excellent mixture of contrast and harmony throughout. The overall instrumentation is performed phenomenally with a clean yet aggressive sound that gives the album the energy it needs such as in “Dust to Dust” and “The Convicted.” The production has made a vast improvement as well, letting the members do what they need to do to create the music that they want to make. None of the songs feel forced or tired; instead they feel like they were made with purpose thanks to the lyrics. Yes they are preachy, but it adds to the charm and passion that gives Wolves at the Gate the needed push that makes them stand out above other CCM bands such as Demon Hunter.
Not only has Wolves at the Gate delivered a wonderfully consistent record, but they’ve accomplished a relatively impossible task. They don’t change their sound as most bands would often do, but they expand it and as a result, develop a meaningful, mature album. All of aspects from their debut album have been created anew, and are made in a believable and emotional sense. They don’t create a clichéd and overridden stereotype that most CCM bands deliver. They create a beautifully crafted and amazingly structured album, and whether or not Wolves at the Gate can continue the trend they’ve set themselves is something only time, and maybe God, can tell.