Review: Wolves At The Gate – We Are The Ones

Artist: Wolves At The Gate
Album: We Are The Ones
Genre: Metalcore
Label: Unsigned

The cover of We Are The Ones is deceptive. It’s all stony, dark, and grey, as if implying it’s the lid on a well of unconfined noise, sure to slaughter aurally if lack much in the way of purpose or narrative. Well, happily, that’s all bullshit. This is a dazzling little EP, forged with diligence and sharpness, and it makes for a very rewarding listen.

Title track and opening tune “We Are the Ones” kick-starts with an atmospheric, portentous tone, placing reverberating percussion over a menacing, gravelly spoken verse. Barely a minute and a half long, it fades out almost unintelligibly as the music swells in the background, ushering the EP in proper with ominous gravity. “Vapors” is stylistically similar, taking a moment to build anticipation with a threatening guitar riff before launching itself proper. Pausing in this manner demonstrates impressive patience by the band, as, rather than diving straight into a wall of savage noise, they take time to mould something a little more striking and whet appetites for what comes thereafter.

What follows is indeed something of a wall of noise, but a very enjoyable wall of noise. There are some charming vocal interplays, as traditional singing vocals are mixed with the more predictable growling and screamo of heavy music. The contrast works well, especially on a song such as “Vapors,” where the differing types of vocals exist not just to complement the alternate chugging force or slower, reflective aspects of the music but also to offset one another in colourful fashion. It’s not particularly original but it’s put to excellent use and makes for very encouraging listening.

“Heralds” reminds me of Deaf Havana, yet perchance with a little more depth. There are rich layers to the song, guitar instrumentation pounding over a hierarchy of vocal stylings and meandering string elements. It may seem like delusions of grandeur, all very dramatic and verbose, but it works somehow. “Tonight My Son, Be Still and Sleep” continues this trend. It’s loud, brash, and visceral – easily the catchiest song on the EP, it demonstrates a fine ear for deft song structure and exhilarating harmonies. “No Rival,” similarly, is a world of fun, particularly the scintillating breakdown just before the song plays out.

“Oh, the Depths” ends matters on a neat and thought-provoking note; mixing the foregoing frenetics with a more introspective and sensitive concluding verse. It’s a vivid summation of the EP – nothing too overwrought or pretentious, fury mixed with resonance, well-structured and cohesive with plenty of room made for breathtaking flourishes.

We Are The Ones isn’t anything new: indeed it sounds like many other post-hardcore types, mixing a love of riffage and breakdowns with some more earnest poptastic wailing to ensure the youngsters stay onside. This isn’t a reason to condemn it, however. That sort of set-up tends to work very well and this is no exception. It’s very capable and well-executed and imbued with plenty of spunk and vibe to ensure a positive return on investment. Wolves At The Gate ought to be interesting in a live setting, and, overall, on the basis of the promise shown here, have much to look forward to.

Rating: 7/10
Review written by: Grace Duffy

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the founder of Under The Gun Review. He loves writing about music and movies almost as much as he loves his two fat cats. He's also the co-founder of Antique Records and the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. You should probably follow him on Twitter.

Latest posts by James Shotwell (see all)

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.