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Wolves at the Gate

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Wolves at the Gate has been kept under the radar. Metalheads and hardcore fanatics know who the band is, but in the grand, hard music scheme of things, they’re under-appreciated. Building upon the likes of Thrice, old Underoath and some Blindside, it makes every bit of sense they’d release a covers EP filled with bands like that. It might seem different to the general public, but to a point, it seems like a great way to get the word out about this underrated band.

The EP is sadly only four songs, and what we get is pretty darn good. Starting off with an old track from Thrice, we’re treated to a good old punk/thrash hammering with “Deadbolt” (from The Illusion of Safety), and the band actually gains ground on the original. That version was recorded in 2002 as part of Thrice’s second album, so there’s a very raw punk element to it. But Wolves at the Gate does a great job of channeling the now-defunct band’s signature sound.

We’re then treated to a classic from Thursday’s early discography, “Understanding in a Car Crash,” during which vocalist Steve Cobucci sounds nearly identical to Geoff Rickly of Thursday. The fast percussion accompanies the soaring vocals and fantastic screams, bordering on an Anberlin sound at some points.

It’s pretty hard to mess up a song like “Sleepwaking” by Blindside, and Wolves at the Gate does great job of sticking true to its original sound. But the surprise of the EP is “Planning a Prison Break,” a song from The Receiving End of Sirens. While the original version is punk-focused and ventures into indie-rock territory (circa 2005, at that), Wolves at the Gate put their signature on it by taking an acoustic approach. The song showcases a different side of the band, and it works wonders for the track.

The EP is a strong release, and it would have been nice to hear Wolves at the Gate take on some more of the classics that have influenced them over the years. Maybe we’ll get more EPs like this over the next couple years, and if we do, we can be assured there’ll be more great stuff to come.

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