Coming off of their undeniably best album to date, Wolves at the Gate is back with their fourth release.
Eclipse begins with “The Cure,” which was the first single released for the album. Already, lyrics are beaming from the album. “I can taste the misery, spitting out the remedy. All I’ve been through, all that I’ve seen, these eyes, this heart still can’t dispel the lies.” The opening song serves as what to expect for the rest of the album in respect to the lyrical tone. It’s a darker album, exploring doubt and sin in graphic poetic verses.
The following track reveals a new area for the band. A string arrangement accompanies the intro, and a mellow first verse. It could remind you of something Red would write, but the difference here is that it’s used effectively. When the chorus kicks in, it evokes immediate emotion. Vocalist and guitarist Steve Cobucci leads another pleading chorus, “Listen closely, every seed must die before, die before it can grow. Sinking slowly, to be planted in the dust, long before it can grow.”
The Enemy breaks up the dreary and very serious tone of the album, despite the lyrics following the same trend. The track is at a quicker pace and catchy enough for radio play.
So far, the words used to describe the album are a bit vague in regards to the quality of the tracks; dark, dreary, serious, mellow. I should point out that none of these words are used negatively. Each track is heavy laden with beautifully written words, and the vocal back and forth between singers is the biggest draw to the band as always. The only time that this could become a negative is just the heaviness of the album. Thematically, it’s deadly serious, and heavy.
The title track takes its time through the struggle of sin as well as doubt of making it “home.” As the song progresses, the questions then to statements of certainty near the end, “Though I fall away, it is then I find more grace.Though I’m desolate, though I’ve gone too far, far beyond the narrow road, You lead me home.”
Response is a desperate plea to unbelievers realize the love offered them, however the music blends in with the rest of the album to have any standing power. Some following songs struggle similarly.
Eclipse has taken nearly three years to get here since Types & Shadows blew us all away. And while Eclipse doesn’t quite live up, it’s still a solid album. The first half of the record is great and shows all of what WatG has to offer. However the second half fails to match that. Exceptions to that statement include Alone and the closing song, Blessings & Curses. The latter ends the album with the hopeful lines of, “O’ Love that reaches from the heavens, to wretched, rebel hearts lost and alone. You took my curse – gave me Your blessing, giving me hope in death.”
Wolves at the Gate is at the top of Solid State’s growing roster, and they’ve given us all another album full of beautiful and fearful psalms.