Album Review :
Wolves at the Gate - Eclipse

By in Reviews | 11 Comments

Label: Solid State Records
Release Date: July 26th, 2019

Tracklisting:

  1. The Cure
  2. Face to Face
  3. A Voice in the Violence
  4. Drifter
  5. Enemy
  6. Evil are the Kings
  7. Eclipse
  8. Response
  9. History
  10. The Sea in Between
  11. Alone
  12. Counterfeit
  13. Blessings & Curses

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.

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Mark K

I loved the changes that came with Types and Shadows but the album as a whole was overlong for me and started to blend together through its length. It was a hard listen to get through the whole thing. It still is to this day. This album? Nailed it! Both the diversity and quality stick it out beginning to end. Having just got it digitally today (had to cancel my Amazon pre-order that never even shipped) I’m excited to dive into the lyrics. Always love that aspect of the band. Definitely a better turn for the band. Not sure how… Read more »

thenorthsea

I’ve listened to this album twice, so I’m still forming my thoughts on it. I can see how if Types & Shadows is your favorite Wolves album that this would be a disappointment. For me, I found it a slow burn after XvX, disappointed with it at first, but then a few of the songs really connected with me into becoming all time favorites. Zac, you mentioned hearing RED in this album, like with Face to Face, and I can totally see that. While listening to Eclipse, I got strong vibes of Skillet’s Collide album, and Blindside’s Silence, and less… Read more »

thenorthsea

Having listened to Eclipse all weekend, I think I have a better idea on how I feel about it. Overall, I think it’s a solid album from beginning to end, and none of the songs stick out for me to skip any of them, but it’s lacking something for me to consider it an excellent album. The first three songs really get the album going on a high note, but after “History” it does blend a bit together for me. Not bad at all, but I wouldn’t put them on a WatG best of playlist. I’d probably rate the album… Read more »

Paul

Good sounds. Not sure where it falls in their best albums list but I dig it.

Brian H

I have been listening to this for a few weeks already, bought it directly from the band at Audiofeed. I would say at least 4/5. It starts really strong and drops off a bit later on, but is overall terrific like their other albums. The live show with a fifth member is just crushing.

Jonathan

Not sure what album you listened to. Types & Shadows was experimental. I think their weakest album to date. I say that as Wolves at the Gate is my favorite band. Eclipse is easily their best to date. There isn’t a single song that I see myself hitting the next button to skip over. Think it is one of the best albums I have ever heard from start to finish. Lyrics are on point, and vocals and musically it is amazing and they added some strings in on a song and added some electric guitar solo’s. Best Album of the… Read more »

Derek O.

wut

John

Man, I agree for the most part, but I’ve got to say that I don’t agree that “Types & Shadows” was their best album. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great album, but I don’t go back to it much. Having said that, I feel like “Eclipse” is a much more cohesive album musically, lyrically and thematically. For me there was just something lacking on “Types & Shadows” that had been present on “Captors” and “VxV.” I think a lot of it was solid, catchy hooks. Not to say that “Types & Shadows” didn’t have any, but it also just… Read more »

Brian

Wholeheartedly agree on this depiction of their past albums. I am looking forward to experiencing this new album! 3/5 rating though sounds like it’s just going to be ok.

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