There' s something special that happens when just the right people come together at just the right time with a like-minded goal. Such is the case with the rapidly emerging post-hardcore outfit Wolves at the Gate. "We aren't trying to appease anybody." says guitarist/vocalist Steve Cobucci, "If we never get to play music for a living, this is awesome." Saying this, Cobucci is speaking of the bands explosive "We Are The Ones" EP. However, with the imminent re-release of that EP via Solid State Records, things are about to get very busy for the enthusiastic 5 piece.
Originating from the small town of Cedarville Ohio, the men of Wolves at the Gate never saw themselves ending up here. Forming in 2008, each member was on a completely different track in life. While all attending college in Cedarville, music was a passion for each individual, but wasn't where they saw their lives going. "I got my degree in History Education." says Cobucci "Jeremy got his degree is communications, Ben got his degree in marketing and I actually taught high school history for a year" However, as it turned out, there was more in the cards for the hopeful college students than looking for a job after graduation. "I was always going to shows and seeing bands perform. I always loved being the listener. Listening to it so much though, I really wanted to create my own version of all the music I liked. Just to combine all the things I really appreciate about music." This drive led Cobucci to join with vocalist Colin Jones, bassist Ben Summers, guitarist Jeremy Steckel and drummer Ben Millhouse to form… Goodnight Doctor? Cobucci explains: "The first few shows we ever played we were called "Goodnight Doctor" That was a phrase my dad would say when he would stub his toe or bang his head on something and we thought that was hilarious, but when we realized we wanted to start trying to be a real band we wanted something that had a real meaning to it." And meaning they got. The origins of the name "Wolves at the Gate" are explained by Cobucci: "The name comes from the bible in Acts 20 24-32." He continues to explain the verse which is spoken in whole on the first track of the bands EP- "Toward the end of that passage Paul says that there will be a time that savage wolves will try to come in and try to distort the truth, and that's just what we see today. People not giving a clear depiction of the gospel, so as it says in our album, we aren't the wolves at the gate, we are the ones who face them."
From that point on, the band had a unified mindset, started writing better songs and set out to put their ideas to tape. The group jumped into recording their EP with an impassioned fervor. "It was pretty grueling." reminisces Cobucci, "We all worked full time jobs, so basically for about a month we would go to work, then be at the studio until 3 in the morning, then back to work at 7:30 in the morning." The result of this diligent schedule would become the exceptional "We Are The Ones" EP. An intense and equally moving piece of work, We Are The Ones is an exciting look at a band with creativity completely flowing out of them and striving to give it a proper outlet. The first track/intro does an exceptional job of setting the tone of what's to come while at the same time making the clearest statement possible about the hearts of the men playing the instruments. Next is Vapors- a high-energy assault right out of the gate before turning the corner with an ending of soaring vocal melodies and equally big guitar playing. The tracks following do an uncanny job of carrying the listener from one peak to an equally impressive and dynamic valley, all leading up to the closer Oh The Depths. This lead single from the EP holds a special place in the bands heart… as well as well as the hearts of some lucky fans as well. Cobucci explains: "I remember once we got the gang vocals done at the end of Oh The Depths, that was really special. We wanted to build a sense of community within the sound of it, so we posted on our Twitter and Facebook that if anyone wanted to come sing on our record to come on down. We posted it only about an hour before we wanted to track it, but there were over 30 people that showed up to sing. It was really special." This moment tops off a piece of work filled with an amount of urgency and feeling so big, that it can't help but shine through.
Looking forward to the future, Cobucci says the band is anticipating going different directions with their craft. "We are extremely proud of our EP, but we are all about our music progressing. It's not fair for the listener for us to keep doing the same thing with different chords. We are really looking forward to getting into a legitimate studio and working with people who are really going to push us." Already having music in the works for the future doesn't dampen the excitement that the band has to finally be able to showcase We Are The Ones on a bigger scale though, via a re-release from Solid State Records. "We got an email from Solid State and we didn't think it was real. We thought it was a mass email telling us to buy new albums or something. We couldn't be more excited to be part of the family." The chance to have a more widespread audience and be able to spread their message to a growing number of people is something that couldn't come soon enough for these 5 Ohio natives. With a tone that can't hope to hide his excitement, Cobucci exclaims: "We just want to get on the road! We just want to get out there and support the EP as much as possible."
When the perfect group of people come together with an idea to create something, something bigger than themselves, something beyond any one of them individually, extraordinary things can happen. Something extraordinary has happened…in the form of Wolves at the Gate… and they're just getting started
Kramer Lowe - Vocals Jared Storm - Guitar Alex Smith - Guitar Michael Taylor - Bass Sammy Vaughn - Drums
Armed with progressive anthems and songs propelled by a sense of utter urgency, Forevermore, who are newly signed to Solid State Records, are on a focused, metallic mission.
The individual members of Forevermore may be familiar to fans of Christian metal. Vocalist Kramer Lowe did time in Onward to Olympas, while guitarists Alex Smith and Jared Storm were members of The Onset prior to Forevermore. Bassist Michael Taylor played guitar in Wings of Martyr. While the members cut their teeth in other projects, Forevermore has proven to be the outlet for which they were destined.
"None of our old bands were great, but I feel like we have been able to combine some of the best elements of each of our old bands into the Forevermore sound," Storm muses.
That "Forevermore sound" he speaks of is guitar-driven -- a post-metalcore style played with surgical precision. Telos, the band's upcoming record and label debut, offers up thinking man's metal that will also satisfy the simpler urges of the headbanger that prefers a visceral and physical listening experience.
"The whole philosophy and the writing mentality for this band is to attempt to create music which strikes a balance between being interesting and enjoyable," Storm says, breaking their collective approach down to its base parts. "We want our songs to have enough creative elements to intrigue more analytical listeners while retaining enough intensity, feel and melody to appeal to a wider, more casual audience. Most of our favorite metal bands have been ones which have managed to incorporate both sides of this equation to a high degree, and our goal is to try to achieve this balance through a unique combination of elements from various metal subgenres."
"Telos" is Greek for end, purpose or goal. "The album attempts to draw the listener's attention towards things that are of greatest importance, and to challenge them to consider one's life in light of its ultimate goal or purpose," Storm explains. "On a deeper level, it raises the question of whether one's life does indeed have any ultimate purpose or significance; a question for which the answer is largely dependent on one's fundamental worldview or beliefs about ultimate reality. The concept that the word 'Telos' encapsulates should prompt us to consider the implications that our fundamental worldview has on these questions about life's ultimate purpose, and to reflect on how they should influence the way we live our lives."
The song "Force Fed" was a bit of an experiment that forced Storm out of his songwriting comfort zone. "In the past I have always written using a program called TabIt, which allows you to tab out and playback compositions in MIDI," he explains. "But during the writing process for this album, I began to demo out some ideas with real instruments to get a better idea of how the final product would actually sound. 'Force Fed' was the first song that I've written solely by recording the ideas as I write them rather than putting them into TabIt. This method has its pros and cons, but the main benefit is that it reduces the problem that comes from trying to imagine how songs written in MIDI will actually end up sounding with real instruments."
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