For those that read all of my reviews (and let’s be honest: it’s a great idea), I have a continued aversion to breakdowns for the sake of breakdowns. There is clearly a great place for them, but they are like tequila – a little goes a long way. All of my ranting over the issue leads me to a great example of why I harp so much on them: Captors is a metalcore album void of breakdowns, and it shines in part because of this aspect. Wolves at the Gate offers up a brand of metalcore that is influenced almost equally by early era Oh, Sleeper and Thrice, and like both bands, it knows how to write songs that make you think and feel the music. Captors is quite the journey, and the listener will be more than happy to tag along with Wolves at the Gate. After the first four tracks, you think you have the band pegged as merely a highly melodic form of metalcore; however, the next three tracks showcase the musical range the band has in its repertoire. “In Your Wake”, “Slaves”, and “Step Out to the Water” each feature spine-tingling moments that ooze the passion the band puts in its music. Also, they feature a progressive songwriting approach that flows throughout the remainder of the album, allowing the beauty and the beast to flow in and out of each song instead of relying heavily on the standard overused formula. The lyrics are another highlight, as the band forgoes fake fury and teenage melodrama for singing about hope, salvation, and perseverance. “Dead Man” can be enjoyed both for its melodic fervor as well as its poignant retelling of the parable of The Prodigal Son. The only minor problem is so small that it barely warrants mentioning. The production puts the snare drum a tad bit high in the mix, which works very well for drum-centric groups like Norma Jean and Oh, Sleeper, but there are a couple moments when it is irritating. If this sounds like a fan-boy rant, I assure you that Captors is the surprise record of 2012. Before this album, the band seemed to be merely a highly competent band that could write some guilty pleasure heavy music; instead, the band has written an album that serves as a pressing reminder that metalcore is not yet dead; instead, these Wolves are at the Gate, ready to stand their ground and fight for what they love. – by Nicholas Senior
>> Classification: Higher Purpose Metalcore
>> Recommended Tracks: “Dead Man”, “Slaves” and “Step Out to the Water”
>> In Conclusion: There is no question that Captors has captured me with its earnest lyrics, passionate music, and intelligent delivery. For those that preferred metalcore before bro-style breakdowns took over, welcome to your new favorite band.