During the course of life, we’re constantly waging a war within ourselves. While most can’t see how much of a toll that this takes on someone, it’s a never-ending struggle. The war between right and wrong, good and evil. With each decision we make, we’re taking ourselves down a path and the influences that people have on us can make a great deal of difference in whether that path is right or wrong. There are many different ways that this war can be fought, whether it be a struggle with an addiction, a struggle with faith (or lack thereof) or constant battles of the mind. For Meet Me at the Gates, the theme is that of good vs. evil and they aim to get their point across, both musically and lyrically. With their new single, “Life In Two,” they have shown just how well a slight line-up change can make all the difference. Armed with new clean vocalist Derek Ruggia’s incredible voice, these Midwest boys are primed to take over their scene, along with the rest of the nation… and eventually, the world.
This track wastes no time in bearing it’s sharp teeth, as vocalist Matt Parham explodes with some incredibly powerful, mid-range screams. Quickly, though, he switches up to some lower growls that begin to show the diversity in what he does. Primary songwriter, founder and lead guitarist Jason LeBouton lays the foundation for the chorus with some memorable riffs, where clean vocalist/guitarist Derek Ruggia comes in and shows what he can do. The band does a great job of creating a foreboding atmosphere, with which to spread their message, as the track has a sense of immediacy that can’t be denied. Beyond anything, though, they show just how tight-knit they are, as a unit and as individuals. This track has something for every fan in the metalcore/post-hardcore genres… from meaningful lyrics and catchy choruses to powerful chugs and ear-catching riffs. The video for the track, seen below, shows the band in a forest setting with 2 characters (one representing good, one representing evil) in their struggles, as the band performs. I’ve gotten chills every single time I’ve heard this track, but none more than the bridge, which takes the track down a notch and brings Ruggia’s vocals to center stage.
Meet Me at the Gates is a band that has impressed me from first listen and, I’m proud to say that I don’t see that changing. As the band continues to grow as a unit, the individual members practice and get more talented, gain more influences and bring out the potential that you can feel that they have from the start. What will the rest of the EP have in store for us, though? Keep your eyes peeled for another exclusive review, detailing that at a later date. Above all, though, do yourselves a favor and check this band out… you’ll thank me later!
Derek Ruggia – Clean Vocals/Guitar
Matt Parham – Screams
Jason LeBouton – Lead Guitar/Songwriter
? – Bass
Joey Markey – Drums