Review Summary: Gallows “II” peer out of their nest, and jump
As far as British rock music goes, there haven’t been many recent events as controversial, as fiercely discussed and as divisive as the choice to replace Gallows beloved Frank Carter with a non-British vocalist. This was for sure a guarantee there’d be a change in sound, and so it seemed with last year’s Death Is Birth
, a brazen and raw departure from the more varied and thought out sounds of Gallows’ magnum opus, Grey Britain
. Unfortunately, the quality of Gallows’ previous albums was absent, generally breaking the hopes of those willing to let the “new” Gallows have a chance to prove themselves and apparently proving the doubters correct. At best, it created an even bigger division between the fan-base.
Less than a year on and Gallows are back with their first full length with Wade MacNeil. In hindsight, Death Is Birth
seems more like a growing pain than a permanent tumble into mediocrity. Although they seem impatient to keep releasing new music under their new guise, Gallows seem to be growing up again faster than expected. Though a continuation of the sound marked on Death Is Birth
is a punchier, more interesting and overall much better release. The riffs chunkier and the vocals more dynamic, unlike the muddied distortion of last year’s EP, Gallows’ 3rd full length has succeeded in providing a pummelling collection of energy laden songs. It’s obvious that Gallows are determined to write heavier and sweatier music than ever before, and only now does it seem possible that more and more people might be tempted to join the cause.
Of course, that’s not to say Gallows
isn’t flawed. Wade MacNeil still appears to be the weak link in the band- his monotonously gruff vocals and cringingly “macho” lyrics taking the backseat to the instruments, where the real quality lies. Guitar solos riding in sync to the music and the variations in vocals also provide something more to chew on, which Death Is Birth
was never allowed. Between the background gang vocals, individual band members providing their own small parts or even the occasional times a female vocal has its part, they all, unfortunately for Gallows’ new image, steal the limelight from Wade MacNeil’s screaming. Though these heighten the overall quality of the music, they highlight this broken link in the chain.
No doubt some will still shun the new Gallows sound, but with Gallows
, others may start to feel themselves being won over. The band’s songwriting ability is improving rapidly again but where it will go from here- plateau out, drop again or possibly, maybe even climb back up to Gallows’ golden age again- would appear irrelevant to the band. Because for sure, their determination to do and write what they want no matter the backlash will drive them forward no matter what.