Gallows
Desolation Sounds


3.5
great

Review

by ScottAndrij USER (2 Reviews)
April 9th, 2015 | 27 replies


Release Date: 04/13/2015 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Determined to distance themselves from their past - Gallows have created their most ambitious album to date, whilst leading themselves slightly astray along the way.

It wasn't that long ago when the signs were looking grim for Gallows. Following the departure of singer Frank Carter in 2011 (whom many considered to be the foundation of their sound), Gallows were faced with the option of fading into obscurity or soldiering on. Choosing the latter, the band went on to write their testosterone fueled self titled record in 2012 with a new frontman; guitarist and back up vocalist of Alexisonfire - Wade MacNeil. Shortly after, guitarist Stephen Carter departed from the band, leaving the band to hark back to their formative days as a four piece for the recording of Desolation Sounds.

'Mystic Death' opens the record sounding like a statement. The power chord worshipping, suit wearing, British flag waving Gallows of yesterday is nowhere to be found in the track - with a dissonant guitar riff reminiscent of a Black Sabbath meets black metal hybrid being the first thing listeners are presented with. "Cut the cord, walk into the sky," MacNeil touts before the track finishes in familiar hardcore punk territory. The line can be seen as symbolic of the new paths Gallows attempt to tread through within the course of the album.

The path of experimentation continues in tracks like 'Leviathan Rot', a distortion drenched, sludgy monolith of a track which finds comparisons from guitarist Laurent Barnard's other musical outlet, Krokodil. 'Chains' opens with a delay and reverb drenched guitar track accompanied with female vocals, before turning into a full on melodic hardcore assault. MacNeil's claims of "Sham rock 'n roll," could easily have come across as cheesy and manufactured, but are delivered in a manner which appears fitting and effective - proving as one of the highlights of the album. Lead single 'Bonfire Season' is an interesting track for the band, sounding like an ode to Gothic imagery. It starts off a little shaky, but they eventually find their feet and deliver one of the most memorable choruses of their careers. The equally melodic 'Death Valley Blue' feels right at home next to more straight forward tracks like 'Leather Crown', proving the band has more tricks up their sleeves than your average hardcore punk band.

Unfortunately with experimentation, many bands come across missteps before they reach a successful compromise from their original sound. Whilst Gallows successfully tread new ground on Desolation sounds, they manage to produce some awkward moments as well. The title track begins with a timid staccato based riff before joining with some unusually high vocals from MacNeil. "There's hope in desolation, it's a familiar sound," MacNeil optimistically states. Disappointingly, the track begins to stagnate into mediocrity just as it starts to pull you in, favoring a formulaic song writing approach instead of following a more adventurous suit like the rest of the album. 'Cease to Exist' presents an interesting instrumental atmosphere which the band hasn't ventured down in the past, but lyrics like "You are the forest, i'm lost in the trees,' bring down any hints of imagination the band attempts to present.

Gallows have created an album filled with artistic ambition and flairs of brilliance, but at the same time come across as sounding a little lost. Having already created the straight forward hardcore punk record 'Gallows' with their new frontman, Desolation Sounds comes across as a natural and admirable progression for Gallows - a band desperate to outlive the shadow of their previous successes. But if there is a next time around, they need to be more meticulous with distinguishing which new sounds actually work for them from those that come across as a little bit forced. Gallows could present the most refined and focused record of their career in their next effort but for now, this acts as a great dose of the Gallows of new.


user ratings (70)
Chart.
3.2
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
linguist2011
Contributing Reviewer
April 9th 2015


2568 Comments


Nice review, a couple of things I thought I'd note:

"The power chord worshiping"

*worshipping*

Other thing that's slightly bugging me is that I think the last sentence should be tacked on to the end of the penultimate paragraph, just so it doesn't read like an isolated sentence.

I haven't heard anything post-"Grey Britain", and I distinctly remember enjoying that record a bit around the time of its release. I should give this a try and see if the band have improved in any way or maintained their consistency.

Digging: Cult Leader - A Patient Man

owen
April 9th 2015


5145 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Ah so it is decent atleast

I'm more excited to hear Frank's new hardcore punk album though

ScottAndrij
April 10th 2015


23 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Thanks, this is my first crack at a full scale review so i appreciate the input.



I enjoyed their self titled album more than anything from the Frank era, but i understand why people aren't a fan of Wade. When you replace an extremely British sounding singer with a Canadian, naturally, not everyone's going to like it.



Will have to check out Franks record when its out, find it a little bit strange he's going back to hardcore though.

owen
April 10th 2015


5145 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

The band's called Frank & The Rattlesnakes

They only have released one song so far, which sounds like something off Orchestra of Wolves

Dolving999
April 10th 2015


1803 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Chains is the shit though.

Digging: Azusa - Heavy Yoke

ScottAndrij
April 11th 2015


23 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Definitely the best track on here. Which is a shame since it dropped about a year ago..

whollyghost
April 12th 2015


27 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Cease to Exist is awesome.

NoSons
April 13th 2015


146 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I really enjoy this LP.

habster3
April 16th 2015


16 Comments


Good review. I'll definitely have to take a listen. I still really miss their Frank years, but what they've released since his departure hasn't been too bad.

owen
April 16th 2015


5145 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

What is the reason behind putting that damn screamer in the end? Whoever thought of that is a fucking asshole, so annoying.


woah I thought it was added to the leak, but it's on the official stream as well

helpoemer420
April 24th 2015


188 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

it took me a few but oh man this rules so hard

ChrisManchester
April 27th 2015


3 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Bonfire Season is so haunting and disturbing, definitely my favourite off that album. I don't like it as much as I like the self-titled one, but it's still really good! The guitar-work still makes it sound like Gallows, even though everything about it is not really that British anymore.

DatsNotDaMetulz
May 1st 2015


3770 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

http://www.clashmusic.com/features/premiere-frank-carter-the-rattlesnakes-rotten-ep



Just so you know, Frank's doing his own hardcore thing too.

DrGonzo1937
Contributing Reviewer
May 29th 2015


14896 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I don't even know why they're still called the Gallows, they sound like Alexisonfire on this.

DrGonzo1937
Contributing Reviewer
May 29th 2015


14896 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Also, Frank Carter's new project sounds very promising. That other shit he was doing was just wut?

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
July 14th 2015


22486 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

Not everything works & I ultimately prefer the self-titled, but you can't help but get the feeling that Gallows are on to something here.

L4titudes
July 31st 2015


3617 Comments


No Frank = No Gallows

Attention shifted to The Rattlesnakes

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
July 31st 2015


22486 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

Now a quartet following the departure of a 2nd Carter (guitarist Steph), English hardcore act Gallows look to spread their wings on 4th LP 'Desolation Sounds'. With snarling, gravel-voiced front-man Wade MacNeil as ferocious as ever, there's a rather unsettling atmosphere here; about halfway between menacing & gothic. Ambitious in its complexity & diversity (especially for the genre), not everything works on what is already a concise 35 minutes worth. But while it's inferior to its predecessor, you can't help but get the feeling that Gallows are on to something here. Recommended Tracks: Leather Crown, Bonfire Season, Mystic Death & Death Valley Blue.



TooManyFriends
September 24th 2015


2938 Comments


leviathan rot is a sweet norma jean song

anarchistfish
January 17th 2016


26704 Comments


didn't know this came out



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