Gallows: Desolation Sounds

review gallows x1 cong

We never liked Gallows much. They were a punk band that decided to be the most punk band ever, like Steve Irwin deciding being the Ozziest Australian. The music Press loved front man Frank Carter but now he’s gone, leaving to form an ill-fated venture that was “destined to change music” but disappeared without trace. His brother Steph has left, too. We were expecting this to be awful, tempered by the fact that they’ve got former Alexisonfire front man Wade MacNeil on vocals.
In fact, this is really good. Admittedly perhaps not what you’d play as party music but a powerful album. It’s no longer punk, instead being somewhere between thrash and Goth.
Gone are lyrics about life in broken Britain and instead they’ve gone all concept and gothic. And despite the thrash there’s a lot of melody, too. Well, not “a lot”. Some.
Opener Mystic Death is one of the more metal tracks, with hardcore vocals but some melody in there, and what’s practically a chorus. It’s a song to get the mosh pit going.
Desolation Sounds is track two and introduces the Goth, mixed with a swampy American sound. Leviathon Rot opens with monster riff and spoken word and gets the hardcore back on track. Chains starts off quietly but descends into metal screaming; Bonfire Season ditto but veers towards the swampy Goth, while Leather Crown combines screamo with punk drumming. Death Valley Blue is a grungier, garage take on QOTSA’s rock blues.
The album closes with Swan Song, saying there won’t be one and especially that this is not it. It closes with a scary noise so be careful if you play it. A powerful album that fans of punk and thrash alike should take a listen to.

About jerobear

Weekly newspaper editor in Cheshire, England. I blog my editorials and the CDs I write about. I play drums, drink coffee, play music, meditate. I hate filling in forms.

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