Monday 27 April 2009

Gallows: Grey Britain


Grey Britain Release date: 4th May 2009

Grey Britain opens with the bleak sounds of the River Thames; a rising crescendo of strings unfolds and subsides into powerful guitars. Gallows are back, with a vengeance. London is the Reason is classic Gallows, matching the vibrant energy of debut Orchestra of Wolves with a darker timbre. The end of this song is spectacular, a frenzied mix of frenetic guitars and gang vocals. Leeches and Black Eyes are similar bursts of hardcore.

Next up is an anthem, definitely a stand out track on the album: I Dread the Night. A chaotic riff-laden concoction with pounding drums, this track certainly is “serious as a heart attack”. Carrying on in a similar vein, Death Voices gives way to a haunting piano and strings section. This leads well into Act I of The Vulture, an acoustic track where vocalist Frank Carter makes a temporary departure from his harsh-throated yells, singing tenderly instead. Following this tranquil interlude, Act II, a more intense, rockier version of the song, has a greater impact on the listener.

A wail of sirens signals the start of The Riverbed, one of the heavier songs on the album. This continues with The Great Forgiver, a severe detonation of hardcore. Biffy Clyro frontman Simon Neil makes an effective appearance on Graves, his ethereal vocals augmenting the overall timbre of the track. Chugging guitars on Queensberry Rules culminate in a evocatively grand ending. The forbidding strains of a string section paired with piano set the scene for Misery, offset by more gang vocals and heavy bass. Some excellent guitarwork on Crucif**ks is followed by a phenomenally beautiful orchestral section. This is an appropriately epic ending for one of the best rock albums of the decade; Grey Britain definitely lives up to the hype.

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