Verdict: 4 / 5
Many people in the music industry and amongst fan groups often believe that lead singers get far too much credit. They are often the “face” of the band; the most noticeable aspect of it initially, and yet this idea may leave many talented contributions of the other members in the shadows. Despite this, however much truth there may be in it, it’s certainly not an easy thing to change your lead singer and still present yourself as the same band. But with a band like Gallows, this change has shown us that they are simply the same band travelling in a new direction.
In 2009, Gallows released its second album, Grey Britain, and surged to quite a high level of fame, especially amongst the hardcore punk scene. In 2011, singer Frank Carter announced that he would be leaving the band, and soon after he was replaced by Alexisonfire singer/guitarist Wade McNeil. This newest, self-title album is the first major release from this new line-up, so the aim of this album is not only to prove that Gallows still has it, but that McNeil is a worthy replacement that can maintain the spirit of the band.
This aim is kept firmly in mind it seems, as McNeil starts hitting you hard from the first track, a few seconds in. Energetic, violent and forceful; he launches an assault on the senses definitely proving his spirited hard rocking convictions. From the second track though, the typical style of Gallows presents itself musically again and there can be no doubt that this is the same band. In my opinion, having improved itself somewhat, for Carter as a singer seemed to find himself often singing in a grey, melancholy, Emo area. This is an area McNeil for the most part just steamrolls over, keeping the fire and spirit alive for the album, making the whole experience far more energetic on a whole.
Gallows (both the album and the band) have a lot to offer both heavy metal fans and heavy punk fans, giving us an album as frenetically active as it is musically pleasing.