Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Gallows: " Desolate Sounds"

On first  listen this album confused me so that I had to go back and listen to the band's first album "Orchestra of Wolves" to figure out what happened. It's a change to the magnitude of that AFI made. Several elements contributed to this such as the fact they now have Alexisonfire singer Wade Mcneil on the mic brought about some of the changes.The herky jerky guitar carries some sentiment of the band they used to be , despite the big chorus of "Even bad dreams are too good for you". The title track is very influenced by New Model Army  and a little more punk. The more screamed vocals have more of a metal feel to them and the distorted filter slapped on in post-production adds to this. They get heavier with "Leviathan Rot" its more metal than hardcore, despite the gang vocals that crop up, reminding me of the song from"Cry Little Sister" from Lost Boys. I like the darker turn they take on "Chains"  such as the inclusion of female vocals."Bonfire Season" returns to the rock n roll guitar tone. The vocals smooth over into actual singing again. Social Distortion is another reference point, though this strikes me as darker than what they do. A rough coat of grunge rusts the edges of the song.

'Leather Crown"  has a more punk drive to it. They give a Thelemic wink with 93/93, which is the secret hand shake of thelemites. They sing " love is the law, love under will" which is the most typical Crowley quote. But it's a decent song as well." Death Valley Blue" is a well written song, but when it comes to the big rock chorus I guess I am surprised these guys are as radio ready as Avenged Sevenfold, I seem to remember them being more actual punk. Cease to Exist is not unlike something Brand New might pull out. But it is well executed and written so it's hard to argue against it if you are not invested in what this band used to be. It closes with " Swan Song" that is harder and the drumming sounds like it could have come from the first album the main thing that has changed being the vocals and the more metal guitar tone. Overall this album sounds good and it has some songs on it that I really like and  more or less none that are fast forward classics. I'll give it an 8.5 and see if I feel the need to shift it over onto the iPod. If you are a fan of the direction the band has gone with Wade then you will like this one too and even round it up to a 9.

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