Gallows - Death Is Birth Review

If there is a criticism to be made of Death Is Birth, the loss of Frank as a frontman has made Gallows lose a little bit of their uniqueness.

rating: 3.5

The news earlier this year that Gallows€™ infamous frontman Frank Carter was to part ways with the band and be replaced by Wade McNeil of recently broken-up Canadian post-hardcore royalty Alexisonfire shook the band€™s fanbase. Frank no doubt was an incredible lead singer, helping the band€™s reputation as a fearsome live act spread far and wide, as he became known for giving 200% at every show, regardless of whether it was a tiny club gig or in front of 20,000 people at Reading/Leeds festivals. Inevitably, many fans were apprehensive to say the least about the future of the band, and you only have to look on online message boards to see some of the comments about the death of the band and how they could never equal their past glories. Fast forward six months, and the band have released their first EP of original material since Frank€™s departure, and it stands as a clear middle finger to those who claimed the band were to be no more. From the title to the lyrical content, there is an overwhelming theme of rebirth to the EP. These four songs represent a new chapter of the Gallows story, and based on them, there is still a bright future ahead for the band. True Colours will be the most familiar track to fans, as it was released as a taster track a few months ago. A 40 second burst of hardcore, it displays everything €˜new€™ Gallows is about, powerful music full of anger. Wade€™s voice has a raw quality to it which suits the band perfectly, although it is somewhat strange to hear a band that were previously focused on very British themes (see 2009€™s Grey Britain) singing about July 4th. Opening track Mondo Chaos, with its expletive ridden chorus of €˜fuck the world€™ gives this reincarnation of Gallows a mantra to live by; it is obvious they are making the music they want to instead of what people are trying to pigeonhole them into. Again, it is a great showcase for Wade€™s voice, and the strength of the other four band members who many fans appear to have forgotten about with the furore over Frank€™s departure. This is an important point to realise €“ Gallows is a band. Frank may have been the enigmatic face of the band, but he was not the sole member, nor was he the main creative force. The instrumental portion of Gallows continues to throw out punishing riffs on this EP, with Hate! Hate! Hate! sounding like it could have easily fit on the band€™s debut, Orchestra of Wolves. Whilst it may take fans a while to get used to the new vocal sound of Gallows, the backing is the same band, and it is as tight as it€™s always been. If there is a criticism to be made of Death Is Birth, the loss of Frank as a frontman has made Gallows lose a little bit of their uniqueness, as Wade€™s voice isn€™t quite as distinct, and the two previous releases with Frank contain better songs, but that is to be expected when comparing two full albums to a ten minute EP. In spite of this, there are four very strong tracks on this EP, and I personally am eagerly anticipating the band€™s first full release with Wade in the near future. The rumours of Gallows€™ demise have been greatly exaggerated. Death is Birth EP by Gallows is available from today.

Multimedia journalism student at Bournemouth University, my dream is to one day be paid to lie in bed, listen to music, and go to gigs. Follow me on Twitter @dandonnelly_ or find me on @DanDy57.