Gallows – Grey Britain Review

Gallows – Grey Britain

2009’s Grey Britain is the seminal sophomore album (and Magnum Opus) by the unique British Hardcore Punk band Gallows. It was their major label debut and final album to feature original singer Frank Carter.

It was released through Warner Brothers, who gave the band a substantial budget which allowed them to hire an orchestra, and despite now being beholden to a major label, Gallows somehow managed to turn in something nastier, more artistically relevant and furiously biting than anyone could want or expect. It was produced by Garth Richardson (of Biffy Clyro, Rise Against, Mudvayne, Sick Of It All and Testament fame) and featured guest appearances from Biffy Clyro’s Simon Neil and Black Hole’s Richard Carter.

The album, in terms of quality, is an absolute gem. The combination of monster riffs, savage and politically astute lyrics, passionate energetic performances and the great deal of variety and clever ideas make this album feel like an absolute classic.

Everything; from the crushing sludgy intro “The Riverbank,” to the catchy “The Vulture” and the almost Mastodon-esque album closer “Crucifucks” this album is excellent. Pianos and string sections mix with Metalcore influenced breakdowns, ragged Hardcore power and some of the best lyrics going. Its all absolute gold. There is no filler, no weak moments and an absolute feast of memorable moments. Moments like the ‘beat by beat as the blows reign down’ section in “Death Voices” or the ending to the anti-Knife Crime anthem “Queensbury Rules” are utterly unforgettable and really connect on a raw, gut level. When Frank venomously spits out the lyrics to “Misery” you practically fear for his life.

Its hard to pick stand-out moments because this is such a powerful, effective and consistent album that every song can be your favourite song at one time or another. It also gets better and better with each new listen and is a real grower. Every song is excellent on its own, but when combined they come together as a sort of menacing black-hearted semi concept album that is even better than the sum of its parts.

Overall; this is an utterly superb album on every level and I highly recommend that you pick yourself up a copy. The sheer raw passion oozes through every moment of the album and the themes of urban discontent, violence and the breakdown of society all come across as brutally visceral and honest, never for a moment feeling contrived. This is an artistic masterpiece and deserves to be hailed as a classic album from this point on.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s