If it was not for the curiosity that writing for this blog creates in me, I would probably never have given the new album from Gallows a chance. Being a UK hardcore band is a plus in my book but not being signed to a major label and having a singer that uses to be in Alexisonfire. Even if I do have a soft spot for melody and energetic riffs with a modern production, it is limited to Every Time I Die and the third Architects album.
Gallows might feature in the collection of many fans of these bands but Desolation sounds actually sounds closer to later era the Hope Conspiracy. The mix of hardcore and rock and roll is not as angry but as catchy thanks to a production that pushes forward every melodies without losing the energy. The drums pulse through the track with the same steadiness found on solid punk rock albums. However, what Gallows plays falls in between hardcore, emo and rock. The kind of sound that makes old farts feel much older but that remains quite refreshing because of how effective the hooks are.
On Mystic death the sugary chorus is balanced by the roughness of the vocals whereas on Leviathan rot Gallows shows its inner Converge for a more bruising track followed by Chains, one of the catchiest and most melodic tune of the album, stadium rock for the hardcore crowd. However, my favourite is the fifth, thanks to it’s sad and melodic chorus recalling Most Precious Blood‘s unsung classic, Our lady of annihilation. A great variety of emotions that’s held together by a modern production. Everything is processed to the maximum but the instruments don’t loose their natural sound thanks to some well deserved delay on the drums; and some thick guitars that feels like someone is actually pushing a mediator through the strings and not pushing a button on a mixing board.
Last but not least, Gallows keeps things short on Desolation sounds with a little more than just thirty minutes of music for ten tracks of hardcore and roll. No need to put more tracks when you have enough diversity to entertain with catchy choruses and some solid song writing. Desolation sounds seems to have divided old and new fans of the band but since it’s the first time I have actually spend time enjoying a Gallows album I found myself among the lovers rather than the haters. There is no guilt involved in the enjoyment of Desolation sound, it’s just a solid rock records done by hardcore musicians who know how to write some great hooks.