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Album Review: Gallows - Death Is Birth EP

Gallows return to the fold with a new EP, a new frontman in Wade MacNeil (formerly of Alexisonfire) and a return to their sometime residence at Thirty Days Of Night Records. The EP itself is four tracks of punk-infused hardcore that clocks in at just over seven minutes in total. It is hard to make a full judgement on the band’s new sound, but the difference in vocals and general swagger will undoubtedly be the main talking point of this release.

‘Mondo Chaos’ is a fantastic opening gambit by the band. It has the musical swagger of Gallows of old flavored with a new edge courtesy of the vocal delivery of MacNeil. Some fans will undoubtedly find it hard to get past the fact that he isn’t Frank Carter, but a little scratch at the surface will reveal the same aggression and similar bile-filled lyrics you’d expect from one of Britain’s most “hateful bands”. When MacNeil screams “Hey, you say F**k the world, I say it’s already f**ked”, you can’t help but think of tracks like ‘Misery’ from their back catalog. It’s a similar story for ‘Hate!Hate!Hate!’ and ‘Death Is Birth’ where the guitars of Barnard and Carter play off each other with furious intent.

Apart from the obvious accent differences, the other change in the Gallows sound is more subtle, a slightly stronger lean to the punk side of the spectrum. On the title-track in particular you could almost mistake the band for Cancer Bats. The only down side to the EP is the re-working of earlier single release ‘True Colours’, though it’s still a great track, the slight twinges have had a negative effect on the track, taking away from the fury of its first outing.

‘Death Is Birth’ will prove to be divisive, with the more narrow-minded listener struggling to get over the change in vocals, while new fans will undoubtedly be drawn to the new direction. ‘Death Is Birth’ should be treated as an introduction to a new lease of life, and if approached in the right way is a good listen.


‘Death Is Birth’ is out now.

Dan Issitt

Alter The Press!