Gallows fans may very well hunt me down and crucify me for what I’m about to say which, by the way, causes me actually physical pain to do so, but there’s simply no escaping this comparison. While opener ‘Mystic Death’ starts with punishing riffs akin to ‘Queensbury Rules’, gaining momentum like an iron boulder throughout the verses, as soon it the chorus drops it turns into a boppy, jump fest with the EXACT SAME RIFF from My Chemical Romance‘s ‘Na Na Na’.
This is not a joke. This is not a troll. I am so sorry to be the one who has to tell you this, but you should note that this is a catchy as hell song regardless of the infavourable comparison. Sadly, disappointment ensues, as the following title-track lacks the trademark Gallows vitriol and aggression, proving more groovy than hate filled.
Now, after the two lacklustre opening tracks, you’ll probably be left noticeably underwhelmed, but fear not, for Gallows soon replace that somewhat sour taste in your mouth with the familiar salty taste of blood with the jaw-breaking, bass knuckled punch of ‘Leviathan Riot’. The punches on ‘Desolation Sounds’ are used sparingly, a left jab with ‘Chains’ followed eventually by a devastating uppercut of ’93/93′. Think of this album as a tactical boxer, timing his punches precisely and to maximum effect rather than doling out a merciless onslaught you would expect from a UFC cage fighter.
Gallows have always wreaked havoc to their own tune, developing their own style rendering a comparison useless in most cases. However, should a post-hardcore spectrum exist, you would place this particular Gallows album closer towards the likes of Cancer Bats and drifting further from the dystopian bleak-ridden lyrics of Brotherhood Of The Lake and Bastions.
Listening to past releases would’ve left you in such a comatose mess that Gallows would’ve been found guilty of grievous bodily harm, whereas ‘Desolation Sounds’ would see them receive a minor aggravated assault charge. Just when you think Gallows are calming down a bit, they curb stomp you with a surprise attack of ferocious hardcore punk.
It’s refreshing to see the punk rockers venturing into a variety of musical territories, experimenting with their sound whilst staying true to their fans. It’s a ridiculously hard feat to pull off, and bar the odd song or two, Gallows fucking nailed it.
Written by Andy Roberts (@Sassensquatch)