Sound — 9
The first thing you need to know about Gallows is that they are an ever-changing band. Their last album, Orchestra of Wolves, focused mainly on the band's hardcore roots, but Grey Britain is a completely different story. It has hints of metal, folk, and classical. The opening track, The Riverbank, comes in with an orchestra playing a solemn tone, with the River Thames splashing in the background. Then the guitar kicks in and pummels you. The next six songs (London is the Reason, Leeches, Black Eyes, I Dread the Night, and Death Voices) don't wait to unleash their onslaught upon you. They are fast-paced, brutal punk songs. Then, the boys in Gallows catch you off guard with an acoustic track, The Vulture Act 1. This is their first acoustic track, and even though some fanboys will hate them for it, it is good to show their diversity. Once again, Gallows crank up the volume and blow you away with the next five songs (The Vulture Act 2, The Riverbed, The Great Forgiver, Graves, and Queensberry Rules). The last two songs are by far some of the most epic you'll hear all year, Misery and Crucifucks. Misery features a metal breakdwon with group vocal, which is sure to be a fan favorite live. Then Crucifucks comes along, kicking your arse for three straight minutes. Then a long note on a violin transitions into a piano, and then the rest of the orchestra chimes in. It gives you time to reflect on this great album.
Lyrics — 8
Frank Carter, Gallows lead singer, is a character. And it shows in his live performances, lyrics, and singing. The lyrics mostly feature the same theme, the downfall of Great Britain. There are songs about heavy drinking, knife crime, and suicide. Now I have never been to Britain, so I wouldn't know if what the boys in Gallows are saying is true; but it convinces me that the country has some problems. Overall the lyrics are phenominal. Frank's vocal cords have obviously had some strains placed on them, but he sounds fine. The stand-out is his singing on The Vulture Act 1. Noone had ever heard him sing on a record before, and he is outstanding. Hopefully there will be more singing from him in the future.
Overall Impression — 9
Gallows have created their masterpiece, an album that punk lovers will cherish for years to come. You could compare it to the Sex Pistol's lone album, Nevermind the Bollocks. Its that good. There are no "filler" songs on this album, the only song that isn't magnificent is Graves. It just never catches you like the other songs, although it features group vocals with Biffy Clyro frontman Simon Neil. The major standouts are Leeches, Death Voices, The Vulture (Acts 1 and 2), Misery, and Crucifucks. I will be sure to listen to this album for years to come. Try it out.