Firstly, let’s just say that this incarnation of Gallows shouldn’t be compared to the last one directly, if at all. If the  band’s first EP in this guise was them finding their feet, their first album is a full on sprint into oncoming traffic, and also a huge middle finger to everyone who’s being questioning the decision to enlist Wade MacNeil on vocals.

This eponymous “comeback” record from Gallows hovers around the half-hour mark in length (note: the perfect length for a hardcore record), and there’s little doubt that the band have found a second wind with their new vocalist. The EP and the album are great in their own right, and it’d be a shame if the record falls on deaf ears due to any preconceptions / write offs (though the positive reviews the record has been getting generally seems to indicate that there’s no danger of that at press level, at least.)

There’s flashes of influences from across the Hardcore spectrum here, and though the “classic” Gallows sound that’s been so aped in recent years is still present, it’s been honed and executed well and the American influnce has creeped in to fine effect. Even those wishing for a return to pre-Wade Gallows will begrudgingly have to admit that the record is a great listen, and the band’s transformation has every chance to bring in even those who weren’t keen with Carter’s vocal / style heading up the band.

MacNeil and the band work together well, and if you didn’t know that he was a recent addition, you wouldn’t think he was out of place at the helm. The instrumental work carrying the vocals is second-to-none, and the flow of the record is unbroken and natural throughout.

Big highlights on the record are ‘Austere’, ‘Cult Of Mary’ (the creepy recorded child’s voice is pretty great) and ‘Everybody Loves You (When You’re Dead)’, and because they’ve done a fine job being one of the figured repopularising Hardcore in the UK they can be forgiven for not quite changing the face of the genre with this current incarnation’s first full length. It’s a solid effort from a band that’s in fine form, and it should leave little doubt that Gallows will be able to quieten the doubters with the release going forward. Well worth a listen, and a great step up from the EP.

TOM AYLOTT