Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Best Albums of 2009: 6. Gallows' "Grey Britain"

6. Gallows “Grey Britain”

Gallows’ sophomore release, entitled “Grey Britain,” opens with the stunning “Riverbank.” The track begins with quiet, deeply unsettling violins and slow-building feedback that erupts into a towering beast of punk-metal guitars and lead vocalist Frank Carter wailing “Great Britain is burning down/We’ll be buried alive before we die/The Queen is dead/So is the crown!” And from there, the band never lets up, spewing venom every bit as earnest and raw as the Sex Pistols when they swore there was no future, or The Clash when they said they wanted to riot. “Misery” is too bruising and honest to be cliché, and “The Vulture (Acts I & II)” sees the band make a successful foray into unabashedly melodic territory, but it's with “The Riverbed,” the sequel to the similarly named opening number, that Gallows achieve near perfection, with a dizzying, hard-as-nails riff and the heaviest, thickest groove any metal song had this side of Sepultura’s “Roots.”

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