* Prices may differ from that shown
"Orchestra of Wolves" is the debut studio album by British punk band, Gallows. It was released in 2006 on the In at the Deep End label and produced by Banks. The line-up for the album was Frank Carter (vocals), Laurent Barnard (guitar/keyboards), Steph Carter (guitar), Stuart Gili-Ross (bass) and Lee Barratt (drums).
"Kill the Rhythm" gets the album off to a fast start with loud guitars and screaming vocals. It won't be to everyone's taste; some will say it's just noise. Gallows goes over the top with the often distorted guitars but it's still a fun opener.
"Come Friendly Bombs" is a catchy song, with lyrics regarding trouble in the neighbourhood where they live, not unlike The Jam's "Going Underground" in that everyone's ugly and out to cause trouble, while you just want a quiet life. Although having said that, the two songs sound nothing like each other because of the obvious genre clashes.
"Abandon Ship" is a song that states the obvious in its title, although the lyrics suggest that it's really about a relationship that's going wrong. There's some really good use of double bass on the drums here, and the guitars are completely over the top, as is Frank Carter vocals. This is one of my favourite songs on the album for its lyrics.
"In the Belly of a Shark" is perhaps Gallows' most well-known song, having also been released as a single and peaking at No.56 in the UK singles charts. It's a quieter melody, which borders on the hard rock edge of genres with keyboards playing a prominent role, as well as a classic heavy metal guitar riff.
"Six Years" starts off slow but eventually gets going into a full-bodied song. The lyrics are dark and confusing, but I'm going to guess the song is about a family which has a new addition (Stepfather) and how he walks out on them, leaving their mother to pick up the pieces again with her sons by her side. It may be a lyrically powerful song, but it's also a light enjoyment at the same time.
"Rolling With the Punches" hits all the right notes, musically, as you get a togetherness of guitars and drums, backed by Frank Carter's unmistakeable vocals. This is one of the better songs on the album, and has chipper keyboard sounds over the top of the guitars.
"Last Fight For the Living Dead" is a 62-second moody instrumental song, which splits the album into a little bit of breathing space before the next record. Nothing special here, but it somehow works well.
"Just Because You Sleep Next to Me Doesn't Mean You're Safe" is, as you'd expect, a sombre song about wanting to end a relationship by any means necessary. One part of the relationship has been cheated on, and the other has been domestically abused. It's basically what works for one will work for another; in other words, both people in the relationship are saying it.
"Will Someone Shoot that F**king Snake" is the highlight of the album. It's a song with plenty of expletives in it, and is a song about either hatred or envy for someone known or someone in the public eye; it's not really made known.
"Stay Cold" is a fast-paced one minute escapade into the dark depths of Gallows. The song apparently deals with wanting to get even with someone who stole the band's merchandise from a show in Watford. It's a song that goes by so fast, you hardly notice it's gone and still think it's playing when you're halfway through the next one.
"I Promise This Won't Hurt" is another very fast record, which carries on where "Stay Cold" left off. As I've previously said, the two blend together quite well, and this is another of those songs which leave me wanting more than the 100 seconds it takes to listen to.
The final song is also the titular track. "Orchestra of Wolves" is the best song on the album. It rolls along at a steady pace with a hard-hitting guitar riff right until it ends. The lyrics may be nonsensical, but as a song, it very clearly works.
In summary, this is an album that a lot of punk fans will like. Lyrically, it's dark, broody and often strange. Musically, it's tight, full-bodied and sometimes clangy. But that's what makes the album what it is. It's certainly not pretty but full credit to the band for going out there and recording this album. I definitely recommend it to anyone. Just don't say I didn't warm you first!
1. Kill the Rhythm
2. Come Friendly Bombs
3. Abandon Ship
4. In the Belly of a Shark
5. Six Years
6. Rolling With the Punches
7. Last Fight For the Living Dead
8. Just Because You Sleep Next to Me Doesn't Mean You're Safe
9. Will Someone Shoot That F**king Snake
10. Stay Cold
11. I Promise This Won't Hurt
12. Orchestra of Wolves
My rating: 7/10
Gallows. An energetic 5 piece with their roots in Watford, UK. Hardcore punk at its finest. If you're not into listening to bands where you can't hear what the lead singer is actually saying then these might not be for you!
Their debut album, Orchestra Of Wolves, was released on the 25th September 2006 under In at the deep end records.
The band's sound is one which may take some getting used to- the songs portray their reputation for being loud, youthful, energetic punks! The songs sound as if they are playing them live, they are that crazy.
I think that this is a good thing as opposed to a bad thing, as people listening to the album can recreate the feeling they get when they saw them live. Or alternatively if you haven't seen them live, you can get a good picture of how much energy they posess in shows.
The songs which really stand out for me are the two songs which were released as singles;
Abandon Ship- a fast paced song about losing control of a ship- the lyrics 'LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, MAY I HAVE YOUR ATTENTION PLEASE-THIS IS THE CAPTAIN OF YOUR SHIP!' are sung with so much emotion and can barely be made out due to him screaming, adding to the awesomeness of this song. Very clever.
In the belly of shark- Awesome riffs over the top of an even awesomer vocal performance. Just how does the lead singer sing with such power and emotion, it really blows you off your feet. The lyrics 'SO HERE I LIE, IN THE BELLY OF A SHARK' get repeated again and again, with the listener feeling the force of the song. If you want a good idea of what i mean by emotion- check out the video...
"Kill the Rhythm"
"Come Friendly Bombs"
"In the Belly of a Shark"
"Rolling with the Punches"
"Last Fight for the Living Dead"
"Just Because You Sleep Next to Me Doesn't Mean You're Safe"
"Will Someone Shoot That Fucking Snake"
"I Promise This Won't Hurt"
"Orchestra of Wolves"
Orchestra of Wolves is the debut album from Watford hardcore punk band Gallows. (Not "The Gallows"). It was released to great fanfare and had some magazines hailing them as the saviours of underground British music.
The version I have includes the additional tracks of Sick of Feeling Sick", "Black Heart Queen", Black Flag cover "Nervous Breakdown", and a cover of The Ruts song "Staring at the Rude Bois" which features UK rapper Lethal Bizzle.
It is an incredibly raw album, the production sounds minimal which really helps keep with punk edge alive. The lyrics are often a harsh commentary on life in Britain today, often violent and always angry. It is refreshing to hear someone singing in an English accent, using English expressions. This is a band that play with a lot of passion, although strangely they seem to do a better job of conveying this aggression on record than live.
There seems to be a fairly standard song structure exhibited throughout the album - there is nothing in the way of a slow song or a ballads, the songs all seem to focus on disjointed riffs, fairly fast but controlled drumming, steady bass and screamed vocals - there is none of the singing that disappointingly crept into the follow up album Grey Album.
If you want something a bit different, with a lot of edge and aggression, check this out.
Gallows are a hardcore punk band from Watford. Their début album 'Orchestra of Wolves' was originally released through the UK independent label In At The Deep End Records, however in July 2007 Bad Religion's Brett Gurewitz gave it a US release through Epitaph Records. Since then the band have signed a million pound four album recording contract with major label Warner Bros, and have resultantly re-released their 'Orchestra of Wolves' album through the label. In November 2007 the album was granted with a 'Special Edition' release and therefore this is the latest (and greatest) incarnation of the album 'Orchestra of Wolves'.
So why buy the special edition? It's not just worth owning for the pretty pink cover you know, it certainly makes the album a more attractive prospect but in truth it is the extra tracks that make this edition of the album worthwhile. Originally the 'Orchestra Of Wolves' album contained twelve tracks, but here we have an impressive sixteen which does of course include their joint effort with Lethal Bizzle entitled 'Staring At The Rude Bois'. The extra four tracks here certainly help to complete the album, and I can have no complaints with the closing track of the aforementioned Lethal Bizzle collaboration.
The album begins impressively with the track 'Kill the Rhythm', it kicks things off in an explosive manner and instantly it grabs your attention. What begins so strongly soon takes a quick nosedive however as second track 'Come Friendly Bombs' just isn't very effective at all. It has all the makings of a good track and the guitars make all the right noises, but you just don't feel as though the band really mean it, there is no real aggression in the track and it is completely devoid of personality and life. This is something I would say is true of a lot of this album, their hearts just don't seem to be in the music and it therefore makes for quite disappointing listening. I had heard murmurings that this was one of the best albums of 2006, but to say this is just really an insult to the year 2006. It wasn't that bad a year for music and this album probably wouldn't even make my top 25 if I were to compile a list of the albums I believe to be the best from the year.
It's not all doom and gloom, some of the music on this album is quite impressive, it just never really leaves much of a lasting impact on me. For a supposed hardcore band they don't seem to be very hardcore, and in fact much of the time there is no real venom in their music whatsoever. They try, I'll give them that but much of the time they just fail to offer anything particularly worthwhile to the genre. 'Rolling with the Punches' however is one track in which the band are greatly effective. It is a strong track where the vocals come belting out and the guitar riffs are absolutely flawless. Few times on this release do the band show this level of confidence in their music, but this is certainly one of them. It is without doubt one of my favourite tracks from the album, and although I could probably count the highlights from this release on one hand only, I would certainly consider 'Rolling with the Punches' to be one of the best tracks that the band have to offer with their 'Orchestra Of Wolves' album.
Originally the closing track, title track 'Orchestra Of Wolves' is another that I would consider to be up there amongst the best that this album has to offer. It was highly effective as a closing track on the standard release of this album and is one that I have listened to many a time since purchasing this album. What's so great about this one is that it possesses the presence that much of this album fails to offer. The band truly sound like they mean it on this one and as a result the track comes flying out with great vigour and an intense believability. You really get the impression that the band enjoyed recording this one, they fire through the track in an intense attack of hardcore ferocity and at no point in the track do they ever disappoint. The vocals possess a true Punk spirit, they are spat out by Gallows main man Frank Carter and whilst with this special edition of the album the track no longer serves the purpose of closing the proceedings, it certainly still feels like a finishing point for the album.
'Staring At The Rude Bois' is one final moment of glory that I feel that this album has to offer. Although it was not originally included on their album, with this special edition release (and in fact the US release of the album also) it is the track chosen to provide the album with its final minutes. Whilst I greatly appreciated title track 'Orchestra Of Wolves' as a closer, this one doesn't fare too badly either and is in fact another of my favourites from this release. Once more the band really seem like their hearts are in this one and it really effectively pulled off. Powerful and greatly enjoyable, 'Staring At The Rude Bois' is one of the best hardcore tracks I have heard in a long while. The Lethal Bizzle breakdown that comes in midway through the track works brilliantly well, making this by far the best moment that the album has to offer. Coming at sixteen tracks in, it obviously comes quite late in the game but is nonetheless greatly appreciated and a track that although I have only been listening to for a couple of months now is quickly becoming a definite favourite of mine.
On the whole I would say that the 'Orchestra of Wolves' album from Gallows is really a bit of a disappointment. There are a number of tracks here that are admittedly greatly effective, but much of the album washes over me without making anything of a significant impact upon myself. The reason that I gave this album a listen in the first place was that I had heard great things said about Gallows, things that made me really want to listen to their music and actually got me greatly excited about listening to what they had to offer. I gave the album one listen on the internet and decided that never again would I listen to their music, hardly any of the music had pleased me at all and little did I want to hear of them ever again. When they released 'Staring At The Rude Bois' I was prepared to give them another try, perhaps I had not given the album enough time before and given how much this one track pleased me I decided that listening to the album some more was vital. When I saw that this album had been released complete with four new tracks I was completely sold and quick to get out there and buy myself this album. Unfortunately, having done so I realise that my first thoughts about the band were fairly correct and that the band genuinely do have very little to offer. Four or five tracks from this release I regularly listen to and the rest I ignore, to me this album is grossly overrated and on the whole the listening experience is not a pleasant one. If I want to listen to dull and uninspired hardcore music then there are plenty of bands out there to choose from, there is simply not enough strong material contained on this album to warrant a recommendation from myself here. Hardcore music can be excellent, too much of the time Gallows are not.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Kill the Rhythm
2 Come Friendly Bombs
3 Abandon Ship
4 In the Belly of a Shark
5 Six Years
6 Rolling with the Punches
7 Last Fight for the Living Dead
8 Just Because You Sleep Next to Me Doesn't Mean You're Safe
9 Will Someone Shoot That Fucking Snake
10 Stay Cold
11 I Promise This Won't Hurt
12 Orchestra of Wolves