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Gallows Beyond the Night Sky - A Sad Farewell

Gallows Beyond the Night Sky
A Sad Farewell
by Matt "Wolverine" Johnson at 29 October 2015, 8:07 AM

As one of the limited number of bands to identify themselves as a "Battle Metal" band, Münster, Germany's GALLOWS BEYOND THE NIGHTSKY certainly have a unique take on the pseudo-genre. Listing the mighty (and psuedo-genre defining) TURISAS as a driving influence and with their debut album "A Sad Farewell," they have produced an enjoyably heavy, curiously enchanting five tracks. Though the total playing time is only a mere twenty-two minutes, it still feels well-rounded and complete due to the quality of the content. Allow me to elaborate.

On "Introducing" there is a fairly gloomy overtone as deep, atmospheric sounds haunt the speakers. A synthesized version of a stringed orchestra becomes audible and a sense of suspense builds until the minute-long prelude concludes. From there, the fury of battle takes hold with the title track, "A Sad Farewell."

And how many times have moviegoers witnessed on-screen epic battles in a valley between mountains? "A Sad Farewell" captures the moment the opposing forces clash. A thundering Metal attack describes the tone when the percussions kick in, as a battle horn segment sounds, and Patricia's melodic vocal accompaniment carries the tune of the battle flag. The rage is heard in the tempo and the sad farewell to the brothers who have fallen is what the lyrics seem to be about, and that is my guess since no list was found to be sure.

The focus turns from the battlefield and the lost brethren in arms to the dark realm of the dead, courtesy of "Necrosphere." Once again, the same sonic assault carries strong throughout the song. The overall feel of this song is quite progressive, with the guitar riffs rising and falling in the style of forward motion. This song has a particularly modern feel to it, especially in the first guitar solo and Patricia's vocals have the feel like that of a NIGHTWISH song. Amazing!

With "Heathen Lord," the trumpets blaze at the beginning, announcing that some great Metal is about to be heard! A notable difference with this song is that there is a group of male voices chanting "Heathen Lord!" in the background in a couple of parts, giving it that "crowd participation" element. Although the song is brief, it definitely has its own place on the album.

The conclusion is the fifth song, "Under the Stormblade." There is a tremendously epic sense and the flow of the music is streamlined and even mellow at times, all without relinquishing the icy grip of Heavy Metal. The pace of the music changes, but finishes strong, leaving a good impression on the ears of the listener.

The short tracklist on "A Sad Farewell" does not diminish its awesome power. Everything was produced and recorded with an exquisite touch and the instrumentation and vocals come through clearly, making it very enjoyable. Mike's gruff voice meshes wholesomely with Patricia's clean, angelic singing. I would have liked to have had more to listen to, so hopefully in the future we will see them put forth a truly full-length masterpiece. GALLOWS BEYOND THE NIGHTSKY have got potential with plenty to spare!

4 Star Rating

1. Introducing
2. A Sad Farewell
3. Necrosphere
4. Heathen Lord
5. Under the Stormblade
Mike - Voice
Patricia - Guest vocals
Denis - Guitars
Markus - Bass
Jens - Keyboard
Record Label: Independent


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