Grey Britain

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Grey Britain
Gallows - Grey Britain cover.jpg
Studio album by
Released2 May 2009
GenreHardcore punk, metalcore[1]
LabelWarner Bros.
ProducerGarth Richardson
Gallows chronology
Gallows / November Coming Fire
Grey Britain
Death Is Birth
Singles from Grey Britain
  1. "The Vulture (Acts I & II)"
    Released: 27 April 2009

Grey Britain is the second album by English hardcore punk band Gallows, released 2 May 2009 through Warner Bros. Records. It is their last album to feature lead singer Frank Carter, and their first with guitarist Steph Carter writing and recording.

Background information[edit]

A second album by Gallows was first hinted by vocalist Frank Carter during an interview with NME in 2007, where he stated that because Gallows was "a hobby I get paid for," the band would likely be defunct by 2010.[2] However, he confirmed that during this period, the band would record up to two additional albums.[citation needed] He later told Kerrang! that the claims regarding the band's imminent break-up were untrue.[citation needed]

In an interview with Kerrang!, it was revealed that Gallows' sophomore effort would feature guest appearances by Biffy Clyro's Simon Neil, and various members of Rolo Tomassi and Cancer Bats. In an interview at Sonisphere 2009, the brother of Frank Carter and vocalist of British hardcore band Blackhole, Richard Carter confirmed that he appeared on the track 'Black Eyes'.[citation needed]

In the March edition of Total Guitar, guitarists Steph Carter and Laurent Barnard noted that most of the keyboards had been stripped back and that the guitars were reminiscent of Black Sabbath's 1970s efforts.[citation needed]

In a January 2009 interview with Rock Sound, Carter announced that Grey Britain would be "49 minutes of aggressive music" and that signing a contract with a major label had not influenced the band to record a "poppy" or more "commercial" album.[3]

On 13 January 2009 Carter revealed on BBC Radio 1 that the album would be released in early May 2009, after which the band will resume touring. On the following day, the band announced their second studio album would be titled Grey Britain, and that it has been produced by Garth Richardson.[4] Carter explained the premise of the album to Kerrang!, saying, "Britain is fucked. Grey Britain is all about what's going on socially, politically and economically in the UK and how it affects us."[5] The tracklisting was revealed on 16 February 2009.[6] Describing the methods of getting samples for the album, bassist Stu Gili-Ross stated "The samples on the album are real. There’s the sound of the River Thames when we went down to the riverbank and recorded the sound of the water. There’s a lot of stuff on there. We went into a Halal slaughterhouse where a pig was getting slaughtered for food. I wouldn’t say it was a pig getting murdered, that’s a bit strong. It was going to die anyway so we just turned up with a microphone and captured the sounds.”[7] However, after PETA criticized the use of a real pig dying for the album, the band revealed they lied and found the sample online.[8]

On 1 March 2009 it was announced that the first single from the album would be "The Vulture (Acts I & II)," to be released on 27 April.[9] The music video for "The Vulture (Act II)" had its world premiere on 23 March 2009.[10]

Reception and commercial performance[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
Allmusic3/5 stars[1]
Clash4.5/5 stars[13]
Decibel4/5 stars [17]
Drowned in Sound4/5 stars[14]
The Guardian4/5 stars[15]
Metal Hammer4/5 stars[19]
Mojo4/5 stars [18]
NME3/5 stars[20]
Pop Matters2.5/5 stars[16]
The Telegraph5/5 stars[12]

Grey Britain received a 74 out of 100 on Metacritic, indicating "generally favorable reviews".

Drowned in Sound commented: "the music rockets from intentionally rudimentary knuckle-whiteners to ambitious-of-design affairs that reconfigure one’s opinions on a band previously seen as a straight-up hardcore act".[21] Ben Myers of Mojo commented "Not since the Pistols and The Specials has a pissed off provincial band so clearly meant it" and ClashMusic called the record "as daunting as blow-drying your face in the evil ghost-gas that Indiana Jones unleashes from The Lost Ark".[22] The Telegraph praised the group for its lack of compromise, calling Grey Britain "a masterpiece of rock brutalism". It also noted the progression of Gallows' sound, combining traditional hardcore sound with newer styles, comparing the "grotesquely churning riffage" with that used by nu metal bands such as Slipknot. It summed up the album as "the most exciting album in many moons."[12]

Kerrang! listed Grey Britain as the best album of 2009.[23] NME listed the album among the 15 greatest hardcore punk albums of all time.[24]

The album debuted at number 20 in the UK album chart on 10 May 2009.[25]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Gallows.

1."The Riverbank"2:30
2."London Is the Reason"3:11
4."Black Eyes (featuring Richard Carter)"2:51
5."I Dread the Night"3:39
6."Death Voices"3:55
7."The Vulture (Acts I & II)"6:02
8."The Riverbed"3:57
9."The Great Forgiver"2:14
10."Graves (featuring Simon Neil)"2:42
11."Queensberry Rules"4:16


  1. ^ a b Lymangrover, Jason. "Gallows – Great Britain". AllMusic. Retrieved 22 May 2015. ...[Gallows] rethought their plans ... [for] Grey Britain, and ultimately came to a decision to revamp their sound with a metal edge. There's the same screaming angst and relentless speed that was celebrated in their first outing, but now Carter's shrieks are backed by double kick drums and explosive speed metal guitar riffs that have more in common with Slayer and early Metallica than Black Flag or the Exploited. Shifting into metalcore territory is a tricky decision, since a lot of their initial appeal was due to the fact that they were making their own personal stamp on revitalizing punk — a genre that's becoming increasingly saturated with commercialism.
  2. ^ "Gallows' Frank Carter: 'I'm quitting music' - NME". 11 September 2007.
  3. ^ "Gallows: Classic Concepts". (January 2009). Rock Sound, p.65
  4. ^ "Gallows reveal May 2009 tour dates and new album title - NME". 14 January 2009.
  5. ^ "Kerrang! Exclusive! Gallows new album tracklisting". 2009-02-10. Retrieved 2011-11-14.
  6. ^ "Gallows reveal new album 'Grey Britain' tracklisting - NME". 16 February 2009.
  7. ^ "Gallows: 'We recorded a pig dying on new album' - NME". 23 April 2009.
  8. ^ "Gallows admit lying about pig slaughter boast - NME". 28 April 2009.
  9. ^ "News: Gallows Announce First Single". idiomag. 2009-03-02. Retrieved 2009-03-04.
  10. ^ "Gallows Releases New Video". Noise Press. Retrieved 2009-03-23
  11. ^ "Grey Britain by Gallows".
  12. ^ a b Perry, Andrew (1 May 2009). "Gallows: Grey Britain, CD review" – via
  13. ^ "Gallows - Grey Britain".
  14. ^ "Album Review: Gallows - Grey Britain".
  15. ^ Savage, Jon (18 April 2009). "Rock review: Gallows, Grey Britain: The Enemy, Music for the people". The Guardian.
  16. ^ "Gallows: Grey Britain". 21 July 2009.
  17. ^ Yates, Catherine. "Anarchy in the UK: Grey Britain review". Decibel Magazine. No. 59. p. 91.
  18. ^ Meyers, Ben Meyers (June 2009). "Grey Britain review". Mojo Magazine. No. 187. p. 98.
  19. ^ Metal Hammer. No. 191. United Kingdom: Future Publishing. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  20. ^ "Album review: Gallows - NME". NME.
  21. ^ Savage, Milton (2009-05-05). "Gallows - Grey Britain / Releases / Releases // Drowned In Sound". Retrieved 2011-11-14.
  22. ^ "Gallows - Grey Britain | Clash Music Latest Album Review". 2009-04-29. Retrieved 2011-11-14.
  23. ^ "2009 Kerrang! Magazine Albums Of The Year 2009".
  24. ^ "Get in the pit: the best hardcore albums of all time - NME". 12 April 2018.
  25. ^ "Radio 1 - Chart - The Official UK Top 40 Albums Chart". BBC. 2007-02-24. Retrieved 2011-11-14.