After reviewing Gallows Pole
's first album “Black Leather
”, I tried to seek more music released by the band. With YouTube seemingly being the only place these guys have chosen to publish their music, I did an easy search and found out that they had also released a mini-album or EP if you prefer, back in 2002. It is good to find such an old and obscure release on a digital platform that probably existed in physical form, but it was either privately distributed or is just lost media.
Digging in “Sentenced to the Gallows
”, we see that the band played the same style of classic-sounding heavy metal music one can also hear in 2020's “Black Leather
”. There is an obvious influence from Iron Maiden in the entire album. This is justified by: how loud the bass guitar sounds, the way of playing the drummer showcases (The entirety of the fills sound very similar to what Burr and McBrain played in their respective studio appearances with Maiden), and the constant inclusion of guitar harmonies. The only thing that doesn't bring Maiden to my mind is the vocalist. I would once again say that he sounds like those old-school Swedish metal vocalists, however, I believe his voice comes closer to that of Angelo Perlepes' Mystery
's ex-singer Giorgos Faskiotis. They sound very similar in my opinion. Also, I don't think that the person who sings here, did vocal duties for “Black Leather
now it is time to talk a bit about the songs themselves. While they seem to have a higher tempo than the majority of those in “Black Leather
”, almost all of them utilize the classic galloping riff. This kind of makes the songs sound very similar in structure even if the guitar and vocal melodies sound different. The guitar solos are pretty much what you would expect from a musician who has followed the style of lead-playing Dave Murray and Adrian
Smith have showcased over their 30+ year career. Advanced, fast solos with lots of melody in them. There is some variety displayed with some calmer parts in the songs. For example, there is the track “Gallows Pole
” that starts off with an intro clean guitar riff that has those nice switches between minor2 and major2 chords and on the 3rd song “Burial
For Innocence”, you think that the song will be a power ballad but suddenly it turns into a “speedy” metal track that has an energetic galloping main riff.
I said everything I could about “Sentenced to the Gallows
” and overall it is a good first (?) studio effort. The band definitely seems to have improved as one can see from “Black Leather
”. But I don't want to bash this EP because there is a good display of musical talent and soulful performance and songwriting that just make you not want to hate these guys. Gallows Pole
should really promote their music much more because I believe it is one of those band-diamonds that you rarely find, which rejuvenate the old and good classic heavy metal and not the laughable (in my opinion) glam trends of the 80s which are now promoted by bands like Night
Laser, Crimson Fire
, and many others who play metal just to find women and show-off.
Final rating 17/20