To The Gallows is the latest release of One In The Chamber, and it lavishly portrays the band’s versatility by rooting the music into alternative rock influences while the lyrics turn out to be wild and dramatic. Judging just by the YouTube thumbnail, the possibilities excite the audience and awaken a huge eagerness to discover the record. “To The Gallows is a significant shift in tone, performance, and songwriting. There really is no signature riff and there is a stronger connection to our alternative rock influences rather than the classic rock tone of our previous releases.” shares Gerrod Harris, the drummer of One In The Chamber.
To describe this record, we will make references later on to what Gerrod Harris, the drummer, has so sagaciously provided us with. I mean… The guy is a writer at The Heavy Press, Canadian Beats, and The Spill Magazine, so writing about a writer is rather overwhelming. But we’re Blue Rhymez Entertainment and we take on a good challenge.
The music video, compared to OITC’s previous visuals, underwent the black and white filter treatment thus matching the title in gravitas. The camera angles are much more dynamic as well, dropping the static shots almost altogether with a few exceptions. As usual, Mike Biase has that epic factor around his character and kicks off the record with an entire scream. Oh yeah, we didn’t recognize him. The guy is a different person with longer hair and no beard!
To The Gallows dazzles with consuming darkness lyrically, musically, visually. At 30 seconds, after a whole lot of vocal flexing, Mike Biase goes to sing: “Mama/ I’ve broken free, of the shackles/ You’ve given to me/ I’m amazed at the way/ That the souls up here play/ With their lives like a game/ It’s so riddled with pain that it teases” Woosh! And dark in meaning it is. Gerrod Harris shared the following with us: “We wrote the record in the summer of 2019 when Cecil Eugene played the opening chords through his new delay pedal and jumped into what would become the explosive chorus. The shift in dynamics blew us away and we immediately began jamming on this as Mike Biase began writing out from the perspective of an angel escaped from hell who’s now on Earth.”
The ample, guitar-driven soundscape leaves the listener in a fevered musical delirium, increasing the anticipation for the momentous hook. The massively graceful mix between the instrumental and lead vocal track preserves the intriguing, mysterious vibe of the record. Mike’s voice is warm, suave, and easy on the ear despite his bonafide rockstar roars. As per Gerrod Harris: “Mike’s vocals bring a dark blues sensibility reminiscent of Robert Plant. Furthermore, we were inspired by Alice In Chains’ “Rooster” – a song we had covered acoustically that summer – to experiment structurally”
The hook is where all else prior and after becomes incomparable: “But please/ No, no God, please/ Oh baby/ I’ll give you everything/ And when you beg/ Oh, I’m gonna rip out your tongue” The vocals bordering a pleading, screaming, desperate tone are of unbelievable grandeur and force the listener into tuning all else out. This is one of, if not the absolute best rock vocalist we’ve heard the entire year. Kudos to you Mike Biase.
The mid-section of the song becomes the top eerie moment of To The Gallows with the guitar having that old-school, heavy-sounding feel to it. All contributing elements competitively hunt after the spotlight while the smooth drums resupply the song with its calm but daunting musical narrative.
In conclusion, To The Gallows is a dope f*cking record. It delights, thrills, and enchants the listener with various ingredients, from the bigger-than-life voice of Mike Biase, the sinister earth-bound angel perspective, to the black and white visuals.
Song credits: Mike Biase – Vocals, guitar; Gerrod Harris – Drums; Cecil Eugene – Guitar; Christian Dotto – Bass; One In The Chamber and Murray Daigle – Producers; Murray Daigle and Mike Smith – Sound engineers; Murray Daigle – Mix and master
Review by Mariana Berdianu
Blue Rhymez Entertainment ©2021