(By Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker, Lead Journalist/Writer, RiffRelevant.com)
We aren’t going all that far back in Heavy Metal history for today’s spotlight band, Salt Lake City, Utah’s Gallowbraid. In fact, truth is, Gallowbraid was (or is?) not an actual band really, not in the multiple member sense of the word, as it is a one-man project.
The one man at the helm of it is Jake Rogers, whom you may know as the current vocalist for the power metal powerhouse Visigoth and formerly of acts Winterlore and Savage Sword, among others.
Gallowbraid seems an evident labor of love for Rogers, as he plays all instruments (mostly) and performs vocals, as well. I say ‘mostly’ because I know some material from Gallowbraid featured former Visigoth live drummer Alex Rogers.
In a precursory passing, most unfamiliar folks would declare this project Black Metal and while that’s valid, it is also very inadequate. The amazing scope of music that Jake instilled into Gallowbraid right from the beginning of its inception in 2006 is limitless.
Yes, there’s a Black Metal foundation, but from there so much is melded into the music, including Folk and Power Metal, Doom and much more. The singular recorded effort from Gallowbraid, 2010’s ‘Ashen Eidolon’ EP (Northern Silence Productions), explores an extremely wide scope of those genres, but implements incredibly epic, grandiose arrangements to them.
There is an amazing use of acoustic instrumentation, varied vocal approaches, atmospherics and ambient touches to such a degree that it renders quite an enthralling listening experience.
The status of Gallowbraid appears to be active as there’s a Facebook page for the project (granted, its’ last post seems to be in 2013). With that said, whether you’re a fan of Black Metal or not, you really should give this a spin via the Bandcamp embed below. I think you will find it pleasantly surprising and something uniquely different to experience.