Sunday, 11 February 2018

Pallbearer "Heartless" (2017)

Smooth, serine harmonies and scenic wonder wrapped in sadness, Arkansas based Pallbearer reinvent the Doom metal sound to their own liking, at least to my ears. Having not had a lot of experience with the genre Ive mostly come to know it for sluggish pacing, dense morbid atmospheres and gaunt guttural vocals that explore a romanticism with sadness and depression. Pallbearer on the other hand seem to explore that plane from a balcony of gleam and glory, turning this undercurrent of wallow into a luminous, uplifting crusade through the epics of the soundscape we traverse, of course that feeling of burden and melancholy lingers not far behind.

With an inviting, tonally pleasing yet dense and thick measure of distortion guitars we are lured into a dazzling arrangement of riffs, licks and leads that melt and ooze over one another in an endlessly animated, yet steady, movement of music. Guiding the motion, tight crispy drums pack a crunchy punch as the gorgeous production gives them a spacious, primed setting to work around the involved riff work. Coursing over the ornate arrangements of unfolding magic, singer Cambell illuminates much of the record with serine vocals that saddle the lines between power and vulnerability, sadness and gleam as the instrumentals lure us into spotlights for him to overwhelm the musics persuasion.

What is most charming for me is the attraction of opposites, the doom and gloom finds itself rubbing up against beaming guitars with potent a brew of indulging melody. They have the tone and texture of aggression and force, the rumble and grit of distortion cries out yet its execution is delicate and measured, finding dimension for the anger to bleed out and the meaning prevail. This feels like a record ill have fun with for some time, it has certainly made an impression and as a friend pointed out, it has that faithful re-imagining of Metal ideals much like the band Ghost. Definitely getting their first two albums now, which I have heard are supposed to be even better than this!

Favorite Track: Cruel Road
Rating: 7/10