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9.25/10 Avi
 

PALLBEARER - Foundations of Burden - CD - Profound Lore Records - 2014

On Foundations of Burden, its second LP, Pallbearer strikes us as the perfect combination between Agalloch, Yob and Earth.

The band's music is rooted in doom metal, but with post rock atmosphere making the slow, murky sounds of the netherworld earthier and personal, rather than casting you into the pits.

By incorporating haunting dynamics - typically in the form of guitar licks and tempo shifts - as an undercurrent to its mammoth walls of guitars and drums, as well as guitar solos that are kept fit and representative to the overall music affair, a sense of movement is maintained, slow yet grand. These are all a testament to the band's effective, sweeping songwriting, which is true to the spirit of the original doom band, Black Sabbath.

Pallbearer, however, sweeps you not by melodic means, but rather by its gushing and storming sonic waves and their collective notion. It is unlikely you will be singing along to these songs which have no chorus or significant hooks, but it is equally improbable you will not be moved upon listening.

The vocals are clean but remain somewhat distant, and yet that does not suggest the vocal delivery is not good - vice versa! It is suit and purposeful, serving to suggest insights and perceptions of human existence, obsessively dealing with our past and consequently the evasive future ("Each moment carves a piece away / of the sculpture shaped by the passing of days"). The vocals encapsulate an inner truth and seem to secretly carry it out to the listener, and as it reaches its effect is devastating.

The buried notion of the voices is also suggestive of our fate, and at times the production (by Billy Anderson, who produced albums by Agalloch, Sleep, Neurosis and others) evokes a scene of a prayer in a chapel, in which human voices are reduced to a collaborative hum in the awe-inspiring acoustics of an house of god (and perhaps god itself, as a force of nature), which is represented by Pallbearer coalescing sonic fronts. The clever utilization of clean vocals here intensifies the songs' humane and emotive perspective without compromising the luring, inherent despair.

Dirty, messy and mostly massive and reflective, Pallbearer offers no catharsis here, leaving us with a depressing piece of music which is some of the most emotional metal we've experienced. (9.25/10)

[Our Gut Feeling on this release is available here]

 

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ISSUE 77
ALBUM REVIEWS

(A-C)  (D-G)  (G-J)  (K-M)  (M-O)  (O-R)  (S-T)  (T-Z)

ABBASI, REZ ACO...
Intents and Pur

ACCORDO DEI CON...
Adc

BARNES, MAHALIA...
OOH YEA The Bet

BODY POLITIC, T...
Egressor

BRUCE, JACK
The 50th Birthd

BULLHOUNDS, THE
Protector

CHROME HOOF
Chrome Black Go

CREINIUM
Project Utopia

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