You know the saying about hindsight being 20/20, right? It’s easy to look back on instances in your life, and wonder what you could do to change things to make them better. To make them easier. To make them right. We reviewers go through this ourselves, looking back on prior reviews, and wondering if we overscored something that we haven’t touched since. Pallbearer‘s last album, the stellar Foundations of Burden, not only provided the soundtrack for the memories of broken promises and lost friendships, but also became my favorite album of this past decade. So needless to say, a lot is riding on Heartless, the third full-length from the Arkansas doom kings. With the same line-up intact, did Pallbearer build from their successful formula of “Funeral with a dash of hope”?

In many ways, the answer is a resounding yes. While still retaining their trademark airy doom riffs, Pallbearer incorporated some progressive rock influences into Heartless, giving their songs a nice, optimistic counterpoint to the heft and dirge. Opener “I Saw the End” beautifully exemplifies this, with the first half welcoming you back like an old friend. The guitar interplay of Brett Campbell and Devin Holt remains a pivotal focal point, drawing you in with thick riffs, and guiding you with beautiful harmonies. Halfway in, however, the song switches gears slightly, and prog rock influences emerge, giving the song an almost Mastodon feel, but still very much Pallbearer in sound and spirit. Truthfully, this change-up came unexpectedly, but still felt organic and unforced. By the end of the song, I was completely won over.

One of the other key ingredients of Pallbearer‘s entrancing sound is the voice of Brett Campbell. On their debut, Sorrow and Extinction, while his voice was shaky, it laid the groundwork to a more comfortable performance on Foundations. Here, Campbell’s voice expands and soars with absolute confidence. From 8:53-9:24 of the incredible “Dancing in Madness,” Campbell croons like a seasoned pro, sending an already beautiful song into orbit. The last couple of minutes of the Floyd-influenced heart-wrenching closer, “A Plea for Understanding” showcases his expanded range. Between the honest, heartbreaking lyrics detailing a break-up (“Behind the eyes lies a truth/So deeply concealed/Somewhere inside is a place/Where the weary rest and heal/Anger, fear, and regret keep the darkness at hand/But these feelings are real/All I ask, won’t you please understand?”), “A Plea for Understanding” tugs at your heartstrings like great doom should. The accompanying vocal harmonies by Holt and bassist Joseph D. Rowland also propel the sadness and hope forward a considerable amount, further cementing why Pallbearer lead the pack in American doom metal.


Thankfully, Heartless welcomes back the warm, organic production found on Sorrow and Extinction. Mark Lierly’s drumming sounds thunderous and clear, and Rowland’s bass presence is strongly felt and given a chance to shine. The songs breathe better, especially the airy “Lie of Survival,” giving the music color and depth. But not all of Heartless shines as brightly. “Cruel Road,” while not a bad song, has a hard rock groove in the first verse that feels largely out of place when compared to the rest of the song and album, and the title track also misses the mark a bit. But as with Foundations, they’re minor nitpicks in an otherwise stellar addition to an impeccable discography. Pallbearer incorporated some new sounds into their winning formula, and crafted a progressive doom metal masterpiece.

But how does this compare to Foundations, you may ask? Right now, I see them both as even on the battlefield, with both records edging each other out in certain areas. Foundations has the slight edge of being heavier and doomier, but Heartless has the more adventurous songwriting and the best vocals the band has recorded to date. One thing that is certain is that, once again, Pallbearer will be in my Top Ten by year’s end. And like its predecessor, I will probably regret not rating it higher. Only time will tell, but that means more time with Heartless, and I’m not complaining one bit. Neither should you.

 


Rating: 4.5/5.0
DR: 9 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Profound Lore (North America) | Nuclear Blast (The Rest of the World)
Websites: pallbearer.bandcamp.com | facebook.com/pallbearerdoom
Releases Worldwide: March 24th, 2017

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  • Unlike what others will likely say, Pallbearer is a band I never could “get”. I always grouped them in with this “New Wave of Modern Doom”.

    Listening to this album though, I am definitely intrigued. I have really enjoyed my first listen through Heartless and hear the ever so slight similarity to late 90s My Dying Bride, especially in the singing.

    This is a quality release and will be one that motivates me to revisit their back catalog. Maybe a fan of Pallbearer I will soon be!

    • Wilhelm

      Yep, this new one is way closer to atmospheric doom metal than stoner/sludge doom. I’m glad to see them making the transition.

    • Makes sense, pretty sure MDB is Brett’s favorite band.

  • I expected nothing less. This record was preordered the MINUTE it was announced and it was/is on my short list for potential AOTY. I’ve seen them four times live (all as opening acts btw) and they are amazing!

    But what really has me glowing are the production bits in this review. Their last one was a step DOWN in my opinion in this regard (and an obvious one to my ears).

    It looks the band is back on track on all fronts! PB FTW!

    • Grymm

      You are in for a treat, Alex. This is top-notch doom, and it sounds beautiful.

      • Great review dude!

  • Danny

    I’m starting to become a pretty big fan of doom but I haven’t checked these guys out yet, I guess I should. I take it from the review that I should start with Foundations if I’m more into doom, less into prog?

    • RDGEEK

      I can’t say enough good things about Foundations. Go for it.

    • VikingSchism

      I haven’t listened to much doom, but Khemmis and Pallbearer are pretty great from what I’ve listened to (listened to Hunted by Khemmis so much). I still need to get round to listening to some other landmark doom bands

      • Danny

        Khemmis is pretty great, I’ve been loving Hunted since it came out. I first started to get into doom when I saw My Dying Bride on 70k 2016, they’re the landmark band I’d start with. So sad they’ll make you want to eat your shoes.

        • Francesco Bordoni

          When I was fairly new to doom, a friend of mine said to me “Check out Candlemass”. I did, and it turned out to be one of the best advice anyone ever gave to me so here I go: check out Candlemass, you won’t be sorry!

        • eloli

          Some great classic doom albums you should check out, if you haven’t already:

          Anathema – Serenades
          Candlemass – Epicus Doomicus Metallicus
          Cathedral – The Carnival Bizarre
          Celestial Season – Solar Lovers
          Disembowelment – Trascendence into the Peripheral
          Electric Wizard – Dopethrone
          Funeral – Tragedies
          Internal Void – Standing on the Sun
          Las Cruces – Ringmaster
          My Dying Bride – The Angel and the Dark River
          The Obsessed – Lunar Womb
          Paradise Lost – Icon
          Pentagram – Day of Reckoning
          Place of Skulls – Nailed
          Reverend Bizarre – In the Rectory
          Saint Vitus – Born Too Late
          Skepticism – Lead and Aether
          Solitude Aeturnus – Through the Darkest Hour
          Thergoton – Stream from the Heavens
          Winter – Into Darkeness
          Witchsorrow – God Curse Us

          • Paul VH

            While Heaven Wept – Of Empires Forlorn

      • Ta2dlam

        I would add Cathedral to your landmark doom. There are a few doom bands that have such a unique sound and other have mentioned Candlemass and My Dying Bride. Give Cathedral a go and I don’t think you will be disappointed.

        • Grymm

          And I would add Funeral’s From These Wounds as well.

          Sad, potent funeral doom.

        • Francesco Bordoni

          I agree, Cathedral are really fun times!

      • defjam

        Trouble, the forerunners

        • Seconded. Especially Psalm 9.

          • eloli

            You’re both right, and I’d add Witchfinder General’s Death Penalty to my list.

          • Dr. Wvrm

            Thirded. I wrote my AMG application review on that bad boy.

          • That’s the only reason I hired you.

      • Landmark doom = Pentagram and Saint Vitus.

      • Reese Burns

        Bell Witch is funeral doom, absolutely monolithic music.

        • Dr. Wvrm

          Guitars are for chumps. Bass master race.

      • Wilhelm

        Besides the big three, there are many unsung heroes of the genre – Check out Decoryah – Wisdom Floats for the most underrated surrealistic doom ever!

    • Francesco Bordoni

      If you haven’t heard “Devoid of redemption” you’re missing some of the most heavy and infective riffs on this grim planet

    • Reese Burns

      You can’t go wrong anywhere in their discography. Though Foundations is my favourite. Also make sure to check out their EP from last year!

    • Luke_22

      Also add YOB to your doom bands to check out.

    • Reese Burns

      Amenra, Asphyx, Atlas Moth, Autumnal, Black Boned Angel, Catacombs, Cough, and Electric Wizard are all great.

  • eloli

    Loved Pallbearer’s prior albums, yet every time the words “progressive metal” show up when reviewing a doom band, I cringe, almost as much as when someone utters the word “funky” when talking about metal. :D
    Bah, who am I kidding, already pre ordered this one, the only reason I read this review is to confirm my own biases about the band. :D

    • Grymm

      Thankfully, the prog elements don’t override the doom much. It’s still very much Pallbearer.

      • eloli

        Even the smallest dose of prog is too much on a doom album, IMO. :D
        I’ll just have to wait ’til Friday before starting my Make Pallbearer Great Again campaign. :D

  • Eli Valcik

    Pre-ordered this guy as soon as it was announced, only a few more days till it drops. I can’t wait!

    • Reese Burns

      I had to get both purple vinyl variants as soon as they were revealed. Absolutely beautiful.

      • Eli Valcik

        you lucky bastard

        • Reese Burns

          Hey shit man, that’s a shame. Though I wouldn’t be surprised to see some pop up on Discogs as soon as the pre orders ship out. I’ll let you know if I see any!

          • Eli Valcik

            Thanks, I’m keeping an eye out for some too.

    • contenderizer

      me too. is excite!

  • VikingSchism

    This is probably the first metal album I’m excited for, seeing as I haven’t been into the genre for too long, but seeing that there was a new Pallbearer album coming made me pretty happy

    • VikingSchism

      And that embedded track really reinforces my excitement, I found Foundations of Burden to sound a bit lacking at times, but this sounds much nicer

      • Yup! Can’t wait!

      • Grymm

        Wait until you hear “Lie of Survival”, “Dancing in Madness”, or “A Plea for Understanding”.

        • Austin Lovell

          “Lie of Survival” is a killer song and definitely one of my favorites from the album.

  • sir_c

    That’s a lot of 4+ ratings these last few days… more than my wallet can cope with at least. But you won’t hear me complaining today, the video sounds good. Great read too btw.

  • Francesco Bordoni

    State of the art review as always – now I’m just waiting for this beast to show up at my place. I’ve trascended HYPE for this one!

  • There is something in the air this week. Lot’s of 4/4,5!
    I already liked the preview songs the label put on Spotify, but this review made me preorder the vinyl. The sound reminds me of the latest Khemmis album as well.

    • André Snyde Lopes

      Something in the air – it’s fanboy-ism!

    • Bas

      there is something in the air tonight ?

  • Excentric_13073

    Why do I like Khemmis but not Pallbearer?

    I still don’t have the answer.

    • Grymm

      I think the two are different enough to warrant such a response, so I completely get it.

      Khemmis doesn’t exactly hit that nerve for me like Pallbearer does, but both are great bands, IMHO.

      • Belgian Tom’s Hat Trick

        Totally agree with you. Pallbearer just has a bit more emotion in their songs. However, Khemmis isn’t too far behind.

    • contenderizer

      Khemmis have a wide streak of traditional heavy metal running through their sound. It’s not all doom all the time.

      • Chigo

        Agreed. It gives them kind of a “fun”, catchy swagger at times. Pallbearer paints with a darker, more mournful brush, with an almost indie rock feel (though it sounds like this one moves toward prog).

        • Levly

          Very well said, I think that’s why I absolutely loved the last Khemmis but have trouble getting into Pallbearer. I’ll keep trying though, and it seems this one may be an easier sell.

        • Excentric_13073

          That’s true, I do like a good “swagger” in my music…

    • Wilhelm

      I have the opposite problem

    • h_f_m

      I’m with you. I’ve tried, just nothing in Pallbearer evokes any emotion from me.

  • Luke_22

    This exceeded my very high expectations, incredible album and great write-up as well.

  • Reese Burns

    In love with this album. A Plea for Understanding might be the best doom song since Four Phantoms came out in 2015. This album is pure beauty.

    • Grymm

      “A Plea for Understanding” and “Dancing in Madness” are battling it out for my personal Song of the Year. The fact that they’re on the same album speaks volumes to how good it is.

      • Reese Burns

        Even just the title of it stirs really primal emotions in you. “A Plea for Understanding”. It’s the fact that they play so strongly on really simple emotions that sells this band to me.

      • El_Cuervo

        I actually think “Dancing in Madness” is one of the weaker tracks here. But “APfU” is awesome in the truest sense of the word.

        • Reese Burns

          Plea is stunning, through and through.

      • jrichocean

        I think I’m in the exact same boat… Contenders for favorite songs of the year for sure.

      • Syn

        While I think it should probably be illegal to put people in a situation to say something like “the last four minutes of the song, after the 8th minute mark”, but the last four minutes after the 8th minute mark (7:50-ish actually) of Dancing in Madness is one of the best pieces of music I’ve ever heard in my life.

  • I’m reading your comments and starting to see some great new musical discovery on the horizon (I never listened to this band, shame on me). I often see them mentioned together with Khemmis and since october I’m haunted by “Hunted”, so… I’m rolling up my sleeves and beginning the exploration.
    Thanks!

    • John Mosley

      Khemmis is solid, but Pallbearer is next level. Join the dark side.

    • Shawn Cypher

      If you liked Hunted you’ll definitely love Pallbearer.

      Also look into Yob if you haven’t before. Especially “Clearing the Path to Ascend”

  • Jrod1983

    I’m beyond excited for this album, Sorrow and Foundations are some of my favorite albums.
    Pallbearer are masters at what they do.

  • Paul VH

    I’ve been spinning this one all day , waiting for the songs to grab me.
    I guess it’s not immediate for me although those types of albums generally have longer shelf life .
    I’ll say this much……it’s definitely Pallbearer.

    • Paul VH

      Ok, so a new morning with fresh ears and the melodies are starting to creep out of the mix. I hope it keeps going!

  • DrewMusic

    I want to like Pallbearer, I really do, but there’s some unknown disconnect that has always proven insurmountable to me. They’re certainly not untalented, and I can’t go so far as to call them boring in all fairness, but…
    I dunno, it’s just never clicked and this far in I’m wondering at what point my revisits become more insanity than objectivity. I feel cheated either way.

    • Dead1

      They have no impact. It goes for nowhere and has no vibe or soul. Just like Khemmis and not that far removed from Ghost either.

      • sjforr

        I agree with you about Khemmis. Their style just isn’t my thing. I hesitate to write this on this forum, but they just sound too “American” for my tastes. Not sure if anyone out there will understand what I mean by that. No disrespect to America. You’ve given us all a lot of great music, just none of it in the metal genre imho.

      • DrewMusic

        Eh, I agree in that Pallbearer has yet to present anything that clicked for me, and I’m always pro Ghost shaming, but though I’m not a level 99 Khemmis fangirl like the rest of these hoodlums I do really dig Hunted.
        Bizarrely overrated, but still certainly solid in my book.

      • Shawn Cypher

        I’d completely disagree.

        “Hunted” was probably one of my top 3 albums last year, and “Foundations of Burden” has knocked something (I’m not sure what yet), out of my Top 10 Albums of all times.

        But that’s just how opinions are, I suppose.

        After a bad day/week/whatever… I can play “Foundations..” and it’s like an opiate coursing through my ears… just makes everything duller… and really sinks you into that down mood, but being like an old friend it’s also very comforting.

        (Edit: To clarify, I have two Ghost albums from trying to give them a chance… and I really, really don’t like them. Ghost has no soul. Pallbearer and Khemmis are consumed with it. )

        • Marco Albright

          And I’d like to disagree with you about Ghost
          They are full of spirit and energy
          They have become one of my favourite bands of all time, so very wickedly good, not to mention one the best live acts around
          It’s all opinions at the end of the day, really enjoying Heartless so far

    • Levly

      I’m with you there, the last record just didn’t connect with me, even though I can recognise the quality of the music. I will keep trying with this one since I quite enjoy I Saw The End and since everyone at AMG is so in love with the band, but it’s hard lol.

  • Carlos Marrickvillian

    Love these guys, they rule doom mountain.
    Interested to hear the progressive elements it seems like a smart move making Foundations 2 would’ve been fine but pushing themselves a bit is more interesting for everyone.
    You must have been good to get this review I was kind of expecting S. Druhm Esq. to claim this one.

  • contenderizer

    Pallbearer…
    Ballpearer…
    BALLREAPER

    ^ missed opportunity, imo

    • Grymm

      Pearballer are amazing, too!

      • Syn

        Bearpaler!

        I can already see PETA sending letters!

  • RDP

    This album is almost a 5.0 for me. Im a big fan of Pallbearer and it seems as if they have been building up to this album. The only thing keeping it from a perfect album is Cruel Road. It feels kind of out of place for me among the other songs.

    But overall, it’s been a long time since an album evoked such emotion in me with both the guitar harmonies and vocals/lyrics.

    • Luke_22

      I agree Cruel Road doesn’t fit in as seamlessly as the rest but I actually really dig it. It’s cool to hear them really rocking out and and the guitar work is reliably stellar.

  • John Mosley

    Haven’t heard it yet and already banking on AOTY based on the strength of the two singles alone.

  • You wot m8?

    Are we going to get any bad records this month… Please guys, my wallet can only take so much punishment.

  • R.Daneel Olivaw

    so this is Doom Metal???it seems to me that i’ve lost some episodes.

    • Dead1

      It’s not doom metal. It’s gutless fuzzy rock.
      For some reason metal heads who are meant to like arse kicking, bombastic music now like gutless soulless fuzzy rock like Pallbearer, Khemmis and Ghost.
      Meanwhile arse kicking metal is generally ignored (e.g. all the death metal and grind) or regarded as too dumb/redneck (e.g. Lamb of God or Soulfly).
      It’s all got to do with this middle class millennial takeover of metal. Soulless people listen to soulless music.
      *Goes back to listening to Entombed.*

      • Julien Robitaille

        Or maybe I can both enjoy a good arsekicking from Enslaved’ Frost AND the fun musical ride from Ghost and Pallbearer, eh ?

        • Dead1

          Dude I like fun music be it Guns N Roses (whom I just spent $700+ to see live) or Rammstein or Turbonegro or White Zombie or Ramones or Sex Pistols.
          Pallbearer and Ghost are boring, gutless and soulless.
          And for some reason a lot of discussion and a lot of hype in metal revolves around these boring fuzzy rock bands.
          As stated, metal is hijacked by non-metallers.

          • Wilhelm

            Ghost never claimed to be metal, they have influences from BOC to Abba to Mercyful Fate and are closer to heavy rock then anything. Pallbearer started by playing sludgey doom and progressed into something more melodic – so what, there are about a thousand other bands playing sludge for you to listen to. If everyone thought like you then I wouldn’t have all those cool cd’s where metal bands drew influences from non metal bands like Pink Floyd and Sisters of Mercy. I’m a fan of music.

          • Dead1

            There’s drawing influence and then there’s not playing metal at all. Atheist mixed jazz and samba but stayed metal throughout. Same applies to many of metal’s greats.
            And then there’s playing boring fuzzy rock and people calling it metal cause of the cognitive dissonance of not listening to something labelled as metal.
            You may be a fan of music but I’m a fucking metal head.
            Sure I like Dean Martin, Viennese Waltzes and Michael Jackson and Dead Kennedies but I worship at the altar of heavy fucking metal.

          • herrschobel

            i agree on so many Levels…i mean hello ????? Guns n Roses was everything…catchy / dirty / mindless / clever / punk / bombastic …just amazing … in the beginning…but this…meeeeeeew…nice people making nice music

          • Grymm

            Getting mad at Pallbearer for not being “fun” is a lot like me bemoaning that there’s not enough rap in Anaal Nathrakh’s music, or how Krisiun needs more sweeping violins to be palatable. They’re not aiming for that.

            There are other bands who fit your needs just fine, and no one is depriving you of your enjoyment of those bands. There’s room for all that in the metal spectrum.

          • Dead1

            I only mentioned fun cause someone else did.
            As a doom metal band, they’re lacking in heaviness, are too clean sounding and meander along without any purpose.
            As stated they’re not really metal. And they’re boring as bat shit.

          • Huck N’ Roll

            I love Rammstein, and I love Pallbearer. I listen to each when I want to do different things. There’s no Pallbearer on my workout mix tape, for instance, but there’s also no Rammstein on my “sit on the sofa with my evening Scotch in the dark and just listen” mix tape. It all works out.

      • Chigo

        Come on, man. I’ve read enough of your posts on Metal Fi to get a sense of your style, and I don’t think you’re TRYING to troll here, but calling everyone who digs this band (many of whom are obviously represented here) “soullness” is beneath you.

        There are plenty of websites for that kind of discourse; this isn’t one of them.
        Of course Pallbearer isn’t anyone’s go-to for “bombast” or “arse-kicking;” there are plenty of other bands for that. Pallbearer, Khemmis, and Ghost provide something else. Variety is the spice of metal.

        • Dead1

          Except they aren’t metal. They’re hard/prog rock (Ghost isn’t even that).
          Nothing wrong with hard rock either – Van Halen, AC/DC, Monster Magnet, Clutch, Aerosmith Hellacopters, etc etc are all awesome hard rock bands. Oh and Guns N Rose n’est pas!
          I might’ve been a bit harsh on the soulless thing. :p

          • Dead1

            Whoops – that was meant to be n’est ce pas.

      • Carlos Marrickvillian

        So heartless Dead1

      • Matt Vogt

        ‘Soulless’ is a great song, there’s also a fantastic cover of it by Moonsorrow, which turns it into an extended blackened folky romp. I love Pallbearer just as much as I ever loved Entombed. This comment brought to you by a random number generator.

  • Julien Robitaille

    From Profound Lore’s Bandcamp page :

    ‘After having helped revitalize doom metal, it almost feels like they’ve
    gone and set their sights on rock and roll itself. Which doesn’t seem
    at all impossible on the back of a record like Heartless.’

    Oh how I wish it were true…

    • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

      Oh come on! It’s like you’re trying to tell me that a record label would resort to hyperbole in order to sell more records!

      • Julien Robitaille

        I work as a bookseller. Hyperbole from publishers is the stuff I have nightmares about…

        But still, when the music’s that good, one can dream of hearing it with crowds of thousands chanting…

    • Nate Sweet

      “Revitalize doom metal” sounds like a cool oxymoron.

  • Wilhelm

    This album is amazing and emotionally draining, Pallbearer’s best imo.

  • Chigo

    Like you, Grymm, Foundations is one of my favorite albums of the last decade (as was Sorrow), so I’ve been waiting for this one like a squealing schoolgirl. But I have to say, the two tracks that have been released so far haven’t really done as much for me as I’d hoped. Maybe its the more proggy direction? Glad to hear people naming tracks other than those 2 as standouts; it re-invigorates my excitement for the release date.

  • Belgian Tom’s Hat Trick

    My boys from Little Rock still going strong. Never saw an Arkansas band making such a splash in the metal world. Very proud of them. Cool thing is, they are a good group of dudes; very humble. Just got my copy and haven’t had time to listen to it and refused to sample any songs before I got to delve into it all at once. Thinking I won’t be disappointed. Great review!

  • Agalloch90

    Wow.. Can’t wait to listen the shiit out of it.

  • The embedded track just does nothing for me. It’s not that it’s awful, just very middle of the road.

  • A Feed From Cloud Mountain

    Damn, that embedded track is sick. I don’t know why, but I assumed these guys were old-school doom and never looked into it. Glad I’ve realized that was a mistake.

    Give it to me straight: are the previous two records worth checking out if I like this one?

  • herrschobel

    i . don´t . get . this . Band !

    what is it ? i find this so boring and lacking any vitality that even the slowest forms of doom can have … see Oceans ‘Here Where Nothing Grows’ ..a MASSIVE record by the way

    … same with this other super hyped Band Khemmis …. makes me sleepy … no Balls ! too nice ! no edges …like average Vanilla Ice Cream…not bad , doesn´t hurt but you forget about the next second …arrrrrrr..just not dirty enough for me i guess…well the Rest of you enjoy !

    • Dead1

      I totally agree amigo.

    • sjforr

      This band isn’t really my bag, but I suspect that’s genre related. Generally I find Doom quite bland, so it’s probably unfair to judge a band when I’m really judging the genre. As technicians of their genre I defer to the better informed opinions being expressed here on AMG (hardly a site known for unquestioning regurgitation of hype).

      Khemmis on the other hand I agree with you about. I think they’re grossly overrated and for the life of me do not understand the accolades. For some reason they give me horrible flashbacks to the dreaded days of “hair metal” – a combination of the guitar tone and vocals I suspect. Not my cup of tea at all.

      Now, back to Abreaction which is currently pounding away in the background (love that album!)…

      • herrschobel

        the hype can get anyone…thats the nature of the hype…in theory :-) … see, i love Sabbath, Saint Vitus, Candlemass and so on….the blue print for all this…but again i can instinctively (yes instinct !) say for myself that this feels safe and gutless … well executed and all that…but you could say the same about Rihanna …now hit me :-P

        • sjforr

          Fair enough.

        • That was largely my impression of Pallbearer. Guess I missed their hype train.

          • herrschobel

            that they sound like Rihanna :-D ? back to some Melvins now …but they are quite ok Live actually…at least the one time i saw them..

          • Lol actually I was thinking more Beyoncé…

          • herrschobel

            well Rihanna and Beyonce were made in the same Factory..i was just surprised to learn that they now also assemble so called “Doom Metal bands”

          • Grymm

            Nah, more Adele. ;)

  • Innit Bartender

    100 points for wearing a Magma t-shirt in band photo. But still, their old photo at Lovecraft’s grave still stands as the Best Band Photo.

  • BilboBaggins

    I got into Pallbearer after seeing a photo of one of the members wearing an Anathema “Eternity” shirt, something I haven’t seen in about 17 years at that point. I really miss the UK/European metal from those days, so I was hoping these guys might have too. First album was REALLY GREAT, second album I thought was pretty good, maybe I haven’t listened to it enough times since everyone here is crowing about it. Really looking forward to this one for sure.

  • BilboBaggins

    Oh and nice to see a DR 9 on this after it dipped down to DR 7 on their last one (with DR 10 on the first).

  • Bas

    first one neh.. second one better, nice but too smooth and songs too similar.. third one .. who knows, Grymm got me interested, maybe more variety while keeping the doom mood, the song is good, maybe this time?

  • DeadHead

    I tried to like Pallbearer. I even went and saw them live twice. Unfortunately I was bored to tears both times. Saw them with High on Fire and as soon as High on Fire came on I forgot this band even existed.

  • Baltech

    I really like it. It does sound suspiciously Elder-like, especially in the lighter moments.

    • Matt Vogt

      I don’t know why that’s suspicious, but to me Elder are a closer comparison than Khemmis. Elder have a strong streak of classic rock to spice up the doom, but I think this album moves Pallbearer firmly in that direction. Not a bad thing in my book, as they’ve clearly got the ability.

  • Oscar Albretsen

    They’ve got beards! Kill them ! Site’s new monniker.

  • AgonMcDuck

    Okay, this album has been with me a couple of days now.

    As stellar as the whole thing is, I *cannot* stop listening to “A Plea for Understanding.” That song is as fucking fantastic as everyone here says it is. It’s memorable, it’s got some fantastic melodies, it really sticks to you, and to top it all off, the lyrics are gut-wrenching. This might be the song of the year, and I thought nothing was gonna dislodge “Waheelas Fahrte” from the top of my list.

    It’s also almost thirteen minutes long, so my sense of time has been warped by this thing.

    Also don’t get the dislike for “Cruel Road.” I mean, okay, I get it, I get it’s a little out of place, but it… it rocks.

    • Grymm

      I don’t dislike “Cruel Road” so much as it feels odd placed with the other songs on here. It’s still a great song.

      And “A Plea for Understanding” is flawless from start to finish.

  • Richard Bendall

    This album is truly outstanding! Standouts for me are definitely I Saw The End, Lie of Survival and A Plea For Understanding, the latter of which might be one of the saddest songs ever recorded.

  • Jacq

    I bought this due to the wall-to-wall great reviews. Can’t get on with the vocals. Not a great voice and to my battered ears the melodies are almost an afterthought. Maybe needs more time…

  • Will Charnley

    Fantastic album, sounds dynamic, anyone else getting the digital distortion on the louder parts though? Wouldn’t expect this on a DR 8/9 but my AIFF files from the Bandcamp are giving me some pretty horrible crackles at the periphery best noticeable during “Thorns” around the 2:03 mark and 2:40 on the far right. Really hope this isn’t on every copy. I’ll have to throw this £12 purchase in the bin. Gutted.

    • Chigo

      Hey Will, sorry for the super late reply, but I get the same crackles in my FLAC files from Bandcamp. I can hear it just streaming the files from Bandcamp as well (even on my phone with shitty headphones). I suspect it’s part of every copy. It puts a bit of a blemish on an otherwise stellar production job. I’d be curious to hear if others notice this, or if anyone with a CD or vinyl copy hear it.

  • Both Pallbearer and Khemmis are the new Doom metal frontiers, IMHO: doomish like the blackest coil, dramatic, melodic and…. rotten at the best point, these guys will really “hit the road”, going on this way…
    “Heartless” is really emotional, for me.

  • It is a BEAUTIFUL record.
    I sense an early Geoff Tate’s tone in Campbell’s voice
    Am I wrong?

    • Grymm

      Nope, I got that at points as well!

  • Syn

    My feelings for this album share many similarities with last year’s Thrawsunblat release (my album of the year for 2016).

    They both released a promo song before the release that later turned out to be my favourite on the entire album (in its entirety), and yet they both have another song which has the best sub-section on the album. On Metachthonia it’s the third act of Dead of Winter, and here it’s the part of Dancing in Madness after around 7:45 mark. Just wow!

    I do think that some more editing (read: smaller song length) might have benefited the flow here, but that’s true for nearly everything these days.

  • Antoninho Botucatu

    I can’t listen to “I saw the end” without singing together “A soy latte”… Hipster boys are sad and doomy because their Starbucks ran out of soy milk…