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Album Of The Month September 2014
Pallbearer | ‘Foundations Of Burden’


Album Of The Month September 2014

You’ll hear few Doom albums as lush, heavy and atmospheric as this latest from Pallbearer. There’s no argument to be had here – it’s a masterstroke.

Ten minute opener ‘Worlds Apart’ will, for many like myself, be a colossal and joyous introduction to this band.

The first thing you notice is the guitar tone that’s so Orange it might as well be the surface of the sun.

But this band don’t use mere amps. They use cauldrons, in which bubble the most imaginative and heady brews of melody and riffing you’re likely to hear for a while. They maintain sorrowed tunefulness without sacrificing weight, and if anything, the weaving lines lend the album an incredibly triste vibe.

When you think this opening song’s finished, the band do the opposite. There is another movement, where they slow it right down and get pure Skepticism on you. That slow, plucked, clean guitar over the top of those lugubrious, crashing chords is all the more affecting for not just hitting the expected notes – no, Pallbearer have different ones up their sleeves, and the kind that’ll bring you right back to ‘Farmakon’.

Pallbearer pack more into this track than most bands pack into whole careers – and you’ve still got lots to go. Through the moods, moments and mountainous riffs this album traverses, every second is pure quality.

I suppose a lot of credit has to go to vocalist Brett Campbell for his sublime Sabbath / Candlemass / Trouble vocals that are of one with the sacred orthodox doom line. But this is very much about a band, and not a personality.

Out of many musical highlights, they also have a knack for the spiritual atmosphere, with those almost Gregorian changing lines they do. Add that to the chorus’ed guitar and there is most certainly a hint of Type O Negative around ‘Haunted’ in here. A wonderful tonality.

Yet it’s less a case of guitar tones and more of guitar tonnes, and no matter what way you measure it, this album has them all. It is, admittedly, quite long, and quite a challenge for one sitting.

To which there is an obvious solution: it’s one for a long, long walk this autumn. So take it out with you, find a wood, and immerse yourself in its small-g gothic world of ivy, dirt, stone and iron.

It’ll bring you somewhere.

5/5 – Earl Grey ::: 01/09/14



16 Comments
  1. I really liked what I heard off this. Defo going to pick it up and enjoy the oncoming cold and rain in its company.

  2. Like this. Hint of Confessor from the vocals at time maybe? (but not as all over the shop). Sounds good….

  3. greaterfool Says:

    Surprised you didn’t hear their debut? Opening song “Foreigner” is something else.

  4. Yeah, just never got round to it. Have to remedy that.

  5. Sorrow and Extinction is still a firm favourite, eager to pick this up ASAP!

  6. Listened to that link and I’d say it’ll just get even better on when played again. These lads are worth the hype surrounding them.

  7. Superb album.

    Can’t wait to see them with YOB this Saturday in Glasgow.

  8. mate of mine sent me sorrow and extinction a few days ago, what a band!

  9. sorrow and extinction is a great album.looking forward to picking up a copy of this.concur about the foreigner.amazing track!!

  10. 27 quid for the new vinyl. I can wait

  11. At first I thought it wasnt as strong as Sorrow &Exctinction,on their tour with YOB. Its a monster sound to be completely immersed in!

  12. Black Shepherd Says:

    I never got the memo about this band! These speakers haven’t pumped out such sweet, treacle thick melodic sounds in a very long time. Absolutely stunning album, will have to go back and check their last one too.

  13. Honestly, the guitars are a joy to behold.

  14. Black Shepherd Says:

    John Floss… I’ve listened to Sorrow & Extinction now, and on that there are definite hints of the Confessor style vocals, though I’m not hearing them on this new one at all. There do seem to be strokes of that vocal sound Mastodon have been pushing towards, except executed with a slicing sincerity the Mastodon lads don’t appear to be even after.

    I too will wait for the price to come down a bit though!

  15. wizardinblack Says:

    Just getting around to this now, really like it, it’s got everything, been meaning to pick up Sorrow & Extinction since it’s release, will grab the two together now, $31 shipped direct from Profound Lore isn’t bad.

  16. Much as I like it I’m still preferring Sorrow and Extinction. But we’re talking lofty heights here

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