She’s looking ‘round the room in the fourth dimension/
she’s howlin’ at the moon in your direction… awhooo!
I’m so hungry man/
I could eat the rich.
Okay, the streets aren’t paved with gold/
But at least they paved, though/
And we move like wolves/
in the bleak night.
And we dance like ghosts/
deprived of flight.
The body will come to understand/
a season of doubt.
"I will contain you/then cast you away/like a broken memory"
Due to tumblr’s size restrictions, this is the only song that I could post from Pallbearer’s new album Foundation of Burden. Every other song is roughly 3x the length of this one. That should give you some sense of the epic scale the band employs.
I wanted to spotlight these guys before I even knew that they were from Arkansas, but once I made that discovery I wanted to give them the deluxe treatment. Turns out I didn’t have to, because the music critic sphere is doing a pretty good job of the deluxe treatment all on their own.
From the AllMusic Review:
Expectations run high for Foundations of Burden, Pallbearer's sophomore full-length. On their 2012 debut, Sorrow and Extinction, the Arkansas doom quartet established itself by bringing something back to the genre that had been missing — at least partially — since Black Sabbath: innate lyricism and dynamics rather than simply volume-centric, plodded-out variations on A-minor.
Produced by Billy Anderson (Sleep, Agalloch), Foundations of Burden expands upon its predecessor’s approach. Here, vocalist/guitarist Brett Campbell has learned to control his high-register instrument. Also welcome is the rhythmic invention of more agile new drummer Mark Lierly. Here, Pallbearer more seamlessly weave together the different schools of doom (classic, stoner, funeral, epic, black, etc.).
In sum, Pallbearer's rather singular — and possibly commercially viable — doom is based on the tradition's tropes, not the music of their peers. Requisite darkness is all over Foundations of Burden, but it isn’t the only shade of emotion here. There’s the hint of a glimmer in each song that other doom bands can’t conceive, let alone get to. The album and its production make catharsis part of an evolutionary process, not an end in itself.
From The Vancouver Sun review:
Arkansas doom metal upstarts Pallbearer set the bar high with their 2012 debut Sorrow And Extinction, a gargantuan collection of slow, weighty heavy metal that took the “doom” genre into a new direction. Not a small feat, and not one easily repeated.
Yet, with their second effort, Foundations Of Burden, Pallbearer manage to take a step further, expertly weaving a grand tapestry of monolithic riffs that builds slowly to soaring heights…
This isn’t metal in the traditional sense; it’s more akin to progressive rock, and many of the album’s key builds and breaks have a distinctly classic Rush and Pink Floyd-inspired approach (the final two minutes of second track Foundations are positively spine-tingling).
Combine all that heaviness with Brett Campbell’s quivering classic rock voice, and Foundations Of Burden rings with an emotional depth rarely heard in the doom genre.
Pallbearer continue to make vibrant, vital and very much alive music. And whether you’re a metal fan or not, there is something truly glorious about the way Pallbearer transcend genres so effectively.
From the Paste Magazine review:
Though they don’t fully cop to the doom metal label, Pallbearer’s website is called PallbearerDoom.com and they play tremendously heavy, guitar-based music. But the thing about the Little Rock four-piece (now featuring new drummer Mark Lierly) is that they deal in dualities, contradictions. On Foundations of Burden, the follow-up to 2012’s debut Sorrow and Extinction, Pallbearer continue to build monstrous riffs that turn out to be gentle giants, with sheer beauty imbuing every guitar layer. Put simply, it’s a lovely album without extremes, the band’s second consecutive record that non-metalheads can love. (Guilty.)
Even though the album is crushing, the band’s penchant for melody is what elevates Foundations of Burden above otherwise comparable records from this year. Not only is the album consistently hooky, the melodies carry a greater sense of function, with the flaring guitars highlighting whichever feeling Campbell is conveying at the time. Foundations of Burden is remarkably consistent that way, a not-so-vulgar display of power from a band working on their own terms and getting scary good at doing so.
Being compared to Black Sabbath, Rush, and Pink Floyd… being called “glorious” and “scary good”; there’s not much more I can add to that. Very highly recommend.