Played 2 times

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 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. 

Angels in the Apocalypse: How the Events of “Angels in the Outfield” Led to Humanity’s Extinction |

Adam wrote a great piece at Unreality Mag inspired by our latest podcast.  Check it out!

JJPE Special: "Angels in the Outfield" Commentary

JJPE Special: Angels in the Outfield Commentary

In this special episode the boys take (another) break from their usual list-making shenanigans and lay down a commentary track for the Disney classic “Angels in the Outfield”. Marvel at Tony Danza soup. Coo over shirtless Matthew McConaughey. Spot the man with the banjo! 

"Angels in the Outfield" in its entirety can be found on YouTube with some clever searching so watch, laugh, and witness the end of civilization just because some dumb foster kid couldn’t understand his meth-addicted father’s sarcasm. Seriously, this movie has some twisted implications. Listen up!

Have the Angels won the pennant since this movie came out?

Probably not, Nacho-Butt.

What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans, and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty or democracy?

The beautiful Mirel Wagner.  23 year old singer-songwriter born in Ethiopia, raised and currently living in Finland.

Played 80 times

"1 2 3 4" - Mirel Wagner (from When the Cellar Children See the Light of Day)

The opening track from the album. This song immediately drew me in and hooked me. 

A little speculation:  Am I wrong to connect some of the elements of this track, as well as the name of the album, to the infamous Fritzl case?  There were actual cellar children and I remember several media outlets emphasizing that they had never seen sunlight. 

The Dirt - Mirel Wagner (from When the Cellar Children See the Light of Day)

My favorite recent discovery musically.  This song is a really good representation of her music as a whole, but everything off her latest album is good.  She is an amazing musician.  Her lyrics, compositions, and vocals  are beautiful and haunting.  The best albums craft their own unique world built on atmosphere and lyrical composition. She effortlessly conjures a Gothic nightmare and confidently ensnares the listener for the duration of the album.

Furthermore, she co-directed the above video.  A really good debut effort on that front as well. 

Played 26 times

"Mother of Dragons" by Morning Starlett is the song that opens and closes the episode.  Great, great song!