Pallbearer – Heartless
Label: Profound Lore Records
Release Date: March 24, 2017
This Doom Metal band from Little Rock, Arkansas is beginning to stir the pot in the metal community. Debuting at 187 on the US charts and at 98 in Germany, Heartless, Pallbearer’s third full LP released to date, has gained a little notoriety. Not to mention they’ve joined Progressive/Tech Death juggernauts Gojira this summer for a few dates on their Summer/Fall tour here in the states.
Coming in at about an hour in length, Heartless is truly a journey of an album. Pallbearer is able to somehow bend time at their very will, causing the record to fly by. The bipolar aspect to their sound is nothing short of marvelous. The transitions of heavy and clean riffs create an illusion that will completely beguile you. Vocalist Brett Campbell is able to sing cleans throughout this record without an ounce of grit and miraculously adds to its heavy aspect. Bassist Joseph D. Rowland and guitarist Devin Holt lay down copious amounts of simple but spirit-crushing licks to further complete the circle that is the Pallbearer sound.
Take their single and second track “Thorns” for example: The first minute is completely grotty. After that, Campbell comes in and lulls you into a trance. As well as the rest of this album, this song feels honest and sincere. It’s as if the contrasting tonality is enough to describe repentance (the vocals) of wrongdoings (the heaviness that follows).
However, my favorite tune off the album has to be the following, “Lie of Survival”. Something about it really spoke to me. “All our gods have fled/Retreated to the skies/From there/They watch us fall.” This desolate decree seems to hit a little too close to home. Not only are the lyrics insanely sound, the track is composed in such a way that will leave the hair on your ass standing up. Also, the completely clean section at the end will bring the manliest man to tears.
This album is painful to listen to-in a good way. The emotion that Pallbearer is able to draw out of you while listening to Heartless is miraculous. I wholeheartedly believe that you should–Scratch that–NEED to seek out this record and listen to it in its entirety. It isn’t just music: It’s an experience, as should all great albums should be.