Pallbearer have had a short but highly acclaimed existence and career to date. Formed in 2008 in Little Rock, Arkansas, the bands demo and 2012 full length debut “Sorrow and Extinction” were given almost universally excellent reviews, so their follow up ended becoming a highly anticipated affair. Despite the pressure placed upon them, the four piece have moved on, and arguably produced something even better with their new album “Foundations Of Burden”.
Opening with the ten minute ‘Worlds Apart’, the band set about taking a vintage sound and creating something that is at times glorious and other times bleak. The second track ‘Foundations’ follows the same path in another nine minute plus epic. Featuring some stunning vocal harmonies towards the end of the track. ‘Watcher In The Dark’ is up next, another ten minute long song which spends the first three minutes slowly building up before Brett Campbell’s vocals come in. The clean vocals are used to great effect and often offer a vastly different viewpoint from the bleak orchestrations that surround them.
‘Ashes’ is a very different proposition, it being a short three minute mellow interlude where everything is toned down a little, and much softer in its approach. This doesn’t last too long though as album closer ‘Vanished’ has some of the heavier moments on the album during its eleven minute life. Throughout most of the record, that part of the band is toned down slightly but here, you get the full effect, although it never threatens to become noise, keeping those melodies in that show not only just how good this band are, it also promises so much for the future.
Pallbearer seem to have something a bit special about them. There are a lot of bands doing well using the retro doom sound about them, but few of them do it as good as this. They have found their own sound that keeps them a few steps ahead of everyone. Despite the clean vocals and occasional use of harmonies, it is deceptively heavy, and takes three or four listens to get your head a round everything that is going on during the album. With “Foundations Of Burden”, they have created a record that demands your attention from the opening seconds right through to the very last note.