Pallbearer - Foundations Of Burden review
|Album:||Foundations Of Burden|
|Release date:||August 2014|
01. Worlds Apart
03. Watcher In The Dark
04. The Ghost I Used To Be
If you could encase within a coffin all that is texturally appealing about doom metal, Pallbearer knowingly carry six of these coffins to their grave in Foundations Of Burden. This is not to suggest that they simply bring the traditional sound of a genre to its untimely end, but, rather, in our modern era they place it respectfully in an ideal and honourable resting place. Ad Memoriam Doom.
Their second long-play plays long indeed, although one couldn't argue arduously so, for their duration persists with activity, something uncharacteristic and atypical of those bands which establish meek imitation and replication. No, the guitar duality here constitutes an album that clearly announces its relevance without overly laborious pacing and setting the scene with a presence long overstaying its welcome. These dirges of doom that are so eloquently elongated bring about an instrumental time-lapse which despite expectations will leave you longing for more, not longing for less. Constant in sound, yet also constant in movement; the resting place is reached in an album characterised by active doom. To this the highly individualized voice of Brett Campbell sings the listener's last rites in a way that carries the weight of an old style on new and able shoulders.
It all means finality, something which stands to deliver doom of its own bearing, but on the other hand it doesn't mean an end to the succours of life offered by more generously upbeat metal sub-genres. The uptempo is as much a part of their service as the downtempo, all delivered in the same sorrowful endeavour. This is doom as it was designed to be; soul-draining yet, counter-intuitively, a pure pleasure to experience with an actively engaging sound that retains the attention. How is it that such a traditionally identifiable style can distinguish itself so easily from every other doom act seeking much the same design? Pedigree is the only answer. A way of song writing that attributes to their own sound every facet of doom metal that made bands as mighty as Candlemass what they were, what they are. At the same time, you'll find no clear imitation here. No direct correlations which betray them. Pallbearer as a group have a solemn duty, to which they perform with solitary distinction and obvious style. They certainly don't defeat a sound well-worn and older than the hills; as befits their name, they in fact bear it in dutiful veneration.
It takes time to recognise the active nature of the album's movements, not various or particularly distinct from each other based upon initial impressions in their manner of proceeding, but sharing homogeneity and stylistic singularity that never loses strength in their slowly drawn power. Perpetuated by a rhythm section whose task it is to avoid subjecting their audience to en mass comatose, the record is nimbly navigated by guitars which consistently have a role to play in the formation of doom that actually moves and shows some life. "Ashes" serves as a tranquil, three minute reprieve in the thick of things, it following the bulk of the album and before the closer in "Vanished" concludes the band's mournful yet purposeful passage.
These coffins well born by Pallbearer are enhanced with superb finishing, the production of Foundations Of Burden being a testament to the mixing and mastering of a doom record and drawing out all of its qualities in crystal clarity. Not even the heavy burgeoning can shatter the surface.
Simply stated, Foundations Of Burden is an obvious recent highlight in doom.
||Written on 22.08.2014 by R'Vannith enjoys music, he's hoping you do too.|
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| Marcel Hubregtse
Grumpy Old Fuck
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