Sunday, September 10, 2017
Pallbearer: Heartless (2017)
Pallbearer's sound is epic, slow-moving, melancholic, and melodic. The songs are typically longer with rather atypical song structures. The songs are not in standard verse-chorus-verse compositions, and in fact they typically do not have choruses at all. Therefore, the songs are not really catchy in the traditional sense. Rather, they are infectious in their own ways. The songs are typically dreary, with clean, heart-wrenching vocals and razor-sharp guitar leads. The album is incredibly heavy and yet heart-breaking. The vocals are so pained and tortured and the guitar melodies are so somber, that the emotion is impossible to not be contagious. It is beautifully tragic.
The only real issue is that the album does tend to drag in places. This is mostly to be expected with such a slow-moving release that is focused more on sorrow. By and large, the depressive tone works quite well with the dragged out songs, but on occasion it seems to lose focus and meander a bit. But the band does a great job of pulling things back together quickly.
It took me a while to get into Pallbearer initially. There was a lot of hype for their debut release which often tends to turn me off. But once I checked them out, I was hooked. And this album hooked me almost instantly. It is a terrific doom metal release with a ton of heaviness and emotion, two things that are often difficult to combine in such an effective manner as Pallbearer does here.