Pallbearer - Foundations Of Burden review




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Reviewer:
8.5

157 users:
8.26
Band: Pallbearer
Album: Foundations Of Burden
Release date: August 2014


01. Worlds Apart
02. Foundations
03. Watcher In The Dark
04. The Ghost I Used To Be
05. Ashes
06. Vanished


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.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Production: 10


 



Written on 22.08.2014 by R'Vannith enjoys music, he's hoping you do too.


Comments

Comments: 15   Visited by: 221 users
22.08.2014 - 22:12
Lit.
Account deleted
Glad I gave this band another chance. This is pretty damned decent doom.
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22.08.2014 - 23:50
Ilham
Giant robot
Always a pleasure to read you. Very nice album, I agree with most of what you described here.
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23.08.2014 - 02:43
Monolithic
♠♠♠
Wonderful album indeed. The review did enough justice, as well.
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23.08.2014 - 09:14
Unhealer
Eclecticist
Quote:

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.


So much this. Epic review as usual!
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23.08.2014 - 21:04
UnknownCheese
Wussy doom for non-doom fans.
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23.08.2014 - 21:10
Vombatus
Potorro
I didn't listen anything by Pallbearer except the demo but it's quite funy how a lot of the opinions I see are very polarized. Maybe coz it was praised on Pitchfork or something... kinda like with Deafheaven. Like the same "black metal for non-black fans" comments (in this case, doom).
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23.08.2014 - 21:18
R'Vannith
ghedengi
Written by Vombatus on 23.08.2014 at 21:10

I didn't listen anything by Pallbearer except the demo but it's quite funy how a lot of the opinions I see are very polarized. Maybe coz it was praised on Pitchfork or something... kinda like with Deafheaven. Like the same "black metal for non-black fans" comments (in this case, doom).


I know what you mean, I've seen those sorts of comments in a number of places on the net and I just can't fathom where this idea that it's "doom for non-metal fans" is coming from. They seem to be entirely baseless to me.
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23.08.2014 - 21:26
Marcel Hubregtse
Grumpy Old Fuck
Written by R'Vannith on 23.08.2014 at 21:18

Written by Vombatus on 23.08.2014 at 21:10

I didn't listen anything by Pallbearer except the demo but it's quite funy how a lot of the opinions I see are very polarized. Maybe coz it was praised on Pitchfork or something... kinda like with Deafheaven. Like the same "black metal for non-black fans" comments (in this case, doom).


I know what you mean, I've seen those sorts of comments in a number of places on the net and I just can't fathom where this idea that it's "doom for non-metal fans" is coming from. They seem to be entirely baseless to me.


The idea that Pallbearer is doom for non-doom fans is totally ridiculous. At a Pallbearer gig you see the same people that attend shows by bands such as Warning, Procession, Solstice, Unsilence, Forsaken, Isole, Solitude Aeturnus, Reverend Bizarre, Lord Vicar, The Gates Of Slumber, Altar Of Oblivion, Rituals Of The Oak, Saint Vitus etc. So your usual doom fans.
----
Member of the true crusade against European Flower Metal

Yesterday is dead and gone, tomorrow is out of sight
Dawn Crosby (r.i.p.)
05.04.1963 - 15.12.1996

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23.08.2014 - 21:43
R'Vannith
ghedengi
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 23.08.2014 at 21:26

The idea that Pallbearer is doom for non-doom fans is totally ridiculous. At a Pallbearer gig you see the same people that attend shows by bands such as Warning, Procession, Solstice, Unsilence, Forsaken, Isole, Solitude Aeturnus, Reverend Bizarre, Lord Vicar, The Gates Of Slumber, Altar Of Oblivion, Rituals Of The Oak, Saint Vitus etc. So your usual doom fans.


The only thing I can think of as to why this band is being slated for no reason, is that they're getting a fair bit of popular appeal, which is only natural from my perspective, considering how well they play their doom. Excellent stuff here.
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24.08.2014 - 00:07
UnknownCheese
Or they're just not very good. It's too upbeat with more focus on post-rock atmospherics than riffs. That or they're trying to sound like Warning and failing.
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24.08.2014 - 00:21
Diverge
Written by R'Vannith on 23.08.2014 at 21:43

Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 23.08.2014 at 21:26

The idea that Pallbearer is doom for non-doom fans is totally ridiculous. At a Pallbearer gig you see the same people that attend shows by bands such as Warning, Procession, Solstice, Unsilence, Forsaken, Isole, Solitude Aeturnus, Reverend Bizarre, Lord Vicar, The Gates Of Slumber, Altar Of Oblivion, Rituals Of The Oak, Saint Vitus etc. So your usual doom fans.


The only thing I can think of as to why this band is being slated for no reason, is that they're getting a fair bit of popular appeal, which is only natural from my perspective, considering how well they play their doom. Excellent stuff here.

Yeah, that's the only answer I can think of at the moment as well. Great review!
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24.08.2014 - 08:05
Verdun_sc
I did not like their first album much. Found it really, really overrated.

But this album I actually dig quite a lot. It's good, although the riffs arent as good as say, Procession's.
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25.08.2014 - 08:04
toxx
Supreme being
Great review! A pleasure to read!
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29.08.2014 - 00:19
Daggon
Underpaid M.D.
Great album, it didn't impress me as much as their debut, but there's some great music here, it manages to sound unique, but staying true to their roots in Doom metal.
Personally I think they are as Doom as any other well-known Doom metal band.
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"Les vers savent qu'ils n'ont pas d'ailes, c'est pour cela qu'ils se cachent sous terre"
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14.08.2015 - 04:01
Ruinous
This doom for non-doom fans is so cliche. My late teens were in the Nu-metal era and I can distinctly remember nu-metal elitists (yes, they existed back then) saying that Limp Bizkit was Korn-Lite for non-nu-metal wussies.
Same stink, different genre

I haven't been into doom for long and it's not all to my liking, but this release struck a chord with me. Spot on with the review, I came back to read it because Foundations of Burden is still in my car in rotation since it's release.
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