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Metal - Released August 19, 2014 | Profound Lore

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Rock - Released October 23, 2020 | Nuclear Blast

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In the 2010s, Pallbearer gave doom metal a new face. The Little Rock, Arkansas, band emerged in 2012 with a lauded debut, Sorrow and Extinction, that immediately placed them in the upper echelon of broiling riff lords. It was a classic doom record through and through (five songs clocking in at 48 minutes, beginning with a 12-minute opener) but 2014's Foundations of Burden and 2017's Heartless pushed their sound into more melodic and proggy territory, respectively. Given their technical proficiency and frontman Brett Campbell's soaring voice—which sounds like a cross between Ozzy Osbourne and Mastodon's Brann Dailor—their aspirations to break beyond the ceiling of their root genre made sense, and those records were roundly praised by critics and fans alike. On their fourth album and first since jumping from the tastemaking label Profound Lore to the career-securing institution Nuclear Blast, Pallbearer have taken a venn diagram approach to their discography. Forgotten Days is a return to the primitive heaviness of their debut that doesn't forego the grand elements they introduced on their last two projects. The title track opener is perhaps the purest distillation of the Pallbearer sound: a mountainous yet chuggy riff, Campbell's anthemic belt, and a righteously noisy guitar solo. The 12-minute centerpiece "Silver Wings" is a trudging doom track with candlelit leads that add a touch of brightness to an otherwise cavernous affair. It features two epic solos, the latter congealing with beaming synths that seem to swoop in and out of the darkness. It might be the most impressive song on the record, but the two tracks that follow are the most satisfying. The sludgy riff in "The Quicksand Existing" has a Sabbath-like crunch that bolsters a truly ripping solo (the album's best), and the song transitions seamlessly into the bludgeoning "Vengeance and Ruination," which features a positively evil lead lick. Pallbearer are a doom band at their core, so they always sound the most locked-in when the low and slow riffs drag due to their sheer weight. However, their most interesting moments arrive when they add melodic and/or virtuosic flair on top of their earthy heaviness—the surprisingly hooky and gotchi outro track, "Caledonia," is a fascinating and memorable way to go out. Forgotten Days takes a few tracks to pick up, but on the whole it's the most comprehensive and finely-tuned Pallbearer record to date. © Eli Enis/Qobuz
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Rock - Released September 18, 2020 | Nuclear Blast

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Metal - Released February 21, 2012 | Profound Lore

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Rock - Released July 10, 2020 | Nuclear Blast

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Rock - Released March 24, 2017 | Nuclear Blast Entertainment

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After Pallbearer avoided the dreaded "sophomore slump" with 2014's killer Foundations of Burden, fan expectations run high, and rightfully so. It was so close to a perfect illustration of the band's growth (and an aesthetic shot in the arm for metal) that it raised expectations for what would come next. If Heartless offers anything out of the gate, it's that Pallbearer is relentless in their pursuit of musical growth on all fronts: Much tighter songwriting, canny self-production, poetic lyrics, elaborate melodic invention, well-placed dynamics, exploratory textures, and inspired performances. Over seven songs that run nearly an hour, Pallbearer reveal more confidence and sophistication than anyone could have expected. Brett Campbell's singing showed improvement on Foundations of Burden over its predecessor, but was still somewhat unconvincing. No longer. His voice is as much a dominant focal point as the band's punishing riffs. He lyrical delivery of these tunes is authoritative; he fully inhabits the emotional depths these songs plumb. The interplay between his and Devin Holt's guitars is more intricate and empathic (check the labyrinthine opener "I Saw the End" or the opening third of "Dancing in Madness" for incontrovertible proof). Joe Rowland's bass has a more prominent role in this mix. What's more, his lyrics (including sole authorship of the title track) shine darkly as they tread the caverns of loss and grief. Drummer Mark Lierly tight-rope walks between chugging grooves, plodding thuds, and low-end engineering. "I Saw the End" is a beautiful illustration of prog metal's new place of prominence; it's inseparable from the band's persona. That said, their trademark Black Sabbath riff consciousness in both "Thorns" and the bone-cracking "Cruel Road," underscores that crushing doom lies at the heart of what they do best. "Lie of Survival" may open gently, but entwined twin leads, a detuned bassline, and rolling tom and kick drums create the backdrop for the most emotionally devastating track here. While the first few seconds of the title track offer an acoustic guitar, it explodes shortly thereafter with wide-open riffing, sprawling sonic washes. and power, yet offers a complex melody. Despite the attractiveness and immediacy Heartless offers -- an album that will doubtless attract an even wider legion of fans -- it will take repeated listens to absorb everything on offer. While it may be hard to resist comparisons between this and Foundations of Burden, they're fruitless. Heartless is a whole different thing: it delivers the sound of a mature band coming into its own and learning to utilize its various strengths. Pallbearer never forsake their origins, but they refuse to be bound by them as they pursue unmapped terrain. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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Metal - Released August 10, 2016 | Profound Lore

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Alternative & Indie - Released June 14, 2019 | Sub Pop Records

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Rock - Released April 27, 2018 | Nuclear Blast Entertainment

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Rock - Released August 14, 2020 | Nuclear Blast