CD Reviews

Pallbearer - 'Heartless'

Added by Central Electronic Brain     July 04, 2017    
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I recommend this album to anybody who is in search of emotional depth in Rock music.

Profound, visionary, mazy, intimately lacerating and still more than that. I was completely dragged down into this Doomy, Psychedelic, revealing abyss in which this brilliant Little Rock, Arkansas band wanders in with such grace and without any clear destination in sight. But beware, it would sound obnoxiously reductive to confine this album and this band to a specific genre (like Doom Metal, for instance) because this quartet is capable of going beyond their own "sinister" fate.

Unpredictably, they can make the light shine even in the darkest moments, like 'I Saw The End', the opening and magniloquent intro and maybe most – possibly – "radio-friendly" episode of this release. The terrific triple vocal crescendo by Brett Campbell (vocals, guitar), Devin Holt (guitar, backing vocals) and Joseph D. Rowland (bass, backing vocals) rises like an obscure wounded and apparently left for dead creature – reminiscent of Pentagram – after three minutes of agony, then suddenly with a brief chords' conversion it turns itself into an outstanding, uplifting, almost metaphysical moment à la Shinedown.

Also, the grandiosity of the first three minutes of the apocalyptic and gritty 'Thorns' is meticulously processed and taken on a complete different plateau where you can clearly hear hints of Alice In Chains and Soundgarden; not by chance the man in charge of the mixing process was Joe Barresi (Queens Of The Stone Age, Tool, Melvins and, of course, Soundgarden).

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Nevertheless, the band starts to get really into deep from the third track up until the closer 'A Plea For Understanding' where they even reach the duration of thirteen minutes with that offer. Just 'Dancing In Madness', with its twelve minutes of Heavy Metal delirium, will give you a measure of how this band can push itself in terms of intricate but soulful arrangements and intense song-writing, and I'm not talking about a shallow waste of notes or a prolix, lengthy divagation into the void. All of them are still fully rounded songs with a train of thought that keeps you constantly concentrated and steadily tense and captured ('Cruel Road' and the title-track are quite impressive in that sense).

I recommend this album to anybody who is in search of emotional depth in Rock music. The soul trip will be maybe exhausting but you won't regret it at the end.

Enrico Navella

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