Underwhelmed by the Arkansas doom band’s 2010 demo, I still felt there Pallbearer had potential. This measure of faith rested on the hope of better production and time spent in the studio to give reflection on the nuances of song writing. On the very first listen of “ Sorrow and extinction” Welcoming morose passages of clean guitar welcomed me, as it dripped with morose melody giving previous doubts I had on their demo a proper burial.
The white elephant in the room on dividing metal message board is singer Brett Campbell. Neither a growler or an Ozzy homage, he stands out in the genre. I first heard Brett on the guest spot on Loss' “Despond” album.He is not trying to be the second coming of Ronnie James Dio, sometimes allowing his voice to crack in more of a stylistic element that lack of range. He displays at time a measure of akin to Eric Wagner of Trouble without the Jesus or the boogie or bell bottoms. He only become forceful on the 6 minute mark of "Offering of grief," the majority of the album he evokes Rob Halford's crooning mid range found on the first four Preist albums. The vocals well mixed into the music to plead to the thunder head of riff age rolling in on you.
One unique quality of their music is there isn’t an overabundance of Sabbath worship. If traces are found any where it would be in the drumming. These guys have huddled around the bong to both Solitude Aeturnus and Candlemass. Where doom or stoner rock purposefully hearkens to a more retro sound, here the elements of dated cheese thrown out of the fridge before the mold grows.These epics of a darkening horizon cast fresh light on the darkness. The challenge for any doom band is to keep it varied and interesting while plodding at a dying lumber. The guitars carry a rock n roll fuzz to them, keeping their sound from being what is categorized as funeral doom.
The guitars have an experimental edge to them rather than just use the riff to dig into the dig with sheer heaviness they know when to let the chords ring with a sense of majesty. The lead playing catches your ear not defaulting to the thematic melody of the song but venturing out in angular fashion past the minor fifth harmonies. The bass lead in to " The legend" accents the fact there isn't a weak link to this band, song also appeared on the demo ,displaying growth invested into it’s re-recording. They know when to pick up the pace into a mammoth chug, and give space for a solo to blaze out of the crescendo. The closer required a second listen, the oddly layered guitar solos at the end dragged me back in as the swell in a fade of synth echo. The first release of 2012 that has really rock my socks off .