Friday, March 17, 2017

Pallbearer : Heartless

Things have changed , but this is very much still the same band just venturing further down the road away from the sub-genre funeral doom they came from.
The vocals are even more upfront in the mix on this one. As they should be as the vocals are really killing it, though the guitar is taking a back seat that makes me think this album might be heavier if they were pushed forward or maybe I am not listening to it loud enough yet. "Thorns' is a logical step from where they were on "Foundations of Burden". There are plenty of those angular riffs snaking themselves around the songs.

 While they have added more colors an textures this does fee like less of a metal record, but at the end of the day the vocals tend to draw me in and win me over. While I love doom and want to hear them take it to another place on this journey, I love music more than being bound to a genre. The glaring difference in some of the tones on this album is first made clear on " Lie of Survival". While I heard that this album was going to take them in more of a shoe gaze direction I don't really hear that.  There is a beautiful guitar solo at the beginning of " Dancing in Madness". At almost 12 minutes there is more of a Pink Floyd drift to the song than you might expect from these guys. The vocals are more effected with the come in at the harder rock verses leaning more in the psyche direction than doom. It does get more aggressive around the seven minute mark at the vocals tense up into more of a bark. At the eight minute mark it transitions back down to a acoustic guitar tone for a minute.

There is more of a traditional metal sound to "Cruel Road", that touches on the weird 80's metal power metal mire at the edges of thrash. The title track sticks close to what we have heard from them previous to this until going into the atmospheric break in the middle then coming out of it in a more like fashion, if we are thinking Tool. They are still more doom influenced than say Royal Thunder, in that they are leaning into more metallic influences. I love the lower vocal that opens up "A Plea For Understanding" . This is an interesting song as it marries the melancholy lethargy of doom with what feels like more of an alternative rock song writing sensibility.  It's more emotionally heavy than it is  metal , with  melodies taking center stage. While this album might take some getting used to it seems to be growing on me in a positive way so I'll give it a 10, some of the songs are easy to get lost in their wandering , but overall it's pretty emotionally powerful stuff here

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