Pallbearer - Foundations of Burden
Profound Lore Records
Doom Metal
6 songs (54' 54")
Release year: 2014
Pallbearer, Profound Lore Records
Reviewed by Andy

Pallbearer made a huge splash with its 2012 album, Sorrow and Extinction, to the point that non-metal types were checking it out -- unusual for a doom metal band, and resulting in some rather unfair criticism of the group in my opinion. Sure, there was plenty of hype, but the product was good, and (as of about five hours prior to this writing) I can personally confirm that they put on a great show too. Much like their show, Foundations of Burden -- which we somehow didn't get around to reviewing last year --, is their sound done competently and enjoyably, but without a whole lot in the way of evolution. If you liked the first one, you'll probably like this one too, however.

Worlds Apart definitely represents the Pallbearer sound of the last album, but its melody reminds me somewhat of a Forest of Shadows song; something about the beat and the depressive sound. Brett Campbell's yelped vocals are an uneasy combination of sorrowful and uplifting, and the riffs still have the big, echoing sound they had on the last album -- lots of crunching, low-frequency sludge riffs on the rhythm side, with the background vocals occasionally jumping off-key. Foundations is less varied at first, with a heavier and more complex riff used all the way through, though at the end it stops and moves to a softer tune. Watcher in the Dark, on the other hand, is heavy and psychedelic (though still painfully slow), with some real agony in Campbell's high notes and a high, whining solo at the end that I especially liked. The slow build-up to each part of the song is great too. Even though they don't sound at all like Warning, both that buildup and their focus on melancholic heaviness definitely puts them in the same province of doom metal.

My favorite track on here is The Ghost I Used to Be, though. A combination of light and dark, slowness and speed, it employs Campbell's vocal range better than any of the other tracks as he wavers up and down the melody; partway through the song, it picks up speed and becomes almost angry before ending with a tune that drips with utter regret. Vanished ends the album with an even more dirge-like melody that moves to a back-and-forth tidal surge of riffing that slows to a final dragging pace.

Foundations of Burden probably won't make the same impact on people that Sorrow and Extinction did; I rather suspect that Pallbearer's sound itself was what captivated people, and a second album with the same sound won't do so again as much without further updates. But it's a pleasure to hear and, like its predecessor, it's extremely easy to get into.

Killing Songs :
Watcher in the Dark, The Ghost I Used to Be
Andy quoted 89 / 100
Other albums by Pallbearer that we have reviewed:
Pallbearer - Sorrow and Extinction reviewed by Jared and quoted 95 / 100
Pallbearer - Demo 2010 reviewed by Charles and quoted no quote
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