Little Rock, Arkansas-based doom metal outfit Pallbearer is having a banner year. The band’s sophomore release, Foundations of Burden, is topping “best of 2014” lists (including a number one spot from top metal magazine Decibel) and the band will be on the road this month for a series of hotly anticipated U.S. shows.
Foundations of Burden, released 19 August by Profound Lore Records, opens with the ten minute plus “Worlds Apart” and it is apparent from the start that Pallbearer’s brand of doom harkens back to the first four Black Sabbath albums. The sound is clean and super heavy, Brett Campbell’s vocals reminiscent of Ozzy Osbourne’s emotive cries on the best tracks from Sabbath’s eponymous debut through 1972’s Vol. 4.
Given that the four members of Pallbearer are young dudes with a vast knowledge of envelope-pushing music from the last 45 years, Foundations of Burden doesn’t wholly worship at the alter of Black Sabbath. There are nods to progressive rock throughout, with some hints of post-punk/post-rock on the track “Watcher in the Dark.”
“The Ghost I Used to Be” is the metallic kin to Godspeed You Black Emperor’s Slow Riot For New Zero Kanada, while the album’s shortest track (by far at 3:19), Ashes, is breathtaking ethereal rock indebted more to the classic 4AD bands (especially Dead Can Dance) than to Pallbearer’s doom forefathers.
Album closer “Vanished” adds some Pink Floyd to the mix—celestial guitars (courtesy of Campbell and Devin Holt) are pitted in a tug of war with molten bass and drums (played by Joseph D. Rowland and Mark Lierly, respectively), elevating the listener to a place just shy of the heavens.
Pallbearer tour dates
2 Dec: Oklahoma City, OK - The Conservatory
3 Dec: Albuquerque, NM - Sister Bar
4 Dec: Phoenix, AZ - Crescent Ballroom
5 Dec: Los Angeles, CA - The Roxy
6 Dec: San Diego, CA - Soda Bar
7 Dec: San Francisco, CA - Bottom of the Hill
9 Dec: Portland, OR - Hawthorne Theater
10 Dec: Vancouver, BA - Biltmore
11 Dec: Seattle, WA - Barboza
12 Dec: Boise, ID - The Shredder
13 Dec: Salt Lake City UT - Kilby Court
14 Dec: Denver, CO - Bluebird Theater
16 Dec: Kansas City, MO - The Riot Room
17 Dec: Minneapolis, MN - Triple Rock
18 Dec: Chicago, IL - Subterranean
19 Dec: St. Louis, MO - Firebird