Pallbearer
Heartless


4.5
superb

Review

by Zach USER (105 Reviews)
March 26th, 2017 | 113 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Lay to rest your troubled mind

"Heartless" is the most recent outing from Little Rock, Arkansas Doom metal band Pallbearer. This record retains a sound that's uniquely its own while not coming across as anything distinctly outside the box. It's slow, mournful doom through the entirety, but it's how it works within these boundaries that's simply magnificent. It's as serene as a gentle gale gliding across the fields of the Midwest, yet somehow still remains crushingly heavy and as brooding as a looming storm. This album strikes the perfect balance of two seemingly different yet very similar emotions-hope and despair.

The guitar work has so much to attribute to this sharp contrast of emotions. There are rocking, groovy riffs and subtle ambient pieces of sweet, somber guitar work that combine in perfect union. Off the track "Thorns" this is shown incredibly well, as a rather haunting quiet acoustic perfectly transitions into this monstrous wall of a riff. It's pieces like this that create such a distinct difference in emotions. You have the tear-jerking intro to "Life of Survival", then you also have the almost whimsical, curious bridge in the first track "I Saw The End". While the somber, beautiful guitar work is probably the strongest point of this record and almost definitely is the largest focus, it'd be entirely wrong to say it works alone.

The vocals themselves are simply encumbered with lament. The way they trudge through the record makes the vocals so harrowing yet blissful. As depressing as they are, it's difficult to not slip into a world of comatose, to find a sweet release from the staggering burdens of life. There isn't anything spectacular in his voice, and yet there is simply a sincerity in his mournful wails. Take the epic 11 minute track "Dancing in Madness". Here the vocals are brimming with anguish, but there's a comfort in it. Almost like in the mournful soundscape, there are glimmers of light strewn about. There is a sense of hope.

Perhaps that is why hope and despair are so similar. Without despair, there cannot be hope, and vice versa. There is something beautiful in the pain we all feel, knowing that for such a pain to have occurred we must have known what happiness felt like, and in that there is hope. The pain we feel in salvation is what drives the human soul in motion, for although we may be the pallbearers to our own lives, we also grant our own access a better world. With that in mind, why be so heartless in such an unforgiving world? Sometimes it's bands like Pallbearer that remind us of this.



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user ratings (428)
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
PsychicChris (4)
I think Pallbearer may still be in my “appreciation” box but Heartless is the most engaging albu...

TrueVoice (4.5)
Endings, thorns, lies, madness, and cruelty. What's not to like?...

Chamberbelain (4.5)
"Heartless" is a modern classic of its genre....

Phishstixxx (3.5)
For a doom metal record, Heartless is rich with moments of joy and triumph, however its emotional im...



Comments:Add a Comment 
AnimalsAsSummit
March 26th 2017


5154 Comments


going to see these guys Tuesday, this record was intriguing, have to jam it again

Digging: Makoto Featuring Deeizm - Progression Sessions 9: Japan Live 2003

Dedes
March 26th 2017


7306 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

That's cool dude, are they playing with anyone else?

Dedes
March 26th 2017


7306 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Man I have some bad spelling errors here, will fix later.

AnimalsAsSummit
March 26th 2017


5154 Comments


yep, they are playing w kayo dot, which is primarily why im going. they definitely have a sound of their own to a degree, just not so sure im fond of the end result, good review though, posd

Dedes
March 27th 2017


7306 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Ironically I couldn't ever really get into Kayo Dot for quite literally the same reason lol. They're super intriguing and eccentric but they sound almost...I guess cluttered? To be fair I only really heard Choirs of the Eye though.

Phishstixxx
March 27th 2017


12 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This review could describe any doom metal album.

Dedes
March 27th 2017


7306 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

No, it really could not but hell explain why you think that

Dedes
March 27th 2017


7306 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It feels like you're a little salty that you're review got a bunch of downvotes lol. Anyway though yours was solid but man I really didn't hear the Ozzy vocals.

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
March 27th 2017


21967 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice review Zach, but I found some of the stuff you wrote on the second paragraph could be worded differently for better flow/understanding? Anyway, the album is good shit. Loving it so far, 3 tracks in.





Digging: Love Club - Lime Twigs and Treachery

Chamberbelain
March 27th 2017


144 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Still haven't heard this yet. Much excite.

Dedes
March 27th 2017


7306 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah the second paragraph gave me a fuckload of trouble tbh

DarkNoctus
March 27th 2017


11232 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

i cannot get over 'a plea for understanding'

Digging: Crippled Black Phoenix - Ellengaest

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
March 27th 2017


21967 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@Chamber It's really good stuff, you'll dig it man.

Chamberbelain
March 27th 2017


144 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This review pretty much sums up my opinions on it at the moment but after a few more listens I might write one too.

But yeah, this is fantastic stuff. Reminds me of Avatarium but gloomier.

Dedes
March 27th 2017


7306 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah that last track was pure gold. Probably my second or third favorite track really

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
March 27th 2017


21967 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The singer absolutely owns it.

rockandmetaljunkie
March 27th 2017


9347 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

great review

DungeonBoy
March 27th 2017


7969 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Great album! After a few listens I think I'm liking this more than Foundations of Burden, and probably should bump up my rating.

Dedes
March 27th 2017


7306 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks dude! Great name lol

manosg
Staff Reviewer
March 27th 2017


12017 Comments


Need to check this one. Lots of guys with good taste on here seem to rate it highly.

Digging: Winter?s Verge - The Ballad of James Tig



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