With their new album “Foundations Of Burden”, PALLBEARER are prepared to take it to the next level unparalleled by creating an album much more advanced, moving, and sonically glorious than their debut. If “Sorrow and Extinction” created massive waves in the metal scene, “Foundations Of Burden” will create the stuff of legends.
Captured by legendary producer Billy Anderson (Agalloch, Sleep, Neurosis, The Melvins etc.) at Type Foundry studios in Portland Oregon, “Foundations Of Burden” sees PALLBEARER expand their sound even further and going beyond into an emotionally driven sonic landscape more epic, vast, and ultimately more glorious and triumphant.
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My second metal album of the week comes in the shape of Pallbearer's sophomore effort 'Foundations of Burden', which was recorded by Billy Anderson and features six sprawling tracks that span the best part of an hour. This is prog-doom fare complete with heavy stoner riffing, mystical synth drones and majestic vocal melodies spread over lengthy and convoluted songs full of twists and turns. Each track is like an exhausting musical journey in its own right, setting the listener down only to pick them back up and plunge them into another pummelling dirge-rock maelstrom.
It's ambitious and meticulously constructed stuff, and they can really whip up a nice dirgey atmosphere of dread. The vocals seem to consist sometimes of one guy on his own doing his best Ozzy Osbourne, and sometimes harmonies which can be a bit Canterbury but don't happen a lot. It does make them a bit less sinister to me but by the same token the harmonies can give the songs an unexpected bit of uplift amidst all the Sabbath-meets-Sleep twists and turns. In 'Foundations' they make for a pretty triumphant climax to a lengthy riffy build-up that gives an interesting twist to that Isis/Pelican-ish post-metal aesthetic. It's often a bit theatrical and overwrought but there's nothing wrong with that really - ambitious doomy stoner riffing is essentially what's happening here and I don't disapprove.
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