Pallbearer - _Sorrow and Extinction_
(Profound Lore, 2012)
by: Johnathan A. Carbon (9 out of 10)
Alright, here it is, the Pallbearer review. I approach this album with reservation because, at the moment, it is huge. Due to critical praise from Pitchfork and other high profile review sites, Pallbearer is a metal record receiving distinguished accolade. This of course has made some weary or even upset at the amount of attention directed on their beloved genre. Of course, if I cared about any of that, it would be one thing; but since I couldn't give a single fuck regarding how popular a metal record is, let us just lay down our cards. Pallbearer is an amazing doom metal record and one of the best albums released in 2012.

Pallbearer arrives to us from the dark lands of Arkansas, which recently has been the location of fantastic metal bands such as Deadbird, Rwake and Seahag. Pallbearer, while still a part of the doom family, has few similarities to its sludge cousins. The band offers a very melodic yet surprisingly heavy variety of nixed doom. With equal interests in epic and gothic doom set to the pace of a funeral dirge, Pallbearer delivers sobering melancholy, which is of course backed by 20 tons of grief. _Sorrow and Extinction_ comes in at a healthy 50 minutes. Within that time frame, the listener is given five tracks of unequivocal gloom.

One of the flagships to this record is the clean and wailing vocals from Brett Campbell. Bands like Esoteric and Skepticism triumph with obscured vocal work; the opposite is also true. To present a record littered with suffering and anguish, the clean vocals give a mortal underpinning allowing the singer to become a stranded soul caught in a sea of fog.

While the vocals are the selling point for this record, the instrumentation is more important than it seems. With doom there is a tendency to fall into repetition. A fourteen minute song with the same riff repeated is common and surprisingly accepted. Doom which breaks from this tradition is interesting and ultimately worthwhile. Pallbearer's guitar work from Cambpell and the second guitarist Devin Holt is exquisite and provides more than enough pleasing segments to carry the weight of a ten minute track. At times Pallbearer is anthemic, proudly sounding morose fanfare from trumpets of doom.

Much like Wolves in the Throne Room during the mid '00s, Pallbearer is acting as an introduction to doom for many. The melodic vocals, new history and overall style is accessible to newcomers without the messy complications of conversion. Pallbearer offers a wonderful experience in doom without registering with the office of heavy metal. For those already associated with metal and the doom genre, _Sorrow and Extinction_ is still a critical album and illustrates the effectiveness of narcotic riffs contrasted against a forlorn world of decay and rot. Let us put everything aside and embrace the impending doom.

(article published 2/4/2012)

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