(Copyright © 2012 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions )
Sorrow And Extinction (2012), 6/10
Foundations Of Burden (2014), 5/10

Arkansas' doom-metal quartet Pallbearer, led by guitarist Devin Holt and vocalist Brett Campbell, tried to revitalize a genre that was rapidly becoming a self-parody but the double-LP Sorrow And Extinction (20 Buck Spin, 2012) only yielded mixed results, with the stately Foreigner (12:23) a bit too derivative of Black Sabbath and the various attempts to mix folk and ambient elements a bit too amateurish. What certainly stood out was the melodic and emotional skills, something usually missing from the genre.

A cleaner, sharper and slicker sound on Foundations Of Burden (Profound Lore Records, 2014), featuring new drummer Mark Lierly, went for the mainstream. The poppy pomp Worlds Apart has more in common with the worst excesses of Rush than with the doom classics; and the second half of Watcher In The Dark is basically a slow-motion cover of your favorite pop-metal hit. The problem is that the result is neither doom nor pop nor anything of substance, as the tedious litany Foundations amply proves. To their credit, the way they develop and end the funereal march of Vanished (something that we have heard a thousand times) is original and moving.

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(Copyright © 2012 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions )
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