Pallbearer - Demo 2010
3 songs (23:21)
Release year: 2010
Reviewed by Charles
Surprise of the month
Pallbearer’s demo has been made available for free download at the band’s website, and it is hard to imagine what kind of terrible lapse in judgement would induce any doom metal fan to avoid the opportunity. The lurid purple of the cover suggests St. Vitus, but this doesn’t quite have the strung out field of that band’s work. Instead it crafts focused and meaty, Candlemass-channelling riffs and employs an extremely strong sense of melody. Brett Campbell’s voice is perfectly suited to the task, sitting somewhere between the humble yowl of Ozzy Osbourne, the melodrama of Messiah Marcolin, and the weariness of Wino. Perhaps a confusingly eclectic description, but it illustrates how this sweltering and authentic invocation of each of the genre classics deftly works its clear influences.

Opener The Legend rolls by slowly and sullenly, with all the grim determination of a midnight hike across a far-flung rainy hillside. Lead guitar oozes from its every sodden orifice, and drenches it again in tearful melody. This is a really special track, capturing all the misery and all the grandeur of doom metal at its very best. Devoid of Redemption toughens (rather than speeds) up, with gnarled tree-trunk riffing given a sense of menace by Campbell’s swooping and sometimes off-key vocal delivery, not to mention the terrifying intrusion of bad-trip Electric Wizard distortion in its middle section. But it’s closer Gloomy Sunday, a reworking of the notoriously depressing ‘Hungarian Suicide Song’ popularised by legendary jazz singer Billie Holiday, which shows some invention and throws you. The grimness of the tune itself is wonderfully suited to this sort of music, though it switches the sinister gloom of earlier versions for an imperious and crashing stride. It reminds me of Hooded Menace’s (also excellent) cover of the theme from Return of the Evil Dead. More doom bands should embrace this kind of rhapsodic melodicism.

Little remains to be said of this release. For a demo, it’s deeply impressive and deserves attention from anyone with an interest in this sort of music.

Killing Songs :
Charles quoted no quote
Other albums by Pallbearer that we have reviewed:
Pallbearer - Heartless reviewed by Andy and quoted 88 / 100
Pallbearer - Foundations of Burden reviewed by Andy and quoted 89 / 100
Pallbearer - Sorrow and Extinction reviewed by Jared and quoted 95 / 100
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