When approaching a new album, it’s almost certain that one of your initial thoughts would be to compare it with other bands of similar style. This is what makes the newest Pallbearer record Heartless an interesting album to discuss as it comes from a sub-genre of metal which you would not be mistaken for thinking had all but run its course.
That’s not to say this band are completing re-inventing the wheel and what we have is something like nothing we have ever heard before, that’s not the case. The albums sense of melody and refined song writing separates this album from its obvious comparisons, yes, the tracks follow this genres ideology of being fairly long but they don’t feel over indulgent in the way that a lot of this style of music does. Lie of Survival is a whopping eight minutes twenty-five but its intricate guitar work and floating vocal delivery keep things interesting whilst providing what is a haunting example of doom metal at its finest.
The vocal delivery of Brett Campbell is a key ingredient to Heartless’s success, soaring above the palm muted riffing it allows the music space to breathe without being overpowering, or acting as a deterrent from the intricate song writing at play. It also highlights a range of unlikely influences, I can hear a lot of Pink Floyd at play here for example.
If doom metal, or simply even big, chugging riffs is your thing, then Heartless is an album that will most certainly sit well amongst your record collection, and although the length of some of these songs is enough to put some people off there is a good balance of interesting song writing and relate-able song structure to hold the audience’s attention.