Pallbearer – Sorrow and Extinction

Pallbearer

Sorrow and Extinction

01. Foreigner
02. Devoid Of Redemption
03. The Legend
04. An Offering Of Grief
05. Given To The Grave

[02/21/12]
[Profound Lore]

Doom metal is a genre with which I’m just getting my feet wet. I’ve not delved too deep into the pool that is this genre, but I’m slowly gliding myself through the water, and picking up confidence with each album. As you can tell from my last couple of reviews, I’ve been enjoying some of what I’ve been hearing, but not all of it. Normally I’m the kind of listener that complains about overly lengthy tracks and boring sections of repeating riffs and drum patterns—which doom certain contains—but it’s that slow, almost hypnotic approach to songwriting that has been oddly appealing to me as of late. There’s something about the slow, trudge-like pace of the music, and the gloomy atmosphere that I’m really connecting with. Now that’s not to say I’m disliking other types of music—I think The Omega Experiment‘s debut is one of the best albums I’ve heard in the past two years—but I keep coming back to these depressive albums, filled with long-winded songs of doom and gloom for a reason. With an album like Pallbearer‘s Sorrow and Extinction, the emotion just seems to wash over the listener in gigantic, lethargic waves that crash down upon you with a force like nothing else. It creates and carries you to lush landscapes of vivid details and beautiful terrains that you can’t help but want to sit and dwell within.

Like most doom albums I’ve enjoyed, this is an album that grows on you. It’s all about the process of listening to the song, as opposed to the entire composition as a whole. Each piece is just as important as the last and you need to experience the build up or you won’t be able to truly grasp what is going on. Many listeners will feel annoyed by the length of these tracks—each one over, or nearing the ten minute mark—and will discredit the band, but the length of the songs seem drastically important. Throughout the length of a given song the band will dabble in various sounds like post-rock, sludge, or bits of 70’s era prog, and all of this meshes together incredibly well. It creates this record and makes it something special and oddly warming, despite the cold atmosphere of it all.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=efsUakRY2IQ]

One of my favorite aspects of this album is the way the band can go from incredibly minimalistic—like in the intro to ‘Foreigner‘, or the mid to later section of ‘Given to the Grave‘—all the way back to a huge and dense wave of throbbing guitar riffs and fuzz that make up the majority of the songs.  The entire album feels grandiose in scope, even when it’s just simply humming out a few notes from an acoustic guitar, or when it drifts into an almost ambient like state towards the end of the last track, ‘Given to the Grave‘. Now that’s an accomplishment.

I honestly wish this album was longer, as odd as that may sound. It clocks in around the 50 minute mark, but I feel like I could have easily enjoyed another ten minute track to max out the full hour. Don’t get me wrong, the album is fantastic, I just feel like there needed a bit more weight to even it all out. Doom albums just seem to need that length and grandeur.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6dUW7nlEDI]

Albums like this are an experience; maybe not something you’ll be visiting on a daily basis, but something that you will come back to every now and again, dust it off and just relive the sheer immenseness that is created through the sounds and imagery. Albums like this are the kinds that you will look back on years from now with fond memories of how it shaped and changed you during a particularly low period in your life, and it’s an album like this that will ultimately help pull you out of whatever pitiful state you happen to be in. There’s something incredible about being able to know that someone, or some group of individuals are experiencing, at least on some level, the same sort of emotions and thoughts that are plaguing you in a time of need. The moroseness, and the seeming depravity of the human condition is what this album is all about, and it’s an experience that I highly recommend you go through. You won’t regret it

Pallbearer – Sorrow and Extinction gets…

4/5

– EC

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