Pallbearer – Sorrow and Extinction
After a stellar year in 2011, Profound Lore is kicking things off right in 2012 with their first release, the debut album from Little Rock doomers, Pallbearer, and if this record is any indication of how great this year will be for the label, 2012 is gonna be amazing!
For me, music is about emotion, I don’t really listen for the technical prowess of a band, I listen because I want the music to move me. When a song continuously works its way into my very soul, making it quiver, I know there’s something special there. “Goodbye Pork Pie Hat” by Charles Mingus does it. “Maggot Brain” by Funkadelic does it. “Forty-Six & 2” by Tool does it. “The Tenant” by Ludicra does it. And now “Sorrow and Extinction” does it. Since the promo came across my desk last week, it’s been played pretty much continuously and when I’m listening to something else, I find myself wanting to put it back on.
The music is firmly rooted in doom and it moves along at a slow, glacial pace. It’s heavy when it needs to be, but it has more somber moments, punctuated by acoustic guitars; and it is within these moments that the emotions are allowed to breathe, and the true beauty of “Sorrow And Extinction” is the emotion it conveys. There is immense sadness here, but never a sense of hopelessness.
The musicianship and songwriting on display here is superb, but the two parts that make it really special are the solos and the vocals. The guitar solos are really intense; they get into you and grab a hold of your hearts, particularly on closing track “Given to the Grave” where the solos in the last half of the song reminds me of the aforementioned “Maggot Brain” and its 10 minute-plus soul-stirring solo. The vocals, however, really bring the album together, providing that final piece that sets this album apart. Never understated but never over consuming, the heart wrenching wails, full of despair intermingle with the music, creating a beautiful sound.
This is simply a great record and, as you may remember, my top pick for 2011, Subrosa’s “No Help for the Mighty Ones” came about around this same time last year, also on Profound Lore, and it easily remained in heavy rotation throughout the entire year; and “Sorrow And Extinction” is a also sure to hold a high spot on this years list and I can see myself blasting this album for all of 2012 and beyond.
….and it would not surprise me to see this as my number one this year.
“Sorrow And Extinction” will be available February 21, 2012. Check out www.profoundlorerecords.com for more info.