Albums of the Year – #4

PALLBEARER – HEARTLESS

I’m pretty sure that it’s written somewhere in the heavy metal handbook that doom metal is not allowed to be pretty. Well, someone forgot to pass that section along this Pallbearerthese Arkansas boys before they released Heartless, the most refreshing, unique, and yes, pretty doom release I’ve ever heard.

While most doom employs its fuzziness and despair to instill dread and fear, Pallbearer take an approach that I’ve never seen any other band in the genre take. With Ozzy-esque vocals (if Ozzy had ever bothered to take a singing lesson – fight me if you disagree) sprawled over most melancholic and sorrowful guitars, Heartless paints an amazing, mournful portrait with a delicate touch rarely ever seen in doom, and perhaps all of metal.

Heartless doesn’t serve anything up easy to you (most tracks are clocking in well over 5 minutes), but it is worth the investment to get lost in this record. There may not be a more emotionally charged album this year.

HIGHLIGHT TRACKS

“I Saw the End”, “Thorns”, “Lie of Survival”, “Dancing in Madness”

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