Pallbearer have released the second single, I Saw The End, from their soon to be released, new album. That album is called Heartless and is their third studio album. Heartless will be released on the 24th of March via Profound Lore Records.
Pallbearer hail from Arkansas and are one of the most popular, and most accessible doom metal/hard rock bands around. Since their debut 2012 release, Sorrow and Extinction, they have seemed destined for big things with online magazine Pitchfork awarding them the status of Best New Music. Their second album, Foundations of Burden, also did well, scoring very highly with reviewers across the board. It even debuted in the top ten on the US Billboard Hard Rock Albums.
Pallbearer is a 4 piece with Brett Campbell looking after vocals and guitar duties. Devin Holt is the lead guitarist with a bit of backing vocals and Joseph D. Rowland looks after the bass, and some more backing vocals. All three of these members are original founding members. They are joined by Mark Lierly on drums. Mark joined in 2012 and hopefully puts on end to a saga that has seen them have three previous drummers already.
I Saw The End is just under six and a half minutes long. It starts with a wavy guitar line fading in before a little drum beat kicks the song into life. A slow, chugging riff backs up the higher toned leads. Simple, but perfectly placed drum rhythms sound out along with the slow, down tuned and drawn out guitar and bass notes. These three instruments are played in perfect unison together while the lead flies around pulling in differently toned and paced solos.
When the vocals kick in, I am instantly reminded of Ghost. I am sure for the band, and for many, that is a great comparison to have. For me? Not so much. I am one of those oddities that fall into the “I don’t like or get Ghost”. Now, I am not saying I dislike the vocals here but they just sound really commercial and too squeaky clean. I guess it has just thrown me a bit as it wasn’t what I was expecting. I was expecting something a bit more gruff.
The chunky riffs throughout the verses in I Saw The End are great. The clean section over just drums that acts as a prechorus isn’t for me though. It sounds really over produced. Generally though, it is an easy listen and is more like a mix between standard infectious doom riffs and soaring pop esque vocals. Every time I reach a point where I think, yeah, I have heard enough you are treated to a wonderful guitar solo and the song is elevated.
In fact the last couple minutes are just differently toned solos and rhythms with a good drum beat and no vocals and it is probably my favourite part of the track. I can see why they are so popular. They obviously all have bucket loads of talent. I am not overly keen on the singing though am aware that is a personal choice thing. I can clearly hear that Brett Campbell is a fine singer – I just don’t like it.
Musically it is solid though with great riffs and steady drumming. The big thing for me here, and the bit that made the song, is the guitar solos and leads. It seems like while the rest of the band were trying to follow a song structure, the guitarist was given the freedom to just go and show off. He does that to great effect and elevates an okay song to a good one in my books.
Have a listen for yourself here and let me know what you think in the comments. I Saw The End is available on all the usual streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music now. Do you like the song, well why not preorder the album? Check the band out on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with information on this, and future releases.
I Saw the End
- The Final Score - 6/106/10