The record, which played like a seamless 49-minute doom movement, melded pitch-perfect vintage sounds with a triumphant modern sensibility that made songs about death and loss feel joyfully ecstatic. PALLBEARER possessed what many other newer metal groups didn’t: perfect guitar tone, classic hooks, and a singer who could actually sing.
For their 2014 follow-up, Foundations Of Burden, the band worked with legendary Bay Area producer Billy Anderson (SLEEP, SWANS, NEUROSIS) for an expansive album that was musically tighter and especially adventurous. Armed with a more technical drummer, Mark Lierly, Foundations feels like it was built for larger shared spaces – you could imagine these songs ringing off the walls of a stadium. It was a hint of things to come. While the debut earned the band a “Best New Music” nod from Pitchfork and rightly landed the band on year-end lists at places like SPIN and NPR, along with the usual metal publications, Foundations Of Burden charted on the Billboard Top 100 and earned the “Band Album Of The Year” from Decibel and spots on year-end lists for NPR and Rolling Stone.
Returning to where it all began, the quartet recorded their third full-length, Heartless on their own in Arkansas, and it’s grander in scope, showcasing a natural progression that melds higher technicality and more ambitious structures with their most immediate hooks to date. The collection, which follows the 3-song Fear & Fury EP from earlier this year, was captured entirely on analog tape at Fellowship Hall Sound in Little Rock this past summer and then mixed by Joe Barresi (QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE, TOOL, MELVINS, SOUNDGARDEN).