Posts Tagged ‘The Sleeping Shaman’

Album of the Day: Pallbearer – Foundations Of Burden

Posted on Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

Lovingly pinched from The Sleeping Shaman: Pallbearer’s Sorrow and Extinction emerged as the sleeper (metal) album of 2012, eventually finding itself at the top of many end of year best lists and burned into the minds of listeners new to the scene; unfortunately, the signature strengths that define the core of the band’s sound – layered, complex melodies, subtle atonal harmonizing, and consistently evocative vocals – were all but buried by murky production, the ‘Achilles heel’ that plagues most younger bands hindered by a lack of money and means.

Despite these setbacks, exceptional talent and stellar songwriting prevailed as the success and universal critical acclaim of their debut so clearly shows; but the sword is double-edged for this kind of (early) career breakthrough, as the pitfalls for subsequent releases grow larger and multiply–that almost inevitable fear of (not) meeting expectations can cripple even the strongest acts. So how does a band follow what has been hailed as a near masterpiece? The answer’s simple: they create a definitive masterpiece in Foundations Of Burden, a 55-minute opus that obliterates the competition and sets the standard in progressive doom for 2014.

Pallbearer - Foundations Of Burden
Those lucky enough to catch the single, The Ghost I Used to Be (also streamed below), got a nice glimpse of the band’s evolution since their debut; yes, the trademarks remain – carefully constructed musical passages, distilled and refined so that every note, riff, and fill is essential; the peaks, valleys, ebb and flood that define the build to climax – all present to compel. But the group especially emphasizes harmony (in all its various forms) on this outing, and these nuances in melody and atonality, could have easily been lost to the lazy ear without (producer) Billy Anderson’s chops to glean a perfected sound.

This song in particular shows a more accessible side of the band with its mid-tempo driving hook and beautifully melodic lead opening passages; Brett Campbell’s (lead vocals, guitars) powerful delivery adds yet another layer to a richly textured arrangement. Despite the overall complexity of their approach to songwriting (average track length clocks in at 10+ minutes), Pallbearer often thrives on the deceptively simple groove – unassuming riffs that flaunt a subtle (harmonious) interplay between dual guitars and bass; classic bands like The Obsessed blazed the trail with a similar appreciation for calculated understatement.

But where Pallbearer excels is in the integration of this technique as part of a more intricate total picture – songs never meander, passages seamlessly transition without convolution – and this ‘fluidity’ is not accidental; artistic discipline is the rule, and Pallbearer lives by it.

Continue reading: Pallbearer ‘Foundations Of Burden’ CD/LP/DD 2014 | The Sleeping Shaman

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Album of the Day: The Heads – Everyone Knows That We Got Nowhere

Posted on Monday, August 18th, 2014

Lovingly pinched from The Sleeping Shaman: I shit you not, you goggle-eyed loons, but Bristol’s legendary (yet strangely unsung) psych-heroes The Heads are possibly the definitive uber-cult stoner-psych band of the late 20th/ early 21st century. I have a hunch that possibly the majority of people reading this review have […]

Album of the Day: The Great Sabatini – Dog Years

Posted on Monday, July 28th, 2014

Lovingly pinched from The Sleeping Shaman: Montreal’s The Great Sabatini are one of the latest additions to the excellent French label Solar Flare Records’ roster, and with label mates ranging from Sofy Major to Pigs, you could probably hazard a guess before hearing them that they’re going to enjoy damaging […]

Album of the Day: Ancient Altar – S/T

Posted on Thursday, July 17th, 2014

Lovingly pinched from The Sleeping Shaman: When Los Angeles, CA doom instrumentalist quartet Iron Mtn ended its 7+ year stint back in June of 2013, loyal fans and followers of bassist / founder Scott Carlson (and his team of sludge assassins) mourned with the hope (and expectation) that his next […]

Album of the Day: Earthless Meets Heavy Blanket – In A Dutch Haze

Posted on Thursday, July 10th, 2014

Lovingly pinched from The Sleeping Shaman: You never forget your first Roadburn. Ever. The Tilburg-based jewel in the world’s crown of heavy and expansive music festivals is a truly magical environment; one which is built upon a solemn promise of musical joy, artistic freedom and non-prejudicial acceptance which binds like-minded […]

Album of the Day: USA Out Of Vietnam – Crashing Diseases And Incurable Airplanes

Posted on Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

Lovingly pinched from The Sleeping Shaman: Aurora Borealis have a good track record when it comes to pushing originality and are clearly not afraid to put out some truly challenging and left of centre releases. From the ultra-raw black metal oddities of Wolfmangler and Dead Ravens Choir to the more […]

Album of the Day: Lecherous Gaze – Zeta Reticuli Blues

Posted on Monday, July 7th, 2014

Lovingly pinched from The Sleeping Shaman: 100% raw, uncompromising, kick-ass rock and roll!!! Really the above line could quite easily comprise the whole review for this Zeta Reticuli Blues as it pretty much says it all… but being a conscientious writer and knowing you will all want to know a […]

Album of the Day: Lazer/Wulf – The Beast Of Left And Right

Posted on Friday, June 27th, 2014

Lovingly pinched from The Sleeping Shaman: I don’t know about the rest of you, but I like a good old twiddle. Now, I know this is a site primarily concerned with monolithic, primal riffs the size of tower-blocks and bellowing gentlemen with beards like rhododendron bushes, but we’re taking a […]

Album of the Day: Opium Warlords – Taste My Sword Of Understanding

Posted on Friday, June 20th, 2014

Lovingly pinched from The Sleeping Shaman: When I read that this was a release featuring a former member of Reverend Bizarre, one of my favourite doom bands ever, I thought I knew what to expect. Rollicking doom anthems mixing with a sardonic wit and riffs the size of icebergs. I […]

Album of the Day: Satan’s Satyrs – Die Screaming

Posted on Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014

Lovingly pinched from The Sleeping Shaman: Amid the hoards of dusty vinyl junkies going positively batshit over the Blood Lusting arrival of Cambridgeshires mystikult rockers Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats back in 2011, precious few paid a great deal of attention to an equally evil triumvirate as they careered out […]

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