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On Record: Heartless, by Pallbearer

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Doom metal is a difficult genre of heavy metal to like, especially if you interact with people on a daily basis and don't regularly sleep in a coffin. Doom consists of excessively long and, at times, painfully morbid intros that are followed by lyrics seemingly penned by Edgar Allen Poe during one of his particularly dark periods. And all of this exists within concrete-slow guitar riffs and drums that seem to be having a bad day. Arkansas-based Pallbearer is a doom metal band, but one with prog-rock tendencies. They are dark, heavy, and slow, but with musicians incredibly adept at their instruments. The band's latest album, Heartless, sounds like what would happen if Candlemass and Queensryche got wasted on Kvass then met up at a Russian bathhouse with Mutoid Man (and if you get that reference, call me—we can be friends). Listening to Heartless entails a lot of waiting for those satisfyingly big riffs. The song "Cruel Road," for example, requires a master's-level course in patience. The riff shows up precisely five minutes and 40 seconds into the song. That's a lot of foreplay, but it's worth the wait.

Pallbearer plays the Top Hat Sun., Aug. 20, at 8 PM. $17/$15 advance.


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