Hailing from Little Rock, Arkansas Pallbearer are a band that deserve a lot more recognition from music lovers then they already do. Their lost couple of albums have been nothing short of brilliant and now they have followed that up with Heartless… an album that I’m pretty sure will be making my Top Ten Albums list come the end of the year.
One of the things that has always made Pallbearer such a joy to listen to is their raw sound and that seems to be even further enhanced on Heartless – an album they recorded in their home town in a small studio where they could do things the old-school way. Call me old-fashioned but I like that personal touch to an album and when you listen to this album you really feel it… at times it even feels like lead singer Brett Campbell is talking directly to you… the listener… especially on A Plea For Understanding when his sweet vocals remind you that nothing ever changes and he begs for you to understand.
The stripped back sound that Pallbearer deliver this time provides a wonderful soundscape for the listener and whether it be the 1990s-inspired sound of I Saw The End or the drawn out guitars and vocals of Thorn these are all songs that you fall in love with on your very first listen.
The instrumentals often come to the fore on Heartless with a beautiful sweeping opening to Lie Of Survival and the foreboding sounds that are created on Dancing In Madness before we are introduced to some amazing pained wailing yells as the song progresses. That is not to take anything away though from Campbell’s vocals that are strong throughout this well-rounded album. In fact at times on Cruel Road and Heartless it really does feel like you are listening to a very young Ozzy Osbourne during his Black Sabbath days.
Heartless is an amazingly brilliant album that showcases just how great but under-rated Pallbearer really are. Tracks like A Plea For Understanding are musical masterpieces and Heartless is an album that deserves five stars all the way.