This album is just massive. Great, big, monumental riffs, modern concept, inclusive approach, great melodies, atmosphere of doom, yet open to an everyday listener. Pallbearer probably recorded not only one of the best, satisfying, comprehensible metal albums of the year, but in recent memory.
I wouldn’t be surprised, if Heartless eventually was granted a spot among my all-time favorites of modern metal like Mastodon’s Crack the Skye or Baroness’s Blue. Or maybe become my second pick alongside Harvey Milk’s Life… The Best Game In Town or Deafheaven’s Sunbather. The point is that Pallbearer came to the (my own) big league of metal players and are, without any doubt, worthy to be mentioned alongside Mastodon or Gojira.
Of course, this album is not meant to be easy-listening Enter Sandman-like walk-through. This is modern progressive metal, which presents multi-layered, multi-part compositions, sometimes over 11-minutes long. But meanwhile we’re listening to the third guitar solo, let me contemplate the fact that this is, at the same time, extremely enjoying, satisfying, yet strong, monumental rock music. Not tiring, but delightful. Not dull, but imaginative. Not overly complicated, but creative and varied.
Heartless is by no means revolutionary, but just a magnificent one hour of metal. I don’t think you can see it as a masterpiece of any kind, but its specific ability to join the complicated concepts of progressive rock with comprehensiveness is just impressive. And that’s probably what describes Pallbearer’s third album the best – impressiveness caused by its openness, massiveness, monumentality, heaviness.
Listen to: Thorns, Dancing in Madness, Heartless, A Plea For Understanding