Pallbearer – Mind Burns Alive Review

Nuclear Blast

It’s hard to believe that Mind Burns Alive is Arkansas doomsters Pallbearer‘s fifth full-length. It has been 12 years since their powerful debut Sorrow and Extinction made its way into the public consciousness in 2012.

In 2024 Brett Campbell and crew are one of the most notable faces in American doom metal with their slow and melodic doom that becomes an all-encompassing experience throughout the course of the album. Each record sounds a bit different with this new one lacking some of the fuzzy bite of album’s past, but still feeling like an authentic Pallbearer experience.

Opener “Where the Light Fades” is a slow burn, much like the imagery of the album’s cover. More and more the dynamics build and the whole picture comes into view, guitars, drums, and Campbell’s well-known voice all bring the house down by the end of the track, giving way to the album’s titular track.

“Mind Burns Alive” is an emotional journey full of pains and joys with Devin Holt and Campbell handling it all with their strings, Joe Rowland’s bass is evenly placed within the mix and Mark Lierly’s drums rounding out all this impassioned heft.

The latter half of the album has two songs topping 10 and a half minutes: “Endless Place” and “With Disease.” Both paint with broad strokes various feelings of sorrow, but also notably happiness and even the idea of real-life transitions happening within the confines of day-to-day life. Enjoy these deep and sweeping passages to their fullest; they tend to reveal more on each listen, peeling back another layer of evocative and transcendent music.

Big riffs and big heart are what help separate Pallbearer from the pack when it comes to modern-day doom. Mind Burns Alive is the latest chapter, one in which they try some new things, but not at the expense of being who they are. This is the best doom of 2024 so far.

(released May 17, 2024 on Nuclear Blast)

Heavy Music HQ Rating:

Watch Pallbearer – “Endless Place” Video


One Response

  1. bobsala May 16, 2024

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