Sorrow and Extinction
Label – Profound Lore
Release date – February 21, 2012

There are a few albums slated for release this year that I have been actively salivating over (Pilgrim’s Misery Wizard, that new full-length that Revenge have been teasing us with for what seems like ages, Drudkh’s new one, and the new Ride For Revenge LP that technically came out in 2011 but hasn’t shown up in my mailbox yet, so I’m counting it), but none quite so much as this one. Pallbearer are one hell of a special band, as many of us already knew and even more have recently discovered. On the strength of a simple three-song demo, this Arkansas collective took the world of doom by storm, racking up praise from fans and media goons alike. Their cover of Billie Holiday’s “Gloomy Sunday” (itself an interpretation of Hungarian composer Rezso Seress’ suicide song) was one of the most desolate things I’d ever heard this side of Warning, and the other pair of songs showed a startling amount of maturity and untouchable quality; this demo sounded better than 90% of proper albums released in 2010. Fans of the cleaner, more traditional elements of the doomed pantheon caught on quick, and the buzz around Pallbearer grew louder. Sporadic live gigs and rumors of recording kept anticipation high, until finally, it was announced that their debut offering would come courtesy of Profound Lore — and  then, the wait began. Luckily, one of the perks of this whole music writing game is getting to listen to records early (before they leak, even) which is why I only had to endure a few agonizing months of impatience before finding a download link to this creation in my email inbox… and brother, it was worth the wait.

Sorrow and Extinction is a document of grief in its purest form — lonely, hopeless, and downtrodden, a burden and a curse. The fear and beauty of sadness. Recorded mainly on analog gear by fellow Little Rock resident Chuck Schaaf (Deadbird, ex-Rwake), the album includes two rerecorded songs from the demo, and three new epics. Brett Campbell’s clear, sonorous vocals soar above the distorted gloom like Messiah Marcolin in his prime, the songs teeter on the edge of Sabbathian madness, fall into washes of distorted, amplified noise, and wend their way back via Reverend Bizarre, Warning, and vintage My Dying Bride. The final result is utterly captivating.

The “classic” doom metal sound has enjoyed a resurgence in popularity as of late, if increased media coverage and a surprising influx of quality purveyors of the style are anything to go on. With the likes of Procession, Age of Taurus, Pilgrim, Argus, Lord Vicar, The Gates of Slumber and veterans like Pagan Altar and Saint Vitus clawing their way into the spotlight, it’s a good time to be bummed. What, then, separates Pallbearer from the downtuned masses? You could take my word for it on the combined might of their perfectly-crafted riffs, effortlessly warm & analog-borne guitar tone, Brett Campbell’s jaw-dropping vocals, and the beautifully despondent, almost gothic elegance of it all, or you could listen to this fucking song:

Any questions?

Come February 21st, if you consider yourself a fan of doom metal and do not purchase this album, you will be committing a grave mistake. Doom or be doomed.


Kim Kelly (or Grim Kim, if we’re being formal) scribbles for a number of sweet metal publications (Terrorizer, Brooklyn Vegan, Invisible Oranges, Hails & Horns, and tons more), promotes wicked records with Catharsis PR, and road dogs for your favorite bands. Keep up with her exploits & numerous band recommendations on Twitter, or peep her blog Ravishing Grimness.

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