Pallbearer – Mind Burns Alive

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Pallbearer was introduced to me by Dr. X, a member of Utica, New York’s maniacal Horrorcore Rap masters, Flesruoy Llik. The good Dr. knew that it would strike a chord within me, and he was correct, as I have been a fan of Pallbearer from that very day on.

Genre: Epic Doom

Artist: Pallbearer

Release Title: Mind Burns Alive

Label: Nuclear Blast Records

Release Date: May 17th, 2024

Location: Little Rock, Arkansas

I became excited when Pallbearer first began teasing an announcement on their social media accounts, knowing in my heart of hearts that we were about to be given a new album by these Emotive Doom masters. One such post said that …

“The songs on Mind Burns Alive are vignettes which tell the stories of people who deal with myriad sicknesses of the spirit.”

This theme hit home for me, particularly with the first single, “Where The Light Fades”, a track that exudes the utmost in beauty, while still retaining an aura of sadness and isolation. The band had this to say …

At one time or another, we have all been engulfed by darkness, yet yearned for the light; have been deceived by ourselves and our instincts. Mind Burns Alive was greatly shaped through sonic & lyrical explorations of these experiences and “Where The Light Fades,” both the song itself and the Dan Almasy directed video are entrenched in these emotions.

“Where The Light Fades” just happened to be released at a time when I was going through some personal things, and it became a theme song of sorts for me. The emotional aspects of the music and lyrics are extremely strong, as is the way the guitar parts wrap themselves around you, embracing you with their sheer beauty. I could go on forever, endlessly singing the praises of the song, but after just one listen, you will understand exactly why this song is so poignant.

The second single released was equally as wonderful as its predecessor, and is entitled, “Endless Place”, featuring some wonderful saxophone playing. Per their Facebook page …

The saxophone on Endless Place is performed by Norman Williamson whom we’ve known for years as a friend and a fixture in various Little Rock underground bands (Funkenites, Amasa Hines, OR, and others).

As awesome as the saxophone playing is, and how well it compliments the song, it’s the lyrics that resonate the deepest within me. You see, Pallbearer writes songs dealing with mentally torturous situations, and every single person on this planet can relate to them in one way or another, based solely on their own experiences. Take the powerful first verse …

Here I am

Alone and so confused

Imprisoned

Where walls whisper solitude

Unwinding corridors

No notion where they lead

Any beauty on the surface

Hiding leagues of rot beneath

It spells out the confusion that comes with uncertainty, loneliness, and the idea of hidden beauty, covered by withering decay. By the end of the first chorus, you also find out that the subject of the song hasn’t given up yet, and is still looking for salvation at any cost.

The last song that I’d like to go over is also the title track, “Mind Burns Alive”.

Lyrically speaking, this one comes across in a way that its meaning can be different for anyone who listens to it; I know what its meaning is to me, but I’ll guarantee that many of you will glean a totally different one from it. I absolutely love the chorus section, it flows nicely, and has an incredible melody …

My mind has ignited

I can feel it burning down

Watch and wonder as the embers glow

If my flame can be put out

The music is pure Pallbearer brilliance, encompassing all of the things that we love about this genre; heaviness, beauty, sorrow, hopefulness, and all put together as only this band can. Along with the first two tracks we talked about, this one hit me in a way that was necessary, helping me to sort through the mess in my own mind/situation.

In Closing

I feel that Pallbearer has really upped their game for this new outing, from the lyrics, the performances, the guitar tones, the perfect bass lines, all the way to the crisp and clean production.

Realistically, none of the six songs that make up Mind Burns Alive are any better than the ones around it, as each track is outstanding on its own, but once you hear them as a whole, well, it can change your whole world.

I’ll leave you with two quotes from the press release …

Bassist/vocalist Joseph D. Rowland describes the album as “an exploration of fate; when you are deceived by your own instincts and internal voice.”

Vocalist/guitarist Brett Campbell: “These songs are a deeper exploration of dynamics and sonic color than anything we have done up to this point. I’m of the belief that true heaviness comes from emotional weight, and sometimes sheer bludgeoning isn’t the right approach to getting a feeling across.”




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