Profound Lore Rds is a top notch label, very diversified in heavy sounds and which often gives the impression to prople their bands to peaks... Traditionnal DOOM wasn't really represented yet in the great range of bands the label has produced over the past 8 years, and to make this now effective, I think there wasn't many obvious possibilities... PALLBEARER from Arkansas was one of them, if not THE band that would fit perfectly well for this interesting development of the catalogue...
With such a band name, you certainly don't expect here something groovy and frisky, but don't think on the other hand to have here the most despaired Funeral Doom album of the year...
Trad' of course doesn't mean they revolutionize the approach of the genre but so much soul here makes me think that they are pretty different from any other bands evolving in this rather closed sphere, transcending harmonies and almost constantly sharing your feelings between sorrow, crushingness and a blissful enchantment.
A solid basis of their doomed musical education must have been "epicus, doomicus, metallicus", but I would say that nicely PALLBEARER has thrown out of it all the too "conventional" Metal cliches that were cool back in the day, but now rather pisses me off when it comes from new bands (high pitched vocals, always the same basical structures, demonstrative-like solos...).
Those five songs (the album last about 50 minutes) are all based on memorable mesmerized riffs with beautiful clean vocals, sharp melodic solos... An amazing aspect of the band's sound is the growing power that is generally puted in the songs, take for exemple the beginning of the album with "Foreigner" and that long accoustic guitar introduction or the progressive and jaming "given to the Grave" which reveals an amazing psychedelia enhanced by ambient keybooards and delightful airy melodies (the Floyd isn't far...).
PALLBEARER can be massive and extremely crushing, more quiet and refined too but always catchy and sorrowfully ceremonial.
In conclusion, this is an awesome debut, which I'm sure, like a good wine, will reveal even more caracter with time; without any possible doubt "sorrow and extinction" will be included on many many Faves Lists of 2012 (including minof course) and it is very exciting to think that this is just the beginning of the PALLBEARER's story !!!