Pallbearer – Mind Burns Alive

It didn’t take a master degree in clairvoyance to figure out that after the release of lead single “Where The Light Fades”, the latest PALLBEARER album would become a polarizing release. Such reserved tonalities came as a bit of a surprise to me, as the band usually sets off with a bang. I’ve been championing the Arkansas foursome for a decade now, starting with now neo-progressive doom metal classic Foundations Of Burden”. Following later albums and their immensely vast array of sounds, I’m rather moved by this beautiful journey that the band is going through. Naturally, I was full of excitement when the coming of “Mind Burns Alive” was announced. A new PALLBEARER album is something out of the ordinary for myself, it requires an immersion of the feels, and also indulges my fanaticism in music exploration, rather than counting satisfying riffs and shallow discussions about how heavy the music is or isn’t.

That this band has evolved into a singular and profound expression is vividly apparent on their fifth platter. The moody arrangements wash over you like an emotional tsunami, leaving myself with a sober state after several listening experiences. At its core, doom metal with many different influences, sure, but the songwriting is too artful to be considered emo, far more crystalized to be associated with shoegaze, the smart use of synth adds a layer of German kosmische musik, and there’s occasional nods to classic metal via great twin guitar leads.

The aforementioned lead single and the track “Daybreak” are the true eye (or ear) openers. Relying the slow build ups with vulnerable vocals and sparse instrumentation, it’s the most fearless creative endeavours of the band thus far, and lead singer / guitarist Brett Campbell has never sounded more naked, but do not fret, those devastating crescendos are still there, tugging at the heartstrings.

On the heavier end of things, “Endless Place” brings back some of the more dark and jagged riffs from the first two albums, fusing them with tailor-made art rock and saxophone parts, a formidable realization of several genre-blurring ideas. The major masterstroke in my opinion is the closing ten minute plus “With Disease”, which ends with some of the bands heaviest riffs, while also showcasing the band’s earth-shattering atmospheric dualisms. It’s uncanny how much attention to detail is at play.

This brings me to the sound production. A fantastic sound mix that boost the massive distortion and spacious tones that sway together on these six hymns of isolation, angst and salvation. The drums and bass are synced nicely with warmth and heaviness and a organic rustic sheen. The fierce guitar tone still is the flagship of the PALLBEARER sound armory, but as per usual, there’s a whole different guitar cosmos being harnessed on the side, masterfully integrated, even more so on this album.

In my opinion, PALLBEARER is a pristine example of the notion “heavy music because it’s heavy subject matter”. Here’s a daring sonic palette that produces a deeply cathartic listening experience. On a more philosophical level, I’d go as far as saying that “Mind Burns Alive” is the soundtrack to the more introspective aspects of the human condition and how to live with it via the PALLBEARER audio odyssey, a path of enlightenment.


Rating: 9 /10
Release date: 17th May 2024
Label: Nuclear Blast Records

Writer: Extreme Metal Voyager Facebook & Instagram


  1. Where The Light Fades
  2. Mind Burns Alive
  3. Signals
  4. Endless Place
  5. Daybreak
  6. With Disease


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