Pallbearer – Mind Burns Alive


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Mind Burns Alive finds Pallbearer navigating the space between disquiet and serenity with a singular intensity. At times poetic and blistering, their fifth full length is a heartfelt meditation on isolation, trauma and mental breakdown, framed by the possibility of redemption and the quiet, aching beauty of escape.

Musically and lyrically stripped bare and vulnerable, Mind Burns Alive deals in universal themes of loneliness and the feeling of emotionally drowning in a world turning upside down.

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

The album opens with the deceptive restraint of “Where The Light Fades,” a sparse, melodic echo anchored to the mournful tenor of vocalist/guitarist Brett Campbell. Hazy reverb-laden guitars wind against Campbell’s vocals; typically soaring, here cowed and shaken before building to a spine tingling crescendo of emotional release.

“These songs are a deeper exploration of dynamics and sonic color than anything we have done up to this point,” explains Campbell. While the band’s earlier catalog leaned on walls of guitar, massive distortion and piercing vocals, they achieve more on Mind Burns Alive by stripping everything back. “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,” Campbell adds.

The second single to be taken from the album proves that Pallbearer remain committed, in the right context, to the use of volume and distortion. The reticent acoustic and synth that introduce “Endless Place” quickly tumble into the controlled yet deliberately disjointed rhythm that underscores the song. Driven by hues of 90s death-doom, guitarist Devin Holt brings the melody front and center, capitalizing on the exceptional drum work provided by percussionist Mark Lierly. The band cede the spotlight at a pivotal point to Norman Williamson who provides a modal saxophone solo which, in a deft trick of shading, offers brief glimmers of relief before spiraling down into madness and the song’s pummeling, cyclical finish.

Lyrically, Endless Place exemplifies the thematic tone of the record. Per Campbell, “These songs are vignettes which tell the stories of people who deal with myriad sicknesses of the spirit. These are illnesses communicated by the world we live in, and the subjects are the symptoms of its disease.” Five years in the making, the journey to fruition did not come easy. Recording, initially slated for 2020, was delayed for obvious reasons. A second attempt in 2022 saw yet another roadblock with Campbell remarking, “After so much time, and two aborted attempts to record, it was beginning to feel like the album was cursed.” Finally, in 2023, everything came together and what felt like a creative process doomed to incompletion was transmuted into an opportunity to expound upon their original vision for the album.

CD Track Listing:1.Where The Light Fades (6:40)/2.Mind Burns Alive (7:57)/3.Signals (7:53)/4.Endless Place (10:38)/5.Daybreak (7:11)/6.With Disease (10:35)


Album Track Listing:Disc 1: Side A:1.Where The Light Fades (6:40)/2.Mind Burns Alive (7:57)

Side B:1.Signals (7:53)/2.Endless Place (10:38)


Album Track Listing:Disc 2: Side C:1.Daybreak (7:11)/2.With Disease (10:35)

Side D:1.Etched

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