01. Pallbearer - Sorrow & Extinction
(Profound Lore Records)
The flawless debut from traditional doom metal band Pallbearer is the greatest album to be released in 2012. The young band from Arkansas has achieved not only a startlingly mature sound on "Sorrow and Extinction" but a diverse and unique one as well. Somber melodic lead guitars weave through the powerful dirge like rhyhthm section. With Brett Campbell's powerful voice and the well placed gorgeous acoustic bridges (as in the final minutes of An Offering of Grief) only enhancing the already tremendous instrumentation on display. The albums five tracks also contain traces and hints of psychedelic rock, progressive rock and sludge metal. This keeps the rather long songs from stagnating as they're always changing pace and form. As seen in one of the album highlights "Devoid of Redemption", when the songs breaks down into a completely punishing sludge driven groove. Or in the other album's highlight, the epic closer "Given To The Grave". Where old school keyboards and synths lead the charge before gut-rattling doom riffs seemingly bust in out of nowhere giving way to a somber jam ridden proggy finish with the finest solo I've heard this year.