I told a colleague, who is also into Pallbearer, how much I was enjoying their first album. He agreed, adding how much he loved their third, even though most people consider their second to be the best. I understand what he means–Foundations of Burden, their second, is amazing. But I could not imagine it without the first. Perhaps, in some small way, I’m starting to see beyond the need for ranking things, at least in the sense of pitting them against each other.
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Having said that, I can’t get over how perfect Foundations of Burden is. I enjoy it as much as Khemmis’s Hunted.
I was tempted to think that they are each somewhat better than average instrumentalists, but brilliant songwriters, when it just occurred to me how stupid that is. It assumes both that technical prowess is some combination of speed and complexity, and that it is self-sufficient. Both are false. The skill it takes to play something exactly right is greater than speed, and is alone self-sufficient.
Along those lines I am just now realizing that great musicians play within the spaces of each other. This is not to say they can’t play the same notes at times, rather, that each is listening to the other and knows how to best complement.