SINGLE REVIEW: Bereavement – “Pale” [2014]


Artist: Bereavement

“Pale” – Single


As you look down over their body, after the funeral procession but before the burial, there is an eerie wave of emotion that rocks your body—a combination of guilt, despair and something not quite explainable. As you try to put your finger on it—tracing the haunting pallor of the recently deceased’s skin, searching for an answer—you frustrate yourself, as you just can’t place that elusive emotion. Finally, it hits you—relief. It rests carved in the calm, collected face of the dead: eyes closed, lips sealed, bereft of any trace of vivacity, they look at peace. This is peace as described in “Pale,” the debut single by Bereavement. Death isn’t an end or a beginning—it isn’t something to fear or to await—it is just an escape.

“Pale” begins with a deceptive energy that hits the listener like a heart attack, swelling the walls of their arteries and engorging the atria of their heart. However, before long, the pummeling, percussive blitzkrieg and frantic fretwork gives way to brooding, eerie brutality. Riff-driven anxiety degenerates into an enormous, ambient lead that floats perfectly over a crushing breakdown, as the other guitar and bass plod along, breaking a fresh bone with each chug. Underneath it all, the percussion is prominent, still punchy and deep, but slow and burning, taking its time searing every inch of the listener’s flesh. While the instrumentation roars and rocks the listener to their core, the vocals are nothing short of perfection. Every tone and pitch imaginable–from a disemboweling growl to an eerie almost-spoken screech–is present, wreaking pure havoc on the listener’s sanity. “Pale” carries on this way—like watching a funeral procession march off of a steep cliff. Every second is nail-biting and disastrously heavy, becoming so haunting at points that the listener almost can’t bear it. Bereavement are like a trainwreck, broadsiding the listener: while it’s gory, grotesque and raunchy with over-the-top heaviness, they simply cannot stop listening, possessed by every second of pure anguish that forces them to bang their head. The only escape from “Pale” is death—pure and simple.


For Fans Of: Deity, REX, Traitors, Irrita

By: Connor Welsh