It’s been almost two years since Pallbearer’s last full-length, the widely praised Foundations of Burden. For those of us getting impatient to see what the band will serve up next, there’s Fear and Fury, a surprise three-song limited release out this week on Profound Lore. There’s nothing new here: The song “Fear and Fury” is a remastered version of their 2015 Decibel Magazine flexi single, and “Over and Over” and “Love You to Death” are covers by Black Sabbath and Type O Negative, respectively. But just because you’ve heard these songs before doesn’t mean Fear and Fury is a minor release. The remastered version of “Fear and Fury” is an improvement over the original, and that alone makes it essential for any Pallbearer fan. However it’s the two covers that make this EP so much fun.
|Brett Campbell 2012.|
Singer/guitarist Brett Campbell has serious cojones to tackle not one but two songs by two of rock’s most iconic and distinctive frontmen. He (and the entire band) nails it in both instances, paying homage to the originals while imparting his own unique stamp on both songs. “Over and Over,” which Ronnie James Dio sang on Mob Rules, begins with Campbell’s multi-layered voice singing “Over and Over and Over,” fading in like some transmission from the abyss, before the music itself hits you like an avalanche.
One of the most enjoyable aspects of Campbell’s voice is that he always has a slightly hopeful inflection, which shines through no matter how emotionally devastating the lyrics. That’s true on “Over and Over,” and the truly surprising “Love You to Death.” As “Love You to Death” begins, Campbell almost sounds like he’s parodying Peter Steele’s breathlessly dramatic delivery. By the end, as he sings “am I good enough for you,” his voice soars, and suddenly a song with some rather cheesy eroticism becomes shimmeringly happy and sincere.