CVLT Nation wrote of the album that "in this age, where everything is pre-fab and artificial, Pallbearer have created an album that is a vehicle to a different mindstate."
The Metal Observer gave the album a perfect score. The reviewer described the opening track, "Foreigner," as "such an emotionally engaging piece of music as to be absolutely gripping, yet, while it is certainly a bleak piece of music, it is not so depressing as to be desolate and oppressive but the kind of melancholy that is life affirming in the way it seems to reach inside your very being and tweak every existential nerve that you’ve been unconsciously managing to fight down, until something as affecting as “Foreigner” comes along and drowns you in it — and while it is certainly impossible to feel cheerful while listening to the album, it is a welcome release, and one will find themselves willingly allowing these dark waters to wash over them."
Spin, which is doing some kinda Twitter review thing, summed the album up thusly: "Heartbreaking funeral doom lays aching, operatic vocals over riffs oozing like lava. Satan wept." Spin also named Pallbearer one of its 5 Best New Artists for March '12.
Pitchfork gave "Sorrow and Extinction" the coveted "Best New Music" designation. "Ultimately, it feels like Pallbearer have created their own version of a traditional jazz funeral march, or like they went ahead and invented some sort of 'celebratory doom,'" wrote Brandon Stosuy. "Whatever you want to call it, the record's a triumph.'
Teeth of the Devine's E. Thomas called the album "one of the most moving and brilliant traditional doom records of this generation."