October 19, 2020 Pallbearer – Forgotten Days (Album Review)
Despite the lack of live music in the United States due to the pandemic, artists are taking the opportunity to create new music. Also using their time wisely, Arkansas’ Doom Metal act Pallbearer is set to release their latest work of musical art with Forgotten Days on October 23, 2020 via Nuclear Blast.
Their first album since 2017’s Heartless, as the new release’s title implies, it is a journey back into their most significant memories, as well as a gateway back in time to gather their roots. On the scene for the last 12 years, Pallbearer features founding mastermind Brett Campbell on vocals/guitar, along with long-time members Devin Holt on guitar, Joseph D. Rowland on bass/vocals, and Mark Lierly on drums.
Joining forces yet again, this eight track release is full of mind-moving somber and ambient tales enhanced by some of the most elaborate Doom riffs on the market today. Hoping to make 2020 a better place, Forgotten Days starts off with a very interesting title-track. Beginning with a very uncomfortable, though intentional grinding noise introduction, once the initial brain interception is reached, the song plummets into a very heavy driven Doom groove sure to enlighten spirits.
This is before the album jumps into a very moving journey of remembrance and heartfelt healing of the utmost emotional pain imaginable with “Riverbed.” At over six minutes long, you are transported into a wave pool of empathy and relatability.
Moving forward, midway through, the over twelve minute “Silver Wings” depicts the true transformation of Forgotten Days from average to magnificent in terms of Pallbearer themselves. If a band chooses to write a song over eight minutes long, it must be for a structurally creative reason. That in mind, this one really brings the melancholy flavor to its highest spark of ignition turning into a gloriously pale blue flame.
From here Forgotten Days takes off with the beautiful and soulful doomsday tune “The Quicksand Of Existing.” This transfers discretely into “Vengeance and Ruination” which is one of the more lengthy yet lively tracks featuring some stellar riffs and solidly creative beats. Plunging deeper into the unknown parallels of “Rite Of Passage,” the melodic riffs ensue, and the comforting heavy vocals draw in even the most reluctant victims.
A very underrated band, Pallbearer carry a special flame for the Doom Metal scene. Excelling at their craft, their hard work has payed off greatly on Forgotten Days. This all in mind, with Forgotten Days being only their fourth studio album, Pallbearer might just be scratching the surface of their creative being. In fact, they may have not even shown the world what they are truly capable of yet.
Overall, there is a simplistic beauty about Pallbearer; this is vividly apparent in the finale of Forgotten Days, “Caledonia.” However, there is also a unique creative stagnancy in their sound that deserves a cult following. They manage to alleviate the alienating entrapment of the darkness that circles their music from the minds of listeners in a serendipitous way. In a nutshell, it could be compared to brilliant. That is why Cryptic Rock gives Forgotten Days album a 4.5 out of 5 stars.