Nuclear Blast Records
FFO: Khemmis, SubRosa, Spirit Adrift, Warning, Serpent Venom, Reverend Bizarre
Since their formation, Pallbearer have managed to rise through the doom ranks; what began as a band adored by hipsters and that bloke who ‘listens to music you’ve never heard of’, the Arkansas band have pushed their way forward to become the modern commercial face of doom. It has been nearly 3 years since Pallbearer delivered their dividing ‘Heartless’ album, an album that could be considering doom-lite at best with those loving the new direction and those alienated by the lighter approach. This year has Pallbearer returning with their latest album ‘Forgotten Days’.
It could be debated that naming an album ‘Forgotten Days’ is a nod to their past, an inkling that maybe Pallbearer had gone too far in one direction and now were returning to their roots. This is what rumbles through the speakers when this album begins, it is a glimpse into Pallbearer’s past and yet, it is not delivered through a sense of nostalgia, rose-tinted glasses or trying to recapture the magic, the band don’t need any of that hyperbole. Oddly, sound this feels like a natural step for the band; yes, there is still a huge commercial appeal here, this is an excellently produced album that will probably be one of the best audibly pleasing albums that you will hear all year that fans of SubRosa, Spirit Adrift and Khemmis will adore. What the listener gets here is some good old fashioned doom coupled with some beautifully crafted melodies and emotively charged lyrics which actually make ‘Forgotten Days’ very memorable with tracks like ‘Stasis’, ‘Vengeance & Ruination’ and the title track being up there with some of best work the Pallbearer have done. However, where ‘Forgotten Days’ really excels is ‘Caledonia’, this is a brooding final track which contains a crushing chorus that really drives album down the home straight.
There isn’t anything here that Pallbearer fans haven’t really heard before; it just confirms what we already know and that is with ‘Forgotten Days’, Pallbearer are capable of writing contemporary, commercially driven doom that has the ability appeal to a wide demographic. Therefore, do not be surprised if this album is riding high come the year end.