Album Review: Pallbearer – Forgotten Days

Pallbearer Announce New Album And Launch New Video

Album Review: Pallbearer - Forgotten Days
Reviewed by Pal Hutchings

If you’ve ever encountered Pallbearer live or on record, you’ll be familiar with the band’s mesmerising sound. I’ve been fortunate to see them a number of times, and at each show I was captivated by the band; their swirling mix of emotional, doom rooted heavy rock laced with delicious melodies engrossed me into an intoxication which I didn’t want to leave.

The band’s fourth album is undoubtedly their best. Having spent 2019 crafting the release, the result is epic. ‘Forgotten Days’ comprises eight huge, towering songs that spread across 53 minutes. That delightful aural inebriation started immediately, with the title track which maximises the band’s ability to cast stories and captivate the listener. A mix of gentle passages merge with massive, heavy riffs allowing the band to flex both their metal links as well as expand their song-writing abilities. Vocalist Brett Campbell’s magical delivery shines throughout, his best performance yet both urgent and emotional. Songs like ‘Riverbed’ tumble and fall in an almost experimental journey which has been influenced in part by bands of the 1970s.

Album Review: Pallbearer - Forgotten Days

On ‘Forgotten Days’ Pallbearer capture the concept of family. But unlike many, they focus on the challenging subjects. Loss, personal choices, and reflection. ‘Riverbed’, the dramatic 12-minute ‘Silver Wings’ and ‘Rites of Passage’ all tackle such topics from a personal and reflective perspective. Rowland for example, utilises memories and reflections to engage in dialogue with his mother, who passed when the band were writing demos for ‘Sorrow and Extinction’. The album talks about fading memories, dealing with regret, and exploring topics that they are only now be ready to face.

At times, the sheer enormity of Pallbearer’s sound is simply mind-blowing. The band create riffs that move mountains, their intense heaviness balanced by the feeling with which they are delivered. ‘Silver Wings’ provides the ideal illustration. Having been together as a band for nearly a decade (drummer Mark Lierly joined Campbell, guitarist Devin Holt and bassist Joseph D Rowland in 2012), there is an organic feel to the band’s sound that has developed since 2017’s ‘Heartless’. Whilst the songs here are delicately and deliberately crafted, Pallbearer have also captured an immediacy which replicates their live sound; demonstrated perfectly on closing song ‘Caledonia’ which fluctuates between the crushing heaviness and the light touch which Pallbearer appear able to do with such ease.

Produced by Randall Dunn, who had previously worked with the band on live sound, the Arkansans headed to Sonic Ranch Studios in West Texas to record ‘Forgotten Days’. Assisted by engineer Justin Morris, Dunn has perfectly captured the melancholic feel on an album that will surely propel Pallbearer to bigger and better things.

Forgotten Days is released on 23rd October by Nuclear Blast

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