We all know that there is nothing more metal than a war, and right now the battle for the soul of modern heaviness is being waged between the sonic futurists and the staunch traditionalists, with each claiming to wield the one ring to rule them all. But sometimes, along comes a band like Pallbearer to bridge the divide, with a sound that isn't alienating downtuned chugga-chugga and yet has a few tricks up its sleeve that you won't find on an early-'80s Ozzy LP.
Pallbearer's debut, 2012's Sorrow and Extinction (Profound Lore), has put them on top of critics' lists and on the bill of countless rad metal tours of late, and yet the band's sound is elusive, as if they discovered a path up some heavy mountain that had not previously been put on metal's Google Maps. "We're a metal band," concedes bassist Joseph Rowland when I catch him by phone as he and the band navigate their van through the hinterlands of California, "and we'll continue to be one. But prior to this band, some of us spent time in freeform psychedelic bands, and we never felt pressure to, you know, follow a strict metal mindset."
Rowland isn't kidding, as the five-songs-in-50-minutes epic burn of Sorrow attests. "Sorry — I just, like, drove up a mountain," Rowland apologizes a few minutes later after a gap in our phone connectivity — both in their van and in their music, I'm guessing it's something that Pallbearer do a lot.
PALLBEARER + ENSLAVED :: The Sinclair, 52 Church St, Cambridge :: February 21 @ 7:30 pm :: 18+ :: $16.50 adv./$18 doors :: 617.547.6660 or boweryboston.com
: Music Features
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