ALBUM REVIEW: Pallbearer – Forgotten Days
Photo Credit: Ebru Yildiz & Jacob Slaton
Pallbearer make their return with Forgotten Days, the follow-up to 2017’s Heartless, which sees the band mix some surprisingly melodic, poppy hooks with a more traditional doom flavour, that makes for one of the most compelling records of the year so far.
The title-track kicks things off and you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d put Black Sabbath on by mistake. The track builds to a messy, sludgy crescendo invoking a sense of loss and desperation. Riverbed picks up the pace slightly, with a great lead guitar hook in the intro before slowing things right back down again. There’s some real heaviness on display here, a great classic rock style solo and an ethereal quality throughout the track. Stasis could be an Alice in Chains song, Brett Campbell’s range on full show here, bringing Layne Staley to mind.
Clocking in at a swift 12 minutes and 18 seconds, Silver Wings is the centrepiece of the album, but can also act as the album in a microcosm. On first listen the slow pace and length of the track was off-putting, but with each additional listen it starts to sink in and is one of the standouts on Forgotten Days. The Quicksand of Existing works as a good antidote to Silver Wings, it’s a proper head bopper and despite it’s slow tempo, feels positively dynamic following Silver Wings.
The final three tracks follow much of the same formula as what came before, with the mighty Caledonia being the standout of the bunch and finishing the album on a spectacular note. While Forgotten Days deals with personal and difficult themes and ideas, Pallbearer have a way of translating this in a universal way; there’s some great musicianship on show and vivid imagery through both the music and lyrics, to create a really powerful listen.
Forgotten Days works best when it has time to sit with you; there’s moments of crushing sadness and emotional depth that take a while to fully germinate. That isn’t to say there aren’t parts of the album that aren’t soaring, there’s grooves and hooks throughout that push Pallbearer toward doom-infused Baroness and latter-day Mastodon territory. Forgotten Days is a grower, it needs space to creep its way into you, but once it does it sticks and brings rewards with repeated listens.
Standout Tracks: Forgotten Days, Silver Wings, Caledonia
For Fans Of: Warning, 40 Watt Sun, Khemmis
Written by: Henry McCaughtrie