PallbearerAuditorium Shores, Nov. 4
Pallbearer pulls off that very specific feat of making metal that fits a mold without sounding like a warmed-over tribute or any lesser imitation. In this Little Rock, Ark., quartet's case, its chosen designation might be called "melodic doom," indisputably heavy music that features clean vocals and songs that are – and you can't say this about most metal – highly listenable. The group's debut LP, Sorrow and Extinction, came out in February, and the band's set in the early Sunday sun featured at least half of those five long compositions, with Brett Campbell's operatic vocals soaring over the crowd as a train rolled slowly behind the band like some perfect metaphor. Pallbearer's strength lies in its counterweight between almost pretty passages and dour riffage, and, even without the benefit of the acoustic guitar intro that opens album standout "Foreigner," the balance was maintained. Hints of Black Sabbath were prevalent, but Pallbearer's draw can't be encapsulated in what came before, but rather where they're taking metal next.