Pallbearer + Pinkish Black @ The Underworld Camden, London

Date: 6th April 2017
Review by Nathan Slack

It’s with great excitement that I enter Camden’s Underworld for the umpteenth time this year tonight to see one of the leading Doom bands around today. Tonight we have emotionally charged doom band Pallbearer from Little Rock, Arkansas and Forth Worth’s proggy Pinkish Black.

Pretty sure that there was meant to be a relevant local band opening but maybe Old Empire dropped the ball on this one and couldn’t be bothered to get off their bums to arrange anything. Who knows but, after seeing the poor turn out for Mantar the night before I’m more than a little sore at the promoters this week.

Anyway the show must go on and Pinkish Blacks prog table gets plugged in at 7:30 as the two piece take to the stage. It’s with great concentration that I start to listen to the bands progressive tinkering and I try to get a head bang going somewhere. It’s by no means feat making it sound like there’s heavy guitars in there when, well… there isn’t, that its all done on the table with the drums included as an after thought. I really, really wanted to like them but after a few songs their painfully slow starts to their songs start to get to me and their songs are rather too ambient in the most part for my liking and they start to really bore me. If prog really is your thing give them a go and ignore me by all means. They weren’t bad per-say just really not my thing.(5/10)

Straight onto Pallbearer who instantly intrigue me as they take to the stage as they have an interesting band dynamic. The lead vocals and guitarist is set off to the right hand side of the stage, practically in the dark corner and the bassist is the centre and does all the talking.

The band are here tonight promoting their new album, Heartless, and its their first single Thorns off that album that the band open their set with. It’s definitely one of the stand out tracks from the record and its a excellent song to start us off. I’m pretty open to the band exploring the genres and putting more experimental elements into their songs mainly due to their guitars are still evident and loud enough to melt your face.

They announce that they will be playing much more off their new album before heading into crowd fave The Ghost I Used To Be. I’m starting to geek out at this point as this track is one of my favourite metal tracks ever and hearing it live stirred something in me emotionally and not for the last time tonight.

Honestly I don’t think metal was capable of making a grown man shed a tear but if it’s going to be any band, it’s got to be Pallbearer. Their music is so full of emotion and the lead singers melancholy Ozzy Osbourne esque vocals combined with their awesome riffs have me blubbing like a baby. Fear and Fury off last years 3 track EP comes next, another track of their’s I really like, but it’s the song Worlds Apart off Foundations of Burden that blows everyone away, me included. I have no words to describe how hearing this song live made me feel. The one thing I can say is that it is simply thee best live track I’ve ever heard live from any band I’ve ever seen… EVER.

After that stonker Pallbearer drag out the prog table with three tracks off Heartless; I Saw the End, title track Heartless and A Plea for Understanding. I really liked these tracks but its the older tracks that get the best reaction from a ever thankful crowd. They end the night with more well known tracks Foreigner and Devoid of Redemption and the bassist announces its time to get more than a little drunk as its his birthday. Thankfully they have a night off in London tomorrow to recover! Think I might have to take the time to compose myself too.(10/10)

1. Thorns
2. The Ghost I Used to Be
3. Fear And Fury
4. Dancing in Madness
5. Worlds Apart
6. I Saw the End
7. Heartless
8. A Plea for Understanding
9. Foreigner
10. Devoid of Redemption