Over the past few years I have gotten into doom metal, sludge metal, and stoner metal. These three genres were ones that I had previously ignored for some unexplainable reason. Then came the UK’s Undersmile. No I haven’t seen them live but their sludgy doom (doomy sludge?) metal grabbed my immediate attention. Falling in love with that band has opened many new horizons for me including bands like Greenleaf, Crowbar, Green Druid, Sasquatch and many others. Luckily for me this has recently led to Pallbearer, a band from Little Rock, Arkansas. Their current tour with Dust Bolt, Skeletonwitch and headliners Obituary brought them to Pensacola, Florida on June 1st. This city is only two and half hours from my Panama City home so I end up there for shows several times a year. When my friend Jason Carpenter mentioned the show I knew I wanted to go. Once the guest list was arranged we made plans to be there.
Before this show I had only listened to one song from Pallbearer, just to decide if I had any chance of liking their live set. During my listening I realized those chances were very high. I stopped there so that I could get my full dose of Pallbearer up front and in person. Hell yes. That was one of the best decisions I have made in my life. Their particular brand of doom metal was instantly appealing and I loved the fact that they kept all of the vocals clean. That technique always adds a more eerie atmosphere to the music and I especially loved the times where two of the guys were harmonizing. That’s one of the things about the aforementioned Undersmile that I loved and it’s fucking great that Pallbearer also does this. After a great set consisting of what I assume are their most popular songs (now I need to buy their albums) they came down into the crowd to meet their fans, both new and established. The guys were very friendly and obviously enjoyed playing for this crowd. They were graciously signing autographs and posing for pictures so I jumped in on that and brought home a pic of me with them. That’s another 5×7 for the wall in our living room! If you’re a doom/sludge fan and haven’t checked out Pallbearer’s music, now’s the time to get online or go to a show and buy them! Jim Dodge
Live photography by Jason Carpenter