by Robert Bell
9 p.m. Juanita's.
Pallbearer laid down a three-song demo in 2010 that turned many, many heads in the doom metal world, especially for a brand-new group. Of course, the band is indebted to Black Sabbath, but their take on that sound is so fresh and expansive and inspired that they're already being hailed as one of the finest bands in what has, over the last few years, become a very crowded field.
This week saw the release of "Sorrow and Extinction," Pallbearer's debut full-length on Profound Lore, one of the best metal labels around. It's a beast, too, filled with killer riffs, natch, but also some memorably melodic playing, a few gorgeously sparse post-rock moments, soaring, emotionally resonant singing from vocalist/guitarist Brett Campbell and dexterous, swinging playing from drummer Zach Stine (note: Chuck Schaaf, of Deadbird renown, is now the band's drummer). The album is a rich, rewarding listen, with an emotional heft that few of its contemporaries can touch.
This show includes Pallbearer's buddies in Loss, a Nashville doom outfit that earned widespread acclaim for last year's "Despond," as well as locals Black Orchid, made up of musicians from several other veteran Arkansas metal acts. On Saturday, Pallbearer heads on over to Music City for another show with Loss.