Pallbearer
Forgotten Days

Ohhhhhhhh, yessssss! The new Paul Bearer record. Wait, that’s not right. Pallbearer. There it is. There’s no Undertaker here. Although, this album may make you sit up like him when you hear it for the first time.

So, this is another mainstream metal release that probably has received glowing reviews in Pitchfork as well as Decibel Magazine. No disrespect to either of those publications, but Pallbearer has been a metal darling for a little while now. It’s mainstream metal being reviewed on this site. ‘Tis I.

Honestly, I had no expectations for their new album Forgotten Days and had, ummm, well, forgotten it was on the way. The first track, which is also the title cut “Forgotten Days,” made me remember why I enjoyed their second album Foundations of Burden. It goes through multiple riff changes before those sultry sweet vocals even kick in and I’ll be damned if I didn’t dig the holy hell out of it.

The first 3 tracks fly by and I’m really believing in a passage I read leading up to this album stating the band was consciously writing shorter songs. Then, track 4, “Silver Wings” comes on, I look down, and see it is over 12 minutes. The audacity… However, it is of note that this is the longest track on the album and is the only one even coming close to touching double digits. It takes about 3 minutes of its runtime before we hear any vocals and in case you were curious, the riffing leading up to it and following is definitely of the traditional doom variety. It’s… fine.

Luckily, Pallbearer have used their two best tracks to bookend the album. “Caledonia,” the closer, is a great, melancholy closer (melancholy in doom, ya don’t say). A great hook, sometimes flashy guitar work, and the tease of synths which never come to fruition are the highlights. I dig it.

So, what’s the verdict? Look, this is good, sometimes outstanding. However, if you’re seeing publications calling it the album of the year or album of the decade, check to see if they felt the same way about the last Tool record. I bet they did, and I bet it’s bullshit to appeal to their hipster audience. No hating on hipsters. After all, I enjoy my craft beer, flannel, and Deafheaven, too. All I’m saying is to check your sources. Let go of your expectations and give it a go. You might not be disappointed by it, but just like your dad, if you don’t check it out, I’ll be disappointed in you.

 

[Visit the band's website]
Written by J Mays
November 2nd, 2020

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