PALLBEARER - Carrying the Casket of Doom demo
Personally I believe they should be carrying the casket of stoner rock/sludge metal since they've both become the new Indie Rock and have been played to death. What this Little Rock, Arkansas band does is treat you to some traditional doom which sounds as if they're transplants from the epicus doomicus shores of England, Spain or Sweden. Not that Arkansas isn't a place to invoke influences of misery in it's own right. Trust me I know since I once spent six months in Hot Springs, Arkansas which is simply a screaming nightmare away from Little Rock and what I still unkindly refer to as Hell Springs, Fuckansas. The heat is abysmal, state bird is a horsefly and the chiggers squat on your body until you dig em out of your skin. They've also got a creature down there called the Boggy Creek monster (yes the thing from the 70's movie) which is something like Bigfoot with a southern drawl. I personally considered the whole experience akin to turning the biblical Book of Revelations into a vacation spot. But enough of my torturous journeys in purgatory since this four piece act some how escaped the trappings of being another blues band (there were a lot of them in Arkansas) or worse another southern fried sludge outfit influenced from their NOLA neighbors. I give em points for that alone.
Carrying the Casket of Doom is just three cuts albeit all very good and long in the Euro tradition of Doom. Their vocalist/guitarist, Brett Campbell, sounds like Ozzy before all the coke and Sharon. The first cut, "The Legend", is a misery layered epic in the vein of MY DYING BRIDE. The riffs are crisp and sound like bacon frying in a pan. A very melancholy solo adds to the sadness. "Devoid of Redemption" is actually more upbeat like comparing the land speed of a turtle with a slug. The last cut is sort of a surprise since it's a cover of "Gloomy Sunday" which is an old number favored by jazz sirens. What PALLBEARER does is give it the Doom treatment to the hilt. After this I expect to see a run on Jazz albums from used record stores by bandwagon jumping wannabe doom musicians. Yeah stealing ideas and riffs from all those early obscure 70's bands was getting old now they've got another avenue to plunder. Well at least PALLBEARER was the first and I wouldn't call what they've done with "Gloomy Sunday" as plundering at all. In fact I think it's just a damm good idea. They'll be coming out with a proper full length this year on Shadow Kingdom Records, which is the label I would've picked if you asked me to guess. I'll be looking forward to that.