Sounds like: A slow march through brimstone fields at the end of time.
For fans of: Black Sabbath, Candlemass, Electric Wizard, Burning Witch, funerals, lying in bed on a rainy day crippled with sadness.
Latest release: Sorrow and Extinction, five songs of gorgeous, despairing, traditional doom metal.
Why you care: Pallbearer is that rare case of a young band deserving of its meteoric rise—not that Pallbearer does anything fast on purpose. Debut album Sorrow and Extinction was awarded Pitchfork’s coveted Best New Music tag when it was released in March 2012. Nine months later, the record was hailed as best metal album on nearly every relevant year-end list. The praise is warranted, if unprecedented. Until recently, doom has traditionally been the least commercially viable subgenre of metal. What pushes Pallbearer over the top is the vocal style of singer-guitarist Brett Campbell. His soaring lyrics of despair ride the billowing, angelic waves that cascade from his golden throat. It’s this majesty that carries otherwise leaden, anguished riffs into the stratosphere. The music is heavy, down-tuned and miserable, but with a baroque air that never forsakes its melancholic vibe. Hope seems to be in short supply, and that type of gothic sensibility seems to be speaking to a lot of people right now. Go figure.
SEE IT: Pallbearer plays Branx, 320 SE 2nd Ave., with Enslaved, on Sunday, Feb. 10. 7:30 pm. $14. All ages.