Grandiose desolation and the harrowing beauty of darkness

If Heartless was Pallbearer experimenting with the boundaries of their creativity, Forgotten Days is taking the lessons learned from that tinkering and applying them further to their dark muse.

Those who feared the modern doom masters would distance themselves even more from their original sound with this new album can breathe easy. Forgotten Days is both a progression and a return to the style that won the hearts of doom purists.

Nowhere is this better exemplified than on the album’s sprawling centrepiece Silver Wings, where the soft pattering of drums is subsumed by thunderous riffing soon joined by baleful melodies before the track goes off in yet another direction with a pause and immense doom-ridden rumble, slowly expanding as it languidly arches its way across dark vistas of gloom. The opening tracks establish the melancholic mood that slowly unfolds across Forgotten Days, blending My Dying Bride’s menacing beauty and the soul crushing despair of Woods of Ypres. Haunting melodies and Brett Campbell’s sombre, ethereal vocals carry the emotional weight of the gigantic riffs, each one given emphasis by Mark Lierly’s smashing cymbal accents.

The austere marching plod of The Quicksand of Existing lifts the album out of the monstrous slowness of Silver Wings without lifting the mood and as Pallbearer winds into Vengeance & Ruination’s heavy, cascading chug, each song carries its audience further down a spiral of forlorn darkness. On Caledonia they explore their more progressive influences as well as their shoegazing ones, ending the album on a note of minor-key despondency, the lilting guitars and lingering bass notes echoing sorrowfully. This is an album of grandiose desolation and the harrowing beauty of darkness from a band that can hardly put a foot wrong.

  1. Forgotten Days
  2. Riverbed
  3. Stasis
  4. Silver Wings
  5. The Quicksand of Existing
  6. Vengeance & Ruination
  7. Rite of Passage
  8. Caledonia