Doom is as old as metal itself, its parameters enshrined by Black Sabbath on the first song of their debut album and adhered to exactingly ever since. Over their three previous albums, Arkansas’s Pallbearer have taken that template and subtly massaged it into new shapes.
Their fourth album takes yet more detours, but without ever losing sight of the path. Devotees of lead-heavy riffs will be spoilt by the title track and Rites Of Passage, and the pace never exceeds sluggish.
But there’s a slo-mo prog-adelic shimmer to Silver Wing and Caledonia, while Riverbed consciously calls back to Alice In Chains’ grubbily celestial harmonies (frontman Brett Campbell’s crystal-clear vocals throughout lend Pallbearer an accessibility that many of their contemporaries wilfully lack).
Trying to alter the direction of doom at this stage of the game is like attempting to perform a handbrake turn with an oil tanker, but with Forgotten Days, Pallbearer are at least attempting to chart a new course.