By Dave Pehling
SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Two genre-bending leading lights of modern metal bring their current tour to San Francisco when adventurous doom merchants Pallbearer and Swedish outfit Tribulation come to Slim’s Monday night.
Founded in 2008 by guitarist Brett Campbell and bassist/keyboardist Joseph D. Rowland while attending Central Arkansas University in Little Rock, Pallbearer came together in the wake of the duo’s work in the experimental, synth-driven drone metal band Sports. After bringing second guitarist and drummer Devin Holt into the fold, the group caught the ears of labels with the self-release of a three-song demo in 2010 that showcased their monolithic style of metal.
Signing to noted metal imprint Profound Lore the following year, Pallbearer announced itself as a force on the underground ever since releasing their celebrated seismic debut Sorrow and Extinction in 2012. Weaving elements of psychedelia and progressive rock into their tuneful epics that highlight guitarist and main composer Campbell’s melodic vocals, Pallbearer earned rave endorsements from such mainstream music outlets as Pitchfork, Spin and NPR.
The quartet — rounded out by the addition of current drummer Mark Lierly after the recording of the band’s debut — has continued to push the boundaries of the genre, recording the equally acclaimed follow-up Foundations of Burden with celebrated producer (Sleep, Neurosis, Swans, Melvins) and touring with fellow metal luminaries like YOB and Tombs.
The band further refined its mix of doom, prog and psychedelia with its most accessible effort yet, 2017’s Heartless. With Rowland adding more synthesizers and Campbell delivering indelible vocal melodies throughout, the album ended up on numerous “best of” lists last year. Returning to San Francisco for the first time since supporting death-metal greats Obituary at the DNA Lounge, Pallbearer headlines Slim’s on Monday night with support from rising Swedish band Tribulation.
Though they got their start as a corrosive death-metal band on their early recordings, the outfit began expanding its sonic palette with its third album The Children of the Night in 2015. Introducing elements of theatrical goth rock, psychedelia and more traditional metal sounds, the recording still featured blazing interplay from guitarists Adam Zaars and Jonathan Hultén while broadening their appeal. The group’s latest effort for Century Media records — Down Below — has been widely hailed as Tribulation’s most ambitious so far.
Pallbearer with Tribulation
Monday, October 1, 8 p.m. $22-$25