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A Metal Night: Pallbearer, Gatecreeper, Pinkish Black

Photography: Bryan Yalta

The Curtain Club was host to a set of heavy bands on Friday, May 12th. Acts Pinkish Black and Gatecreeper opened the show for the four-piece doom metal band Pallbearer, who are currently on tour in support of their new album Heartless. The evening saw Dallas’ metal community crowd the venue until it was cramped.

Hailing from Ft. Worth, Pinkish Black sought to start the night with all sorts of experimental sounds. The duo, composed of a drummer and a keyboardist, had an aggravating aura built out of a rather minimalist setup. Their sound felt bigger than the band itself—it almost competed with the next band on the lineup. Things seemed to get heavier once Gatecreeper got up onstage. A band coming ‘from the desert,’ as the lead singer mentioned, their sonic vigor illustrated the nature of death metal while tense, green lights flooded over them. Their performance was fast, powerful and angry—all three traits taken over their limit through headbanging rhythms and riffs. It build up an excitement which was to lead towards the headlining act.

Despite starting out with a stage problem—the stage curtains didn’t open when they were supposed to, ironic because of the venue—Pallbearer reclaimed control of their show with zest. After a loud joke comparing the band to Spinal Tap invigorated the crowd, the band quickly changed the mood of the audience into a serious one, reminding everyone who they were here to see. It was apparent, though, that the band had a sense of humor when bassist Joseph Rowland commented after the first song, “It’s not a Pallbearer show unless there’s technical difficulties.”

Music Video for "I Saw the End" from Pallbearer's Heartless

On a live setting, Pallbearer has the tendency to dramatize their doom metal sound, which can have both a positive and negative aspect on the band. At times, one can tell the band members are really feeling the music—like when vocalist Brett Campbell hits those jaunty, high-pitched notes—while at other times band interactions feel oversold and almost trite. When it’s hard to convince an audience of the authenticity in a band’s appearance, the music itself is hard to take seriously because there’s that battle between look and sound. Fortunately for Pallbearer, their music surpasses this obstacle enough to put them in a good light—the musical side of their live performance has the technicality to surprise a crowd. Most of the songs they played were from their latest album Heartless, which came out earlier this year. It exhibits the melodic riffs which make this band unique. Hearing certain songs from the album live, Heartless seems to translate well onstage. As far as stage presence, it might be a hit or miss, but Pallbearer will definitely amaze those who focus on the music more than any other aspect of performance.


Pallbearer is currently on a national tour promoting their new album Heartless with different supporting bands for select dates. Check out more photos from their show below.

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