Enslaved, Pallbearer, Royal Thunder and Ancient VVisdom at The Sinclair in Cambridge, MA on February 21, 2013.
Missed shows are just a part of the touring life, but this time it wasn't snow that got in the way. Fortunately, Enslaved was able to get their vehicle operable and on the road to Boston. After a stage change that was reminiscent of an Indy 500 pit stop, the Norwegians were plugged in and ready to rock, ripping through a number of songs from their twelfth and newly released RIITIIR and some of their expansive back catalog as well. Enslaved are not your typical black metal band. If you prefer your Norse black metal with the requisite primal growl, you'll be half pleased, but the band cuts this with large doses of very smooth singing (dare I say harmonies!?) and keyboard flourishes and textures, leading to a middle ground that's been successful for them.
Pallbearer brings the hammer of traditional doom down hard, hard enough to compact molars and buckle spines. There's no surprises here, aside from just how good they are at creating their own space within the somewhat suffocating space of doom metal. One key aspect could be Brett Campbell's soaring vocals, which lend a somber and majestic air to the blanket of sound that envelopes the room. Aside from Maryland Death Fest, Electric Wizard hasn't played the US in over a decade, but Pallbearer is a very nice alternative. Their name got a considerable push when Pitchfork named their debut the best metal LP of 2012 and the record acquits itself nicely and shows that it isn't just hype.
Royal Thunder: http://royalthunder.bandcamp.com/
Ancient VVisdom: http://www.ancientvvisdom.com/
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