Find us on Facebook!

To keep updated like our page at:

Or on Twitter:

Or E-mail us at:

Tuesday 8 November 2022

A View From The Back of The Room: Elder & Pallbearer (Live Review By Matt Bladen)

Elder & Pallbearer, The Fleece Bristol, 03.11.22

With another jaunt to The Fleece I wondered if this one would be less troublesome however the combination of the most complicated road system, a closed bridge and a lost excel spreadsheet meant that again I found myself missing most of Irist's set. I'm sure there will be another chance to catch them so I'll take a proper listen to their aggressive music then.

However I was really here for both the co-headliners, first up in front of the poles of The Fleece were progressive doom merchants Pallbearer (6). I was longing for chance to actually hear this band play their own full-length set rather than at a festival where they usually play one or two numbers or of course famously against a fire alarm. As they sprung to life it was immediately clear all was not well as the bass was far too high in the mix and the vocals far too low. This meant that the atmospheric tendencies of Pallbearer were all but washed away by just feedback and fuzz, but not the good kind. I'd hoped that this would be rectified but throughout their hour and bit set I could barely hear the vocals or the guitars except in the clean sections. 

Despite getting the largest crowd of the evening for me Pallbearer were a little ponderous (I realise many people feel this way about doom), there was also a LOT of people chatting amongst themselves at the back during their quieter bits. Probably because you couldn't hear anything in the louder sections! Perhaps it's my taste but I find them excellent on record unfortunately, to use a footballing parlance on a wet Thursday in Bristol they hit the cross bar. Still they had the most people watching them so what do I know?

With quite a large number leaving during the change over, one of the foremost names in American doom hit The Fleece and the difference was noticeable, despite opening with the drums far to high, this was mixed back into place on the fly and we began taking a cosmic journey with Elder (8) the four piece injecting a bit more pace and groove into their doom than their tour mates the Massachusetts natives incorporate psych, stoner and blues into their sound which seems to appeal more to my ear. (Maybe I'm just a fan of Sabbath over sludge.) With just 6 songs in their setlist the musical journeys of Elder weaved their way through the long run times between light and dark, heavy and feather-like. At times tracks such as Halcyon and In Procession from 2020's Omens presented a deft touch but then Compendium and Dead Roots Stirring brought the louder sounds driven by Jack Donovan's bone rattling basslines and Georg Edert's powerhouse drumming. 

This sturdy backroom powers the furnace of these flights of fancy the guitar playing of Mike Risberg and Nick DiSalvo channeled through some warm Orange Amps, shifting between groove inducing riffs and atmospheric melodies DiSalvo's vocals used sparingly for full effect. Nothing played from their new album released this month but that was expected as this was essentially a Damnation Festival warm up show. Still for me it was Elder that were the better band on the night, but Pallbearer gained a sizable audience in Manchester.

No comments:

Post a Comment