Pallbearer, Gatecreeper fill Echoplex with plenty of doom & gloom in their return to LA



By Zach Bourque //

Pallbearer with Gatecreeper //
Echoplex – Los Angeles
May 18th, 2017 //

Doom-metal giants Pallbearer stormed into LA’s Echoplex last Thursday in support of their latest album Heartless with support from Gatecreeper. If the names listed on the bill didn’t already scream “metal night,” the pit of black in front of the stage certainly sealed the deal.

Not everyone seemed to have gotten the message, however. A couple donning formal business attire wandered in off the street, leaving shortly after the doorman was unable to break a $100 bill. “You do realize this is metal night, right?” the doorman asked the couple as it swiftly left the venue under the cover of darkness.

With the notable exception of seeing someone in a three-piece suit at a heavy metal show, the night’s biggest surprise came from Arizona’s Gatecreeper. Vocalist Chase Mason was every bit the death-metal archetype, complete with black, waist-long hair and a guttural howl that hits you right in the plums. The group’s speed paid dues in the pit, which erupted midway through the set for periodic fits of moshing.

While many in the crowd were there exclusively for Pallbearer, Gatecreeper surprisingly had their own robust group of fans in attendance who never missed a chance to let everyone else know precisely who they were. The four-piece may not be breaking new ground in the genre, but nonetheless, it was incredibly solid live and certainly scratched the death-metal itch for those willing to indulge.



Hailing from Little Rock, Ark., Pallbearer took the stage shortly before 11 p.m. and couldn’t be more of a 180-degree turn from Gatecreeper. The band takes great pride in its doom roots and fully embraces the slow pace and clean vocals that the subgenre rewards.

As good as Pallbearer’s material sounds on their records, especially with the near-perfect production on Heartless, seeing them live is something else entirely. Despite only having seven tracks, the new album runs nearly an hour long, taking listeners on a sonic journey from one minute to the next. Pallbearer’s staid doom sound has continued to grow more mature and varied, and you can really get a sense of that seeing them perform live.

Pallbearer’s technical chops pair very nicely with lead singer/guitarist Brett Campbell’s killer voice, which sounds familiar and fresh. Meanwhile, the group’s collective sound really feels timeless — one that pays tribute to the doom bands that inspired them, and at the same time, one that remains accessible for a wide swath of metal fans.

Whether you dig your vocals screamed or serenaded, there was something for everyone at a packed Echoplex on this night. With an upcoming tour in support of Gojira, Pallbearer will return to Southern California soon to play the House of Blues Anaheim on August 5th.

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