Pall­bearer TUSKAR


Metal Hammer (UK) - - Subterrane­a Lives -

PALL­BEARER HAD A re­mark­able 2017 with a wide range of me­tal and, cru­cially, non-me­tal out­lets pro­claim­ing their LP Heart­less to be one of the best of the year. With so much good­will be­ing thrust their way, you can for­give the fact they were orig­i­nally booked to play Is­ling­ton Assem­bly Hall. It’s with a slightly heavy heart that we find our­selves in the Un­der­world in­stead this even­ing, a venue al­most half the size, but it is to their eter­nal credit, then, that Pall­bearer ap­pear com­pletely un­fazed, in­fus­ing the room with a cel­e­bra­tory air that is im­me­di­ately in­fec­tious.

Be­fore that tri­umphant show­ing, how­ever, we’re treated to the un­ex­pected au­ral thrill of stoner black met­allers TUSKAR [8]. The two-piece em­ploy a fan­tas­tic use of dy­nam­ics that re­call the more sludge-en­crusted cuts from Mastodon’s Re­mis­sion. Drum­mer Tyler Hodges does a re­mark­able job of lay­ing down fu­ri­ous grooves and pow­er­ful earthy vo­cals si­mul­ta­ne­ously, and with lit­tle to dis­tract you from the almighty riffs gui­tarist

Tom Dim­mock peels out from his six strings, the power of their sound hits with ex­tra­or­di­nary po­tency. It can be tough for duos to sus­tain in­ter­est over a pe­riod of time but for 30 min­utes tonight, we are in the palm of Tuskar’s hands.

PALL­BEARER [8] be­gin with the pun­ish­ingly heavy grooves of Watcher In The Dark, which pretty much sets out the stall for the rest of the even­ing: hazy, heady, heavy grooves that para­dox­i­cally soothe and blud­geon with equal force. The setlist is weighted pretty equally across the band’s three al­bums but it’s Thorns and Dancing With Mad­ness, the two cuts taken from

Heart­less, that show­case their great­est strengths.

The lat­ter in par­tic­u­lar mar­ries pun­ish­ing, de­tuned riffs with psych-in­fused, blissed-out pas­sages that show hints of the early Me­tal­lica ma­te­rial that was blessed by Cliff Bur­ton’s hand. Pall­bearer en­chant their au­di­ence into a hyp­notic stu­por, a vor­tex where time is ma­nip­u­lated, mak­ing 10-minute epics fly by in what ap­pears to be half the time. They’re clearly as stoked to be here as we are to see them, a fact re­in­forced by the crowd’s cry of “One more song” come the set’s end.

They duly oblige with that rarest of things, a gen­uine en­core and we are treated to a blistering ren­di­tion of De­void Of Re­demp­tion. Next time Pall­bearer come to these shores, let’s hope that they get an­other shot at play­ing Is­ling­ton’s famed town hall. On this form, they sure as hell de­serve it.


Tuskar’s Tom Dim­mock provesto be a mighty riff wiz­ard Pall­bearer’s Joseph D Row­land addssome blud­geon to the fore­bod­ing

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