SEPTEMBER 27th 2018
Review by Anka

The Pallbearer and Tribulation tour stop in Vancouver was aninteresting proposition from the very beginning: only the two bands playing as co-headliners, long sets, and aaalllll the dark goodness from two of the best. I really enjoyed walking into a show right when one of my favourite bands started playing. Tribulation opened up the night without much fuss, almost like giving the crowd some time to gather around and settle in. Now, if you have never seen.

Tribulation before, you are in for a spooky treat. First, they are quite some ‘apparitions’ (see what I did here…), and their stage play has a different vibe than you’d get with any other bands. It’s all so fitting and so strangely complementing the music – which by the way, I wasn’t able to describe to the person that had asked me what kind of metal they play. I launched into some babbling about how they started off as a death metal band (on “The Horror” - what an underrated album – must check!), and now they added all these influences like doom, psychedelic, dark rock and all-over a rather 70s vibe. Somehow, even their stage look pays tribute to all these influences as well. Or maybe just to their personalities…  Back to the Thursday night show, I think a lot of people, seeing them for the first time, watched in awe. It was a pretty good turnout for a mid- week evening with another big show in town. Tribulation mostly played tracks off their last two albums, with their latest release “Down Below” making up almost half of the setlist. Overall their song choices were so satisfying, at least for someone like me, who’s been following their music for a few years now, but enjoys the new direction quite a lot. There’s so much darkness, but there’s also groove. And it’s all damn good.
Pallbearer up next, they continued the doom and gloom fest, but on a different tone of course. Aww, the feels! Their style of doom is somewhere in between the traditional melodic doom and a kind of refined sludge. What surprises from the very beginning is how heavy they sound live, seemingly without even trying too hard. Pallbearer is way heavier live than recorded, without compromising the beauty of the melodies. And for a doom band, they are certainly quite dynamic and lively – as much as that can be when you play this genre. Vocalist Brett Campbell’s vocals are impeccable and the songs delivery is flawless. We heard lots of goodies on their setlist for the night, from older tracks like “Watcher in the Dark” and “Foundations” to my very favourites “Lie of Survival and “I Saw the End” from their latest release, “Heartless” (2017). It was a nice sonic ride between the atmospheric, melodic guitar licks and the thick, heavy riffs. I think it’s safe to say that Pallbearer are no more an ‘up and coming’ band and they are established in their genre at this point - a band that is great addition to any lineup, as an opener or headliner, and which we’ll get to hopefully see around as often as possible.