When Little Rock's Pallbearer released its debut full-length, Sorrow and Extinction, last February, the band had little idea how special this particular slab of doom metal would become. But listeners and critics showed the group otherwise: they latched onto the album, anchored by Brett Campbell's expansive guitars and clear, plaintive voice and Joseph Rowland's contemplative bass, crowning Sorrow and Extinction one of the year's best.
What started with a three-song demo, quietly released in 2010 on Bandcamp and featuring a spot-on version of “Gloomy Sunday” (has there ever been a more perfect doom-band song?), quickly took the metal world by storm in 2012. Pallbearer also became noteworthy for its indie record label, Ontario, Canada's Profound Lore, whose stellar 2012 catalog earned it a reputation as one of the best-curated labels in metal — or anywhere.
Pallbearer is kicking off 2013 very differently, plowing through North America on Enslaved's “Winter Rite” tour with Royal Thunder, another sleeper band that won metalheads' crusty old hearts in 2012. The tour comes to Slim's this Saturday, Feb. 9, after which Pallbearer will head to Europe for the first time to play a series of gigs before appearing at Roadburn, the Netherlands' mega indie music fest, in April. We recently spoke with Rowland about Pallbearer's newfound success, and what's in store for one of the biggest new names in doom.