Little Rock’s doom-metal titans, Pallbearer, and Atlanta hard-rockers, Royal Thunder, recently ripped through Philadelphia’s Kung Fu Necktie venue with support from local openers Backwoods Payback, for what proved to be one of the best live shows we’ve experienced all year.
Pallbearer is touring in support of their debut double-LP, Sorrow and Extinction, which hit streets in February via 20 Buck Spin Records. Hailed as one of the year’s best doom offerings, Sorrow and Extinction has seen positive reviews across the board. NPR stated, “..A long list of mouth-watering influences isn’t enough to make a memorable album. What makes Pallbearer matter in the increasing glut of heavier-than-thou doom-metal bands is these four Southerners’ conviction. These are songs that challenge the doom gods themselves for a place on the throne.” On this particular evening as the cool Philly rain poured down, Pallbearer simply dropped the hammer of heavy on the audience who ate up the rock-drenched doom hand over fist. No fancy lights or smoke, just skull crushing metal to finish out a very well rounded bill.
For anyone who follows this mag, we make no secret of our love for Royal Thunder. After dropping the critically acclaimed CVI LP on Relapse Records earlier this year, our resident giant, Andy McNeil, caught up with band for an exclusive interview and photo set. McNeil said it best, “..Once again, it’s the outstanding pipes of frontwoman Mlny Parsonz, whose ever- seething glottal wail and silky coo make this collection of promising, bluesy, sepulchral-themed Southern metal jams fit for a macabre debutante ball worth revisiting again and again. In less flowery language – she can really fucking sing.”
And on this evening, with a packed house anxiously anticipating her every word, fucking sing she did, while the band executed a performance that even out-shined their latest masterpiece of an LP. Royal Thunder is carving an irreplaceable nook in the world of hard-hitting rock, which is far too often drab and predicable. Apart from the rock-solid performance, Royal Thunder has one of the raddest merch displays we’ve seen in sometime (see below). This is, without question, is one band that should be on your radar as we head into 2013.
Backwoods Payback has created quite a buzz in the Philadelphia area and we were stoked to see the band live up to the hype with a potent blend of garage-infused black metal that kicked off an evening of bulletproof performances.
Our Senior Staff Photographer, Dante Torrieri of Useless Rebel Imaging was on hand to capture another massive picture gallery for viewing pleasure.