Daron Beck (left) and Joseph Rowland (right) of Information Age John Durbin/Elizabeth L. Cline

If you’ve been looking at infectious disease specialist Amanda Novack’s graphs lately, it’s pretty much doom and gloom in Arkansas, so we may as well have a soundtrack to go with it, yeah? Little Rock doom metal gods Pallbearer have you covered, albeit in some pretty unexpected ways.

First up: Pallbearer bassist Joseph Rowland is releasing the debut of his new duo, Information Age, in which he joins forces with fellow heavy musicmaker Daron Beck of Pinkish Black. From a press release:

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In 2018, during a moment of reprieve from Pallbearer’s touring cycle, Rowland began  concocting songs informed by one of his long-term musical obsessions, Italo Disco. As the project took on more momentum, he began to collaborate with vocalist Daron Beck, whose band Pinkish Black had joined Pallbearer on several tours, and together they continued with Rowland composing and producing and Beck providing lyrics via his recognizable baritone.  Rowland comments, “I’ve been an Italo disco enthusiast for many years, and had always wanted to take my own stab at creating some with a dark and gritty psychedelic edge, and having Daron along with me in this project totally completed the vision.”  …

“So much of the lyrical content contained in this album deals in societal collapse from greed and lack of empathy, feelings of loss of sanity due to isolation, and an onslaught of disinformation corrupting our very being. All of it was written between late 2018 thru early 2019. It was completely surreal watching so much of what Daron and I had been ruminating on unfold in real time, well after the recordings had been committed to tape, so to speak.”

Also, a hearty thank you to electric bassoonist Christopher Pawlowski, who through some double-reeded powers of perception knew exactly what we needed before we could articulate it ourselves: an electric bassoon cover of “The Legend.”

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Here’s that badass track from Pallbearer’s seminal “Sorrow and Extinction,” about which Pawlowski said: “Their music, while mostly dark and brooding in nature, also contains select moments of cautious optimism, made unique by ever shifting meter and key changes at just the right moments. It might just be me but I think they also convey a sort of ancient power in their writing via counterpoint that is almost reminiscent of classic 4 part chorale writing, just with way more parallel 5ths! It’s so functional and emotionally effective. Anyways, all that is to say: I think doom metal suits the bassoon oddly well!” Agreed, Pawlowski.

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Catch Pallbearer at the upcoming Mutants of the Monster Festival, slated for Sept. 10-12 at Dreamland Ballroom and Vino’s.