Cave In

Heavy Pendulum

Written by: PP on 24/07/2022 15:23:35

Cave In is a band with legendary stature. Their work especially in the early 2000s is considered seminal within the heavy music scene, given their unique guitar distortion and punishing heaviness brought from within. They've been quiet for an awfully long time though. Their last 'real' release was "White Silence" eleven years ago, and after they got back together to consider new music during 2017-2018, the original bassist Caleb Scofield tragically perished in a car accident before they had anything properly finished. The band wished to produce a tribute to Scofield in the form of "Final Transmission" three years ago, but given the circumstances, it sounded more like an unfinished demo than a proper Cave In release.

Since then, they've added Nate Newton of Converge fame to replace Caleb and brought Kurt Ballou back in as producer. He produced their crushing debut "Until Your Heart Stops", and now his touch can be felt and heard through the crunchy heaviness of the seventh Cave In album, "Heavy Pendulum". It's a record that takes the clean vocal approach of "Antenna" and shifts it towards a stoner metal direction.

Stephen Brodsky's instantly recognizable guitar distortion is still the defining part of Cave In's sound here thanks to its effects-laden chime, but when it is not used, the instrumental landscape is crushing, to say the least. They work in a good amount of droning melody on the title track and on "New Reality", but "Careless Offering" is an example of just how brutal Cave In can be when they really go for maximum sludge metal impact. The roaring waves of technical guitars on "Amaranthine" likewise provide a punishingly heavy backdrop against which Brodsky's droning vocals can forge a surprisingly catchy melody that makes it one of the album highlights.

On the opposing side, progressive pieces like "Blinded By A Blaze" are best defined as stoner ballads with subtle grunge undertones. Here, the band concentrates on slowly building an all-encompassing atmosphere around Brodsky's softly sung vocals. The seven-minute "Nightmare Eyes" follows a similar pattern, here drawing parallels to Converge's "Bloodmoon" collaboration with Chelsea Wolfe.

As you can hear, Cave In explore a wider variety of styles to arrive at a sound that's best characterized as progressive, heavy music. It features hardcore, strong stoner, and sludge influence, as well as elements of progressive rock. With the twelve-minute mammoth "Wavering Angel" closing the record after more than 70 minutes, we've been put through a sensory experience that only Cave In can provide. It's a signature-style soundscape and an altogether complete album. Its only weakness? The length. Given the droning nature of the sound, it could've easily been shortened by a good 15 minutes without anything noteworthy missing.


Download: New Reality, Heavy Pendulum, Floating Skulls, Amaranthine
For the fans of: Mastodon, Far, Isis, Neurosis, Kylesa
Listen: Facebook

Release date 20.05.2022

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