Following on from 2019’s Final Transmission, Heavy Pendulum is somewhat of a different beast to their last album. Whereas Final Transmission was short, (31 minutes), fragile, and emotive, reflective of the effects of tragedy and loss, Heavy Pendulum is long, (71 minutes), has greater range, (though still emotive), and more reflective of the band’s varied discography as a whole.
As the promo states, this is for fans of bands such as Converge, Helmet, Mastodon, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Queens of the Stone Age, Baroness, Chelsea Wolfe, Melvins, and Red Fang, which is quite the list. I’d also add Alice in Chains and Soundgarden to this too.
It’s great to hear Cave In revitalised and revisiting aspects of their sound that they haven’t displayed in some time. There’s something for everyone here; not just their past few releases, but also from the early crushing heaviness of Until Your Heart Stops, to the lush progressive textures of Jupiter. This is a heavier, angrier incarnation of the band, yet they haven’t left behind the more emotive and reflective components at all. Heavy Pendulum brings together all of the various parts that make up Cave In – brutal hardcore, progressive rock explorations, post-hardcore beauty, layered grunge, sludge attitude – and forges them into a well-crafted metallic soundscape that’s defined by good songwriting and musical depth.
The singer’s voice is in fine form, and he is backed up by the band’s new bassist, (of Converge and Doomriders fame), who provides expressive harsh vocals.
This is Cave In looking backwards in order to move forwards. Heavy Pendulum is a fresh start for the band, where they acknowledge and pay tribute to everything that came previously, while simultaneously blending it into the here and now, with a view to what tomorrow brings.