I try to stay away from other reviews when it comes to any album I already know that I’ll be reviewing myself here but after hearing the latest Cave In record all the way through for the first time I got a little overexcited to see if people felt the same way I did. That said, I’ve gotta hand it to Decibel Magazine’s Shawn Macomber who was so on point in describing Heavy Pendulum as “the best stadium-ready modern Metal record” because, in a nutshell and at its’ core, it’s exactly that. And obviously so much more.
But I digress!
It’s been four years since the tragic loss of bassist/vocalist Caleb Scofield and three years out from what many thought could’ve been the final Cave In record (2019’s aptly titled Final Transmission) but here we are in 2022 on the cusp of the band’s seventh release with brother-in-arms Nate Newton firmly woven into the sonic framework for an album that’s a return to their roots of sorts (With the band even recording at God City in Salem with Kurt Ballou for the first time since their debut) but also an undeniably massive sounding affair that begs fans to listen to it form start to finish uninterrupted.
From the furious crunch of “New Reality” and the slaying delivered by “Blood Spiller” to start it’s immediately apparent that Heavy Pendulum is a very riff-centric record that seamlessly fits alongside (Former and current) labelmates Mastodon and Torche who both perfectly mesh the Metal and the melody on their new label home of Relapse Records. What’s also apparent is that Cave In, even more so than ever before, is really bringing the sum of all their parts with the addition of Newton whose Doomriders outfit really shines through on this recording.
Diving back into the Heavy…, “Floating Skulls” has that Masto quality about it with Newton and JR Conners’ primal rhythmic bombast matching the shredfest laid down by Adam McGrath and Stephen Brodsky before the multi-faceted title track enters and rips apart any notion you might’ve had going into this beastie with an epic slow burn of a new modern Cave In anthem.
Following the spacey interlude “Pendulambient”, “Careless Offering”, ahem, offers a tour-de-force Cave In classic with Brodsky’s vocals soaring as high as the riffage and then “Blinded By A Blaze” continues that trend for this massive space rawk journey that’s somewhere in between Jupiter and Antenna with some extra heft added for good measure.
“Searchers Of Hell” is a gnarly-sounding juggernaut that’s filled with Brodsky and McGrath’s signature squealing guitar skillz with “Nightmare Eyes” putting the focus on Newton’s low end for a similarly grimy behemoth that languidly lurches along towards an especially chug-a-chug finale where that Doomriders presence is really felt. And it gets even more dense the deeper into Heavy Pendulum you get! “Waiting For Love” brings some heavenly heavy while “Reckoning” gives McGrath a chance to stretch his vocal chops during this acoustic hymnal leading towards the 12-minute sonic mission statement that is “Wavering Angel” to close out the record with dueling guitars and dueling styles conjured by an unwavering synchronistic creature called Cave In.
Heavy Pendulum descends on May 20th through Relapse Records. Pre-orders are available in a variety of formats that can all be checked out when you head here. For the latest from Cave In, including dates for their summer tour with Author & Punisher, follow them across the information superhighway by clicking here, here, or here.