The Swedish doom masters Candlemass return with The Pendulum, an EP of unused tracks from The Door to Doom recording sessions.
Described by Leif Edling as “the last piece of the puzzle,” it is apparent that The Door to Doom may have been thought to be a double length. I won’t go into the vast history of Candlemass and suffice it to say that they are monstrously worth their salt in the doom kingdom. There are endless bands that Candlemass have inspired and therefore they deserve a seat as one of metal’s kingdoms.
We begin with the title track where Johan’s dramatic vocals are intersected by a weighty rhythm section with Jan Lindh at the seat of the massive percussive sound and Leif’s beautification bass lines. The song quickly veers into the thrash realm and showcases Mats Björkman and Lars “Lasse” Johansson’s riffing.
“Snakes of Goliath” is quite possibly the most Black Sabbath-ian influence ever (especially “Electric Funeral”), And why not, considering Tony Iommi features on album one in the song “Astorulus- The Great Octopus.” It is a bludgeoning heavy and thunderous piece.
“Sub Zero” is an acoustic and bass instrumental number, an intermission of sorts in it’s very brevity. “Aftershock” is a meaty fuzzed out groove provind how deep the sound can go and again a brief number and it ends much like the last sound we all heard from Lemmy Kilmister’s bass upon his passing.
“Porcelain Skull” was all right, more Sabbath-like grooves and psychedelic, heavy guitar, but for whatever reason I find the vocals a bit awkward as it doesn’t seem to fit the backdrop of the instruments.
Finally, we exit with the piano/acoustic number “The Cold Room.” It is a forlorn and melancholy moment as befits its title and is a quiet passage that heads off into an unknown realm.
Candlemass do not drown you in waves, but they carry you along their currents.
The Pendulum is out March 27 on Napalm Records. Pre-order it here!