Cave In
Heavy Pendulum


3.5
great

Review

by Rowan5215 STAFF
May 16th, 2022 | 315 replies


Release Date: 05/20/2022 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The wait is all we know.

Comprised of 14 tracks across 70 minutes, engineered by the inimitable Kurt Ballou at God City Studios, Cave In's Heavy Pendulum sounds like a colossal beast coming slowly back to life, clawing its way across frozen earth towards the sun. There's no question that the hole Caleb Scofield left in this band – in the entire American metal scene - is one that could never be filled, even with the best efforts of Converge's Nate Newton, another dexterous and powerful bassist with a bellow that sounds like the cry of a wounded animal. Wisely, Cave In haven't even attempted to plug up that void, nor to pick up where they left off, leaving any remaining music penned with Scofield untouched with the exception of his lyrical contribution to "Amaranthine". Instead, Heavy Pendulum fully shifts gears toward a fresh sound for the band, a muscular, driving brand of mid-tempo rock tempered by Newton's screams and a newfound, occasionally forced grungey croon from Stephen Brodsky.

The spacey, dreamy side of the band is certainly in the backseat here, though not entirely neglected. The sludgy "Blinded by a Blaze" and "Nightmare Eyes", not to mention the 12-minute opus "Wavering Angel" lean towards longer runtimes and meandering song structures, while "Careless Offering" is one of the band's heaviest barnburners since "Serpents"; all of which will feel like home to longtime fans. For the most part, though, Cave In rocket full speed towards this grungier terrain, with a strong assist from Ballou's chunky and low-end-favouring production, the result feeling like an evolution of Final Transmission's "Night Crawler" or the Brodsky-led Old Man Gloom b-side "Willing Vessel".

Appropriately enough for this new direction, the lyrics of Heavy Pendulum find themselves more grounded in earthly affairs than Brodsky's past contemplations of stars and celestial bodies. "Blood Spiller" and "Searchers of Hell" are fairly straightforward, even heavy-handed ventings over our current political climate, while the McGrath-lead "Reckoning" takes on biblical dogma, the guitarist's grittier vocal tone complimenting the material nicely. At its best, though, the album recalls Cave In's emotional past triumphs. The title track is a moving meditation on grief which casts the emotion as a pendulum, "acknowledging the heaviness of time passing, especially when you find yourself having to navigate through circumstances that drag you down" in the words of Brodsky. And if it's the last we ever hear from Scofield, "Amaranthine" is a superb final outing, a Perfect Pitch Black-style ripper which allows Newton plenty of room to roar the late bassist's words in full force.

"Nate is very engaged in creative decisions, and there's a grace about him that makes it seem like he's been in the band since day one [...] but he also has enough distance to bring something new to the mix", Brodsky says in the press material for Heavy Pendulum. It's a valuable perspective from which to view Newton's contributions to the album, not only as bassist and vocalist but as an outside voice tempering the band's impulses, a position Scofield also filled. With a wry tone, Brodsky notes that without Newton's watchful eye Heavy Pendulum may have ended up an outright grunge record, a theory which the Alice in Chains-worshipping "Waiting for Love" bears out.

The hole left in Caleb Scofield's wake was not only that of a phenomenal bassist and one of the greatest harsh vocalists in the scene, but also of a diverse and curious musical mind who frequently pushed Cave In towards their finest musical excursions, favouring the balance of heaviness with Jupiter's spacey stargazing or Tides of Tomorrow's gentle psychedelia. Cave In cannot just soldier on as they were without that voice in the mix, but Heavy Pendulum is perhaps even more valuable than a direct sequel to the band's golden years would have been. It's an album that shows a band comfortable and willing to begin moving on, 70 minutes of something new enough that you can see a pretty bright future for the band that seemed impossible to many just three years ago. The lyrics to "Amaranthine" - a word that means unyielding or everlasting - are like a blessing from the departed voice, urging the band forwards into the light, to the next transmission they'll send to us.

"The anthem is ours to sing / The pain, the fight, the death, the life and then the love".



Recent reviews by this author
Alexisonfire OthernessLupe Fiasco Drill Music in Zion
Sharon Van Etten We’ve Been Going About This All WrongFontaines D.C. Skinty Fia
Caracara New PreoccupationsGang of Youths Angel in Realtime
user ratings (197)
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
May 16th 2022


46557 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

don't get worried by the rating - it's not the direction I would have picked for them to go in, but I'm pretty sure this will appeal to a lot of y'all even more than it does me. like, it's Cave In, of course it's good

Pikazilla
May 16th 2022


23181 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

3.5? foh



can't wait to blast this mf

Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
May 16th 2022


46557 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

one could even say its great

SteakByrnes
May 16th 2022


27098 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

rad review row, very hype to dig into this on release

Digging: Earthists. - Have A Good Cult

Relinquished
May 16th 2022


47776 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

RIP Scofield forever



long live Cave In

tyman128
Contributing Reviewer
May 16th 2022


3469 Comments


album art looks sick
great review as always!

botb
May 16th 2022


15398 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

So stoked for this one

STIGMATIZED
May 16th 2022


209 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

yESSSS cave in dude im hyped now

Slex
May 16th 2022


14045 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I hate grunge almost the same amount as I love Cave-In so I am now a little concerned tbh

Digging: Conjurer (UK) - Pathos

cloakanddagger
May 16th 2022


546 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Excited as hell to hear this album when it drops. Cave in have become one of my favourite bands since I first heard them in my early 20s, and the tracks they've put out so far have all been very enjoyable.

Relinquished
May 16th 2022


47776 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

“I hate grunge almost the same amount as I love Cave-In so I am now a little concerned tbh”



what kind of grunge tho lol — AiC or Nirvana

MeatSalad
May 16th 2022


17567 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Brodsky has always done a whole lotta grunge worship as early as Jupiter so it's probably nothing completely out of the ordinary

mryrtmrnfoxxxy
May 16th 2022


15272 Comments


nice

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
May 16th 2022


28294 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

A rev already! Can't wait to hear this.

Digging: Autumn's Grey Solace - Within the Depths of a Darkened Forest

JayEnder
May 17th 2022


14748 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Stoked for this!

Digging: Alexisonfire - Otherness

Space Jester
May 17th 2022


10239 Comments


Jamming this now

Tyler.
May 17th 2022


18756 Comments


this better be good or else

Deez
May 17th 2022


8918 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Innit

Digging: Boldy James and Real Bad Man - Killing Nothing

FearThyEvil
May 17th 2022


17669 Comments


I cannot wait to hear this

Gnocchi
Staff Reviewer
May 17th 2022


17284 Comments


That art looks quite tasty honestly.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2019 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy