Candlemass – “The Pendulum” EP (Napalm Records)
Battle Helm Rating
If you can’t get enough listening to Candlemass’s last offering “The Door To Doom” then get ready for “The Pendulum”!!! Comprising 6 unreleased tracks that were written as the last songs to the band’s 12th album although never making it to the final selection when it went from being a double to a single LP, “The Pendulum” is even more of Leif Edling’s epic doom genius brought to life. Opening the title track in typical fashion with classic Candlemass doom riffs, ‘The Pendulum’ rocks off bombastically thanks to a pounding rhythm while Johan Langquist’s exquisite vocals show both his menacing power and deep soul exuding the melancholy echoed by the somber solos of Mats ‘Mappe’ Björkman and Lars ‘Lasse’ Johansson that have made this Swedish band legendary in its own right as being a worthy successor to the mighty Sabbath. Even more evil and slithering is ‘Snakes Of Goliath’ with its dark riff coiling its way slowly around your mind as the contrast of Langquist’s funeral doom soul is nothing short of total possession before the twin guitars rev it up with some wild, heavy metal soloing until returning to the grimness. Achieving no less in the acoustic ‘Sub Zero’ with its dark tranquility both atmospheric and poignant in its tones, ‘Aftershock’ is similar, if gloomier as echoed through the heavy bass lines of Leif Edling himself. After the instrumental interlude, ‘Porcelain Skull’ re-births more classic epicus doominicus riffs, made dirtier thanks to the rawness of the demo although the full mastering allows Langquist’s stunning vocal performance to still be appreciated as it exudes heaps of passion along with the darkly exotic guitars of Björkman and Johansson – an awesome number! Closing instrumentally with ‘The Cold Room’, a somber piano sets the sorrowful mood made all the more so when the mournful keyboards come into play, although uplifting in the end in the consolation of finding peace at last. It’s nothing short of a funeral…..