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Candlemass - The Pendulum

Candlemass
The Pendulum
by Jean-François ‘’Jackal’’ Poulin at 01 May 2020, 1:10 PM

CANDLEMASS is a five-piece Doom Metal band from Stockholm, Sweden. The band does not need any introduction in my books honestly. The band has been at it since pretty much 1984 and there are some of the forefathers of the genre. This EP is the follow-up to ‘’The Door to Doom’’ that came out in February of 2019. These are pretty much the Demos of songs left off the album with one new song called ‘’The Pendulum’’ which is also the name of this EP.

By adding these songs to the previous album, it would been over 70 minutes long and the band had to cut in the material yet all these demos sound great even in their raw state. I was rather surprised that their released all these songs so soon enough after the release of the album. It’s a little bit like METALLICA when they released ‘’Beyond Magnetic’’ not too long after ‘’Death Magnetic’’. I honestly don’t think these songs were cut for quality reasons, probably something along the lines of not making this album too long and tedious. You have 6 tracks that total about 20 minutes of new material and some of these demos are actually better than some tracks on ‘’The Door to Doom’’ honestly. It does happen that bonus tracks or left off tracks are even better than songs that made the cut. I can think of AMARANTHE and ANTHRAX as prime examples of that, songs that were left off are far superior than some lackluster songs but that’s just my opinion.

‘’The Pendulum’’ is just the best track off of this EP and I think it’s even better than the songs of the album. This track could have been the first single if they put it on there honestly. This song has that majestic riff and doom sound and has a better chorus than the opener of ‘’The Door to Doom’’ called ‘’Splendour Demon’s Majesty’’. ‘’The Pendulum’’ does remind me of their older material and it’s a wink by CANDLEMASS towards their origins, in intentions rather than facts. The sound and composition may never reach the heights of their first masterpiece albums but this is as close as you can get with their original singer.

I was surprised how much the Demos sounded great, hell, Demos like that sound better than a lot of Doom Metal bands out there! This song was for closer to the old CANDLEMASS than anything on the 2019 release. With this said, it is indeed a strong EP which delights the listener with high quality metal by no means unsatisfying. However, Johan has lost a step honestly in his range and high-pitched vocals and that hurts the album (like it did with the previous release) but you can’t always keep that voice throughout the decades. He has a hard edge to his voice and sounds a bit rougher and it gives another dimension to the songs of the kings of Doom Metal. If you combine both the EP and the album and make one album with the best songs of both opuses, well you would have an instant classic. They could have removed ‘’The Omega Circle’’ and ‘’Under the Ocean’’ by anything from this EP and it would been a rather huge upgrade.

Musically speaking, CANDLEMASS delivers as usual, no doubt about it. The album can fit in any Doom Metal afficionado’s collection. It’s a nice follow-up to the previous album, yet exploring new territory with these left-off tracks.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. The Pendulum
2. Snakes of Goliath (Demo)
3. Sub Zero (Demo)
4. Aftershock (Demo)
5. Porcelain Skull (Demo)
6. The Cold Room (Demo)
Lineup:
Jan Lindh – Drums
Leif Edling – Bass
Mats Bjorkman – Rhythm Guitars
Johan Langquist – Vocals
Lars Johansson – Lead Guitars
Record Label: Napalm Records
     


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