Thursday 2 June 2022

Cave In - Heavy Pendulum (Album Review)

Release Date: May 20th 2022. Record Label: Relapse Records. Format: Cassette/CD/DD/Vinyl

Heavy Pendulum - Tracklisting

1.New Reality 04:41

2.Blood Spiller 04:01

3.Floating Skulls 03:39

4.Heavy Pendulum 05:09

5.Pendulambient 01:58

6.Careless Offering 04:55

7.Blinded by a Blaze 07:39

8.Amaranthine 04:27

9.Searchers of Hell 03:53

10.Nightmare Eyes 07:05

11.Days of Nothing 01:50

12.Waiting for Love 04:32

13.Reckoning 04:33

14.Wavering Angel 12:08


Stephen Brodsky - Guitar/Vocals

Adam McGrath - Guitar/Vocals

John-Robert Conners - Drums

Nate Newton - Bass/Vocals


Legendary Rockers Cave In return with their new album Heavy Pendulum and it sees the addition of Nate Newton (Converge) for this record. This album also sees Cave In honour much missed member Caleb Scofield's memory by using music and lyrics that Caleb wrote on tracks New Reality and Amaranthine for this record.

Cave In have a “master storyteller” approach for this album with the band playing a multitude of different styles they’ve played throughout their legendary career. Heavy Pendulum glides through the areas of Stoner Rock. Sludge Metal, Hardcore, Punk Rock, Psych and Prog Rock but all with the majestic Space Rock focus the band embraced at the start of their career.

The album opens up with the excellent opening songs - New Reality and Blood Spiller. Two songs that have a Psych Sludge/Stoner Rock sound with a dynamically powerful Psychedelic drive which is quite emotional on New Reality. Blood Spiller follows a similar path but with a more visceral Hardcore edge.

Nate Newton’s bass is a prominent force on this record with a powerful progressive sound we haven’t heard from the band in such a long time. The whole instrumental work is impressive with perhaps each band member's “spin-off” projects having a slight influence on this record. 

Heavy Pendulum has a more Progressive Metal feel compared to other Cave In records and maybe the perfect companion piece to Mastodon’s Hushed & Grim. Both records are on similar lengths and venture into the same musical backgrounds as each other. However, this is still a brilliantly powerful and original record in its own right.

Cave In are wonderfully diverse on this record with their use of different styles of music that even has shades of Classic Rock, Arena Rock and Hard Rock running through its DNA. The album can be downright “groovy” and “uplifting” on songs such as Heavy Pendulum, Pendulambient, Nightmare Love and Waiting. 

The standout track for me personally is the epic final song “Wavering Angel” which runs past the twelve minutes mark. This is perhaps the most personal song we hear from Cave In and blends Acoustic Rock and Sludge Rock with heavier levels of Psyched Out Space Rock giving this song an extra layer of true heaviness.

Heavy Pendulum is Cave In looking back over their extraordinary career and also allowing the band to lay down the foundations for future successes they ultimately and richly deserve. KUDOS to Relapse Records for allowing Cave In another shot at the mainstream ever since their ill-fated 2003 album Antenna (which I’m a huge admirer of). 

Iconic underground producer and pioneer Kurt Ballou produced this album and he lets Cave In be themselves whilst also allowing them to expand their musical journey into new areas of Hard Rock and Metal. The production values are first rate with this album sounding exciting, bold, vivid and with a rich dynamic sound that allows this to be one of the best sounding releases I’ve heard this year.

Heavy Pendulum is perhaps one of the best albums Cave In have released to date. This is a genuinely exciting and brilliantly original album that only CAVE IN can deliver. 

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Becky at Pioneer Music Press for the promo.

Heavy Pendulum is available to buy now on Cassette/CD/DD/Vinyl via Relapse Records


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