Record Reviews

EP review: Candlemass “The Pendulum”

Swedish doom masters Candlemass return with an EP of unused tracks from the band’s “The Door to Doom” recording sessions. It is doomy awesomeness.

The Swedish gentlemen in Candlemass have, in my opinion, never released a bad record. Their back catalogue is rock solid and this new EP is no exception. The music on this EP is somewhat less obvious, immediate and accessible than last year’s full-length studio album, “The Door to Doom”, which saw the return of the band’s original vocalist Johan Längqvist. There is an explanation for this: the EP contains left-over material from the recordings of the last album. I get why Leif Edling and his mighty men of doom felt that they should release this music too and not let these recordings disappear into someone’s desk drawer. This is epic music. It sometimes requires the listener to focus and really pay attention. It’s a thinking person’s music. Some of it is instrumental (like the dreamy film soundtrack-sounding song “The Cold Room”) and even experimental, such as the fantastic little bass-only piece “Aftershock”. The tracks “Snakes of Goliath” and “Porcelain Skull” are the most accessible songs here. They are pure trademark Candlemass – combining doomy riffs, slow-ish doom and heaviness with powerful vocals. This EP contains some absolutely brilliant stuff! I love it. As always with Candlemass, the doomy guitars on this EP force their way into my ears and crawl down to my heart and lungs, fully backed up by the heaviness of the spine-rattling rhythm section. In addition to Längquist, Candlemass currently consists of its classic late 1980s/early 1990s line-up: Mats “Mappe” Björkman and Lars “Lasse” Johansson on guitars, band founder Leif Edling on bass and Jan Lindh on drums. They seem to be on a roll and I am loving their musical output.

Candlemass’ EP “The Pendulum” is out today via Napalm Records. A Japanese edition is being released by Marquee/Avalon.