Cave In release arguably the best album of their illustrious career condensing everything they could muster into a joyous album full of surprises!
There comes a certain time in everyone’s life (age varies) when you have to make a choice. Whether you are content to let yourself slide into later life with minimum effort, live on past glories and don’t worry about ‘stuff’. Or you can grab yourself by the scruff of the neck and go for the improvement option and invest in trying new things and trying to be the best version of you (I am aware there are varying degrees of options between, but for the purposes of this article, please bear with me). This analogy can also be rather fortuitously levelled at bands who have reached a certain point in their careers. Some choose to live on former successes and continue in the same vein, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with this approach, people do like routine after all. And then there are bands who choose the latter option.
Over the course of their impressive career, Cave In have gone through brilliant highs and unimaginably harrowing lows. Making some legendary albums and music along the way. So, when they announced a new album called Heavy Pendulum, which direction do you think this band chose to go? The answer flies in the face of everything I have said so far (typical! ;-)) and is not a case of choice A or choice B, but almost a career defining album which revisits older sounds, but at the same time, strides forward with a confidence, embracing new ideas whilst making a mockery of the adage that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.
The album at times almost feels like a greatest hits compilation with songs like the swaggering Doom-laden “Blood Spiller” sounding like it could nestle snuggly in amongst the jagged rhythms of Antenna whilst the speedy and groove-laden opener “New Reality” could have been lifted directly from Perfect Pitch Black. It’s on tracks like the blistering “Floating Skulls” with an unapologetically upbeat, almost Surf Rock, chorus and the monumental 12 minute album finale of “Wavering Angel” and its unabashed Led Zeppelin worship at the beginning which quickly snowballs into a gargantuan bombastic finale which is utterly triumphant, where the band push themselves into greater heights than ever before.
If you are new to Cave In then this album is a perfect place to start, not only is it a perfect encapsulation of their past musical endeavours but it’s arguably both their most accessible album and at the same time, one which has the greatest amount of experimentation on it. And all of this whilst still sounding exactly like Cave In with their instantly recognisable guitar tone. This is a wonderful album by a band that’s been going for nearly 30 years and just like a fine wine, they keep getting better with age.