With the news that vocalist Johan Längqvist had returned to the Candlemass fold in 2018 (following a thirty two year gap), any diehards concerned about the potentially hazardous reformation were swiftly calmed by last years monstrous The Door To Doom. That album’s rekindling of creative cahoots with chief songwriter Leif Edling and the erstwhile singer recaptured the magic of their seminal debut Epicus Doomicus Metallicus, producing what was a nigh on career best Candlemass record. The Pendulum EP, featuring six unreleased tracks from the cutting room floor, is unsurprisingly more of the glorious, euphoric same.
Indeed, as the opening title track lumbers out of the gate, all riffs and hooks of incalculable size, it feels very much like business of usual, that trademark Candlemass formula as vibrant as ever with a ensemble performance going off like Krakatoa behind Längqvist’s weathered but soaring presence. From here, the audibly Black Sabbath saluting ‘Snakes Of Goliath’ (with more than a little resemblance to ‘Electric Funeral’s wah-sodden groove) and wall-shaking colossi ‘Porcelain Skull’ are more than worthy additions to the doom pioneers extraordinary canon. Elsewhere, whilst the inclusion of acoustic respites ‘Sub Zero’ / ‘The Cold Room’, not to mention the minute or so long bass noodle of ‘Aftershock’, may be too brief to warrant much attention, this clutch of bonus enormity not only washes away any residual doubts that Candlemass are not back on top form, but has us salivating over what may come next.
The Pendulum is released 27th March via Napalm Records and can be purchased here.
Words: Tony Bliss