Saturday 28 November 2015

Pendulous - A Palpable Sense Of Love & Loss


1. Shame
2. A Faltering Will
3. 40 Years
4. Pendant World
5. Hibernal Sun
6. Closure
7. Memoirs

L.A. doom band Pendulous are one that I have a connection with, albeit from the other side of the Atlantic and not in a physical way. I first heard about the band thanks to Baneful Genesis head-honcho Kevin back in 2013, when the band released their first demo Mirrored Confessions. I really enjoyed that demo when I reviewed it and shared the bandcamp stream with a friend on mine who ran a small doom label called Dry Cough Records in Manchester. He liked it too and released the demo on tape. Pendulous released their debut full-length in March, digitally via Baneful Genesis Records (a physical release is pending). I've been a bit a late in writing about this, so sorry guys!

Opening with Shame, quietly-plucked guitar plays beneath spoken-word that sets the scene for the record. What follows is a towering mix of harsh/clean doom in the vein of Mirrored Confessions. A Faltering Will is subtly black yet accessible thanks to Pendulous’s use of melody. The bass-heavy instrumentation that gives way to clean guitar later in the song shows different sides to the band, ones that breathe life into the doom formula. 40 Years is a shot in the arm. The opening sixty-seconds or so are fast and the vocals are delivered in a punk/grunge kind of way. There are slower atmospheric sections aplenty though as well as guttural growls to remind you that this isn’t some kind of surf-rock knock off. It’s welcome variation though from a band not confined by their genre. 40 Years is a song to get lost in too, especially during it’s quieter introspective moments. I might be wrong with this, but the clean vocals towards the end sound like they are being sung by Vice Martyr from Hateful Abandon (are they?). The heavier edge to Pendant World shows it’s rooted heavily in black metal, which is an influence brought forth by the members of the band no doubt. Hibernal Sun is the second of three songs on the album that passes the ten-minute mark. Like the album’s intro, it features more spoken-word. I personally would have been happy with it being solely instrumental, but then I do appreciate what Pendulous are doing here and the beauty that is in the words brings more meaning to the album’s title. Hibernal Sun actually turns into my favourite song on the record, as the soaring clean vocals take over and the thoughtful piano tugs at the heartstrings. You’d think that with the whistling at the start of Closure that Pendulous were writing the soundtrack to a Western. It’s quite a nice touch though. I also like it when bands take me on a journey and they do just that with this record. After the roller-coaster of emotion felt during A Palpable Sense Of Love & Loss, Pendulous finds the time to nail the album shut with Memoirs. This album is not only a step forward for Pendulous but also a body of work that really means something. 

You can stream the entire record here:-

If you like the record you can download it from the above page as well. All proceeds from downloads will go towards an eventual vinyl release, so it'd be well worth contributing if you can!

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