Album Reviews

Eccentric Pendulum – The Sculptor Of Negative Emotions

  • Review by: Vilasini Muralidhar

Imagine a magic potion with a blend of elements of different genres, unpredictable time signatures, volatility and servings of extreme experimentation. The result- Eccentric Pendulum’s The Sculptor of Negative Emotions.

Let me admit at the very beginning, that I had a certain level of expectation much before I bought the EP. That was probably because the band’s members were not new names. They had an aura of “I-know-metal-and-I-play-metal” about them, so I knew I would not end up throwing away my bucks on a bunch of juveniles.  And it’s always a relief when you hear good music, and know that there’s another band on the block to watch out for.

Eccentric Pendulum is what they call themselves, and they play avant-garde progressive metal. Why avant-garde, you might ask. It’s simple. You’re not filled with a sense of déjà-vu when you listen to a song only to realize that it’s been ripped off from elsewhere. The EP, titled The Sculptor of Negative Emotions, has five real originals. The track listing goes like this-

1. Sepia Drown
2. Cut through the light
3. Trilatralight
4. The sculptor of negative emotions
5. Amethyst tears

The opening track, ‘Sepia Drown’, will introduce you to the essence of Eccentric Pendulum. Continually changing timing and patterns, harsh guttural vocals and a lyrical concept that’s incomprehensible in its first read. What struck me as soon as I heard the song was the fact that the instruments blend so well together, without having moments of glory in-turns. There are no fancy leads, and in a good way, the whole band is out there and thrashing it out as one unit throughout the song.

Every album has a track that begins slow, and suddenly picks up tempo. ‘Cut through the light’ is that song in this collection. It lets melody take the first step, and then runs over it in its weird-timed stampede. The song has an underlying sound of malevolence in it, thanks to the keyboards. And this continues into the third track as well. Suddenly, jazz and electronica come skipping into the song with a Pink Floyd possessed muse. “Trilatralight” is a casual jam minus vocals, which occurs midway through the album. Could have been omitted, but it doesn’t take up much of your time, so it’s excusable.

‘The sculptor of negative emotions’ brings you right back on track, with mixes of heavy and slow and also, slight confusion. One thing for sure- the vocalist is on a roll throughout the track. He goes extreme gruff, and suddenly turns operatic. And at the chorus bits, combines the two. At one point in the song, everything’s off time and you’re wondering if the layering has gone off sequence, till it falls back in place again. The latter half of the song could have been worked on a little better however. It lacks the punch it begins with. ‘Amethyst tears’ serves as the background for the rolling of the credits, and is just a play of sounds.

Rehearsed headbanging is highly recommended, as this band has the sort of songs that are bound by impulsive irregularity. It’s more of musician’s music, and not the kind of material that any random person can catch hold of and rave about. By saying this, I am not elevating Eccentric Pendulum to a prodigious status. I’m only stressing on their levels of musical deftness, which is definitely worth a mention.

Production quality, unfortunately, is not great. But the band or its crew can’t be blamed for that. Hopefully, they will have the means to do a better job of their first album, whenever it comes out. Album art is highly peculiar, and is probably so on purpose.

In conclusion, if you’re looking for formula, don’t try Eccentric Pendulum. But if you’re looking for something novel, The Sculptor of Negative Emotions is a good choice, so go ahead and get yourself a copy.