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Eccentric Pendulum – Winding The Optics

  • Review by: Adarsh Rajagopal

Eccentric Pendulum are a band that have been in the news of late. Especially after their recent trip to Wacken in Germany. Here is a band that have a played a lot of shows and made themselves very well known both inside and outside of India. They released their debut EP The Sculptor of Negative Emotions about 4 months after their inception, which was in November 2008. Winding The Optics is the follow up to their EP and also their debut full length album, which is quite commendable as it comes within 3 years of the band’s inception, something not very common among Indian bands who tend to take their time when it comes to releases.

The album is nothing short of a seasoned professional band’s release. There are many reasons to back this up. Firstly the production is top notch, not the run of the mill polished over produced sound that a lot of bands opt for these days, an album well engineered to suit the band’s sound and bring out the best in them. Kudos to Daniel Bernath. Secondly, the artwork, the layout of the design and the final product, extremely well done, truly pro. The album art is definitely a delight to anyone with an eye for art (great work Arun Natarajan). Lastly, coming to the musicality. EP as a band (and I don’t wanna use any other term) are fucking good! They’re a bunch of talented musicians who know what they’re doing. And that is axiomatic in their album. The composing and the song writing add up to a truly well crafted record. The album kicks off with the title track Axioms of Aphotic Expressions. Significantly djent influenced, but beautifully structured. The song features clean vocals from Arun Natarajan as seen before on Sculptor and very much stands out. Followed by De Engineer the Prevalent, a sort of aggressive yet melodic outburst. There’s a thing about EP’s composing, it can never be too simple. It’s gotta have tempo changes, weird structures and yet presented in an easily digestible format. The riffing has to be complex, to steer clear of any sub genre categorization,haha. As can be seen Paragon Impermamence. Become Me is another song, played with unforeseen ferocity, the riffing quite aggressive in it’s approach and the bass akin to it’s own eccentricity. My Eucalyptine Depth begins with a similar fashion, except that it accentuates the lead guitar, guitarist Faheem excels at making it cry, and highlighting his ability to write melodies, though over repeated listens one might find it monotonous, at least on this one song. As the album progresses, you will see each band member portraying his abilities with his respective instrument, the bass slaps and pops, the weird grooves on the drums, and rhythmic eccentricity of the guitars, engineered to fit the right paths. Mathematicians of Ambient Waters is one such song which is truly complete. Deviating from predictability, yet revolving around a central section. Anonymous Existence is the concluding track and is a fine jazz oriented ambient mathematical passage topped with synths. A hell of a conclusion to this album. Filled with twists and turns, a showcase of abilities of sorts.

Like stated before, EP steer clear of any sub genre categorization, well factually a lot of prog bands do. You cannot put EP in a box or tag them with one label. They’re made of multiple elements, draw a variety of influences and amalgamate them into their music. Like Vishal J. Singh said, EP are not a band for someone who’s overly attached to his favorite genre and abuses the rest of the world. Music is an infinitely captivating adventure and cannot be percieved unidimensionally. If you are the type who wants to expand your musical horizons, then EP is the band for you. And an album very well made is certainly a must listen. Here’s a shout out to the EP boys and hope they scale new altitudes in the future.

9/10