Master Massive: The Pendulum
Master Massive formed in the early '90s with the ambitious plan to create an epic metal concept album. The metal opera The Pendulum was completed in the mid-90s but sat on the shelf for almost two decades until its release in May, 2015.
The project was imagined by Jan Strandh (lead, rhythm and acoustic guitars, lead vocals) and was joined by Yngve Frank (rhythm guitar), Karl Nyhlin (bass guitar, lute, theorbo, Mellotron) and Petter Karlsson (drums, percussion, lead and background vocals, keyboards). There are also several guest musicians adding additional vocals, cello, organ, recorder and sound effects.
The concept revolves around our protagonist who is chosen to lead the world out of its dystopian future and into one of enlightenment and well-being. Oh, and something about a pendulum, various Gods and a cast of characters to make it all come alive. The extensive booklet includes notes on the concept, song lyrics and graphic illustrations. The booklet and concept are well thought out but what about the music?
Do not expect a modern metal album with The Pendulum. No, this one sounds straight from the '80s and for me this is not a problem as I have a soft spot in my heart for this kind of stuff. Epic fantasy metal with enough progressive moments in the vein of Iron Maiden to keep my feet tapping and heart pounding
The galloping Maiden-like riffs in "Sovereign Power" and "Time Out Of Mind", the ripping bass in "The Media Palace", the quirky riff progressions and tempo changes in "Four Dreams" and the acoustic Pagan folk of "The Monastery" are all good tracks. The vocals of Strandh are solid throughout whether belting it out in the higher registers or going for a lower end delivery. Often his vocals follow the riff progressions making the vocal lines even more catchier.
At seventy minutes The Pendulum may be a little long in the tooth and I can't deny the occasional slice of cheese but overall this is a very enjoyable '80s style metal album that should appeal to fans of Maiden and related bands. Go ahead and check it out.
1. The Pendulum
2. Time Out of Mind
3. Aadham, You Will Not Stand Alone
4. Four Dreams
5. The Monastery
6. I Am the Prior
7. Eye of Silence
8. Dear Aadham
9. Sovereign Power
10. The Media Palace
11. The One Chosen by the Gods
12. Hymn to Yellowhawk
13. Wishing Well
14. Broken Hearts
15. Dark Prophecy
Added: July 21st 2015
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Label's Official Site
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