Pet The Preacher – The Cave And The Sunlight


Review by Gary Cordwell

Napalm Records

Release date: 15 April 2014

I’ve always had a soft spot for power trios, like a football team that’s one man down they always seem to try that bit harder to bring the noise and there is one less psyche using up the inter band telepathy. They always seem to have a strong connection. It also seems to be a configuration that works particularly well in stoner rock – busy, jazz influenced drumming, bowel-loosening bass and a well-loved Gibson SG channelled through a battered Orange amp. Which brings us to Danish threesome Pet The Preacher and their second full-length release The Cave And The Sunlight. Guitarist/vocalist Christian Hede Madsen, bassist Torben Waever Pedersen and drummer Christian Von Larsen have given us a thunderous, groove laden riff-fest of a disc with a few unique twists.

The album kicks off appropriately enough with the bluesy slow-burn of ‘The Cave’ (although there is no ‘Sunlight’, perhaps we never reach it, man). And then we’re off into the album proper – riff after riff, nods to Sabbath and Kyuss, nice sloppy jamming intro’s and a slow moving momentum. Indeed it moves relentlessly, like molten lava – it’s not in any hurry, it’ll get where it’s going, regardless of what’s in its way.

After the magnificently titled ‘The Pig And The Haunted’ we arrive at the epic ‘What Now’, which seems to crystallise the stoner ethic – a hymn to ennui! After a fairly lively start it has a sit down and a smoke and asks “What now”…and concludes “Fuck it” while briefly switching to anger, the riff magnifying, Madsen roaring “What now”, Al Jourgensen style into the face of the sonic barrage! Until the anger burns out, the dope kicks in and we are left with a rumbling, ambling bass-line. Genius.

If you’re a stoner fan you’ll love this. The production is modern yet sludgy, loose yet raw and brutal, Madsen in particular is brilliant – he has, as Iggy Pop once said of great guitarists, “dirt under his fingernails” and a dash of Scandinavian melancholy amidst the dusty, desert riffs is a winning combination. As is the ever-present blues influence, the occasional appearance of slide guitar and the odd, distorted delta riff really make this something special.

It’s pace is, erm… majestic. No, Zep are majestic. This is ragged and mournful, lumbering and a bit pissed off. The final song, the nine minute ‘The Web’, fades out – not something I usually approve of but here it works. It feels as though they are still out there somewhere, the desert sun setting and the dust whipping up around them, obscuring them from view, chugging away endlessly into the night.

Pet The Preacher – The Cave And The Sunlight8.5 out of 10

Track listing:

  1. The Cave
  2. Let Your Dragon Fly
  3. Kamikaze Night
  4. Remains
  5. Fire Baby
  6. Marching Earth Part 1
  7. Marching Earth Part 2
  8. The Pig And The Haunted
  9. What Now
  10. I’m Not Gonna
  11. The Web