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Pelican - The Fire In Our Throats Will Beckon The Thaw CD (album) cover




Experimental/Post Metal

3.89 | 93 ratings

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The T
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Another post-metal success.

PELICAN's music is a big wall of melancholy, a big wave of slow-moving water along a stormy sea. The power that this instrumental band is able to produce is based on the size of its riffs, how every riff is repeated on top of different textures, allowing the sound to grow and the experience to be satisfactory as we are taken from climax to climax.

This is metal with a very big "post" going for it. Unlike other post-metal bands I've heard, PELICAN really reminds me of typical post-rock bands like GY!BE in that its music has big dynamic value: what this music is based on is in the creation of textures and the arousal of feelings thanks to dynamically- enhanced repetition. The sound tends to grow, to get louder, to get fuller. What starts quiet ends loudly; what starts being played in a single instrument ends in a huge orchestra-like blast.

PELICAN is able to turn its regular 4-instrument ensemble into an orchestra: it sounds like a monster group made of dozens of musicans, not just four members. As other reviewer said, though, I also think the overall results are more than what each member individually is able to produce. The guitarists are good, they can create tension with simple riffs, riffs that are rather easy to play but that leave a lot of room to play with them in a dynamic sense, easy to take from very low intensity levels to huge crescendos. The bass player is good, he does what he has to. The drummer, on the other hand, is just OK. At times his playing sounds weak, at times it sounds as if he is going to play faster than necessary and somehow manages to stop; a few times during the album I actually heard him rushing on slow parts where it was un-called for. A weak link in the band, he plays a very simple-fill style where what really matters is the sound of the kit: to go with the wall of music that the guitars create, the drums sound empty, big, enormous, poorly-produced (not so much as in NEUROSIS, though). In this case, I think it also suits the music fine.

What really sets this band and album apart form other post-metal and post-rock bands I've heard is that the use of repetition doesn't get in the way of creating good, coherent musical pieces, and that their love for dynamics doesn't keep them away from being able to create good melodies. They rely on repetition to create tension, but they know when to switch gear, when to go to another section; as well, they can create melodies, broad, simple, long-note melodies that leave room for expansion and texturing work. I also liked the fact that PELICAN seems to know how to play in different rhythms, a factor that I usually miss in other recordings of this genre. They don't play the whole album in the same slower-than-death tempo as other bands: they can up the speed when necessary, and they can also travel different time signatures.

A very good album, and on top of my very short post-metal list alongside NEUROSIS' "Given to the Rising". 4 stars.

The T | 4/5 |


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