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Pelican - Pelican CD (album) cover

PELICAN

Pelican

 

Experimental/Post Metal

2.96 | 20 ratings

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Petrovsk Mizinski
Prog Reviewer
3 stars The debut EP from Pelican, already begins to show what I love about this band. They have a truly unique and identifiable sound within the genre, yet I wouldn't call them a strictly post metal band. This particular release is a mix of doom metal, sludge metal and post metal in one and a mix that has certainly been what has made the band unique in their sound to my mind. These songs were originally written before 2003, in fact the songs were originally released as a demo in late 2001, but re-released after Pelican signed to Hydra Head Records, so this material is in fact even more representative of their beginnings than I first thought given the band formed in 2001.

The core of much of Pelican's sound, particularly on this release, is the use of massive textures and a crushingly thick and heavy guitar sound. There is an emphasis on setting the mood and creating an atmosphere, but yet, it is still a highly melodic affair, certainly more so than bands like Neurosis.

Pulse is generally based only around a few chords, and it gradually evolves from there, with a melody line over top. The song gets very heavy in the middle and then backs. While a nice song to listen to, I feel it doesn't develop enough, so I always felt a little underwhelmed listening to Pulse. Mammoth, is as heavy as it's name. The wall of guitar sound crushes and it's an overall very doomy affair, and leaves me feeling, somewhat oppressed by the heaviness, but this is by no mean a bad thing. The negative is, again, a lack of development and perhaps a little more melodic lines would have been nice too.

Fortunately for Pelican, I feel things get better for the last half of the EP. Forecast For Today is still heavy to the bone, but it evolves more and is more dynamic than the last two songs. The song has always made me feel that the Forecast For Today is that of a weatherstorm, and the heaviness leads to me feeling that this storm has potentially destructive elements to it.

If The Woods is about an adventure into the woods, it's certainly a dark, unforgiving and bleak adventure for whoever dared to step foot into the woods. Again, much better development and dynamics, and this makes the song a more interesting emotional journey for me. The crashing of cymbals towards the end of the song gives me the sense of danger and despair.

The team of Trevor de Brauw on guitar,Bryan Herweg on bass, Larry Herweg on drums and Laurent Schroeder-Lebec on guitar seem to already have forged a unique sound with this EP. But they have presented to me a lack of development and evolution on 2 of their songs here, and certainly the variety of moods on offer could have been more so. Nevertheless, I think this was a good starting point for the band and one for any Pelican fan to see where they began their journey into their unique post metal sound.

Petrovsk Mizinski | 3/5 |

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