Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Pelican - Australasia CD (album) cover




Experimental/Post Metal

3.67 | 66 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Prog Reviewer
4 stars Pelican, the instro-metal band, who are now known to be one of the more groundbreaking bands in this music scene release their full length debut Australasia to the underground music scene, and with this album garnered much critical acclaim, and a whole new look at the the term post rock. The four are much more ambitious this time around, instead of just creating sonic moods, and and emphasis on texture, the group dives deeper, and become a much more real band all around. No longer are they going with the status quo of slow tempo's, mammoth slow beats, and simplistic chord progression and riffing, no the group becomes more cohesive all around, bringing in a more defined sound, from every single instrument, all four now know their positions, now they completely exploit them, and make it their own niche in which they become a band to be remembered for.

This album is known for being mostly in the vein of doom metal, rather than their more popular tags of sludge, and post rock. Pelican starts concentrating on making towering riffs, thundering bass lines, and brutal drumming, in which they let it all go in a wrecking ball fashion, where they play the lowest possible notes to make the heaviest music you may ever hear, and once again they do it through a formula of smart songwriting, and repetition.

When I listened to this album for the first time, I didn't draw a single thing out of it other than boredom, and confusion as to how this band could seem to be so popular. It wasn't until six months later when I drilled their alleged masterpiece album the fire in our throats... until I finally got their music, yet it was still a while before I mustered up the courage to try and handle this album. I'm glad I finally did, because every riff, every thundering boom of the bass, and hit of the crash is another step deeper into the lush, earthy music of this group.

Every song is to be listened to completely individually, and appreciated separately from the rest of the album before being able to try and grasp the album as a whole all at one time, or at least that's my take on the music, because trying to take on the beast myself all at once was an extremely hard thing for me to do, and was more of a chore, rather than some to do for leisure. The songs range from all over the spectrum, from the extremely dark and doomy Nightendday, to the emotionally charged angel tears, to the triumphant, and incredibly heavy mood of the title track. Every songs pulls it's own weight towards making this a truly wonderful album, there's a song for every kind of mood. There's the extreme brutality of drought, the uplifting, and thriving feel of GW, and the untitled track which brings a whole new depth to the band through acoustics and experimentation. Like I said though it all works remarkably well, none of the six songs feel out of place, or in the wrong order.

The musicianship and ambition are almost at there peak at this point in the groups career. Almost all the songs are longer than five minutes, three of them being longer than ten. Pelican's guitar players really define their tone in this album as well, I can easily distinguish their guitars from that of Cult of Luna's, or Isis'. Also the playing of the the huge rhythm section of the brothers Larry and Bryan Herweg have also become more in depth. I can easily pick out Larry's incredibly toned, and deep bass lines amidst the distortion, and overwhelming amount of crash cymbals, and while there is much furious debate over whether or not Bryan is a good, original, and composed drummer, or a sloppy, off tempo, pretentious idiot. I personally think his drumming fits the band perfectly, I love his use of switching the cymbals, his very different approach to the double bass pedals, and obnoxious, but non self indulgent amount of fills.

The only flaw the group has in this album, is their lack of versatility as far as the music goes. Yeah, they do know how to switch up the mood, and even give us a whole new sound scape through the untitled song, but the group still hasn't tapped into their post rock dynamics. They know how to make the epic's, and they have the ambition, but the next thing they utilize will be the use of clean electrics, and a much more full feel to the album other than heavy brutality. This will show up in their most beloved album, and what I consider a masterpiece; The fire in our throats will beckon the thaw.

4 stars.

Dim | 4/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this PELICAN review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives