Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography



Experimental/Post Metal

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Pelican The Fire in Our Throats Will Beckon the Thaw album cover
3.89 | 102 ratings | 14 reviews | 22% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

Write a review

from partners
Studio Album, released in 2005

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Last Day of Winter (9:36)
2. Autumn into Summer (10:44)
3. March to the Sea (11:37)
4. Untitled (4:43)
5. Red Ran Amber (11:20)
6. Aurora Borealis (4:55)
7. Sirius (5:47)

Total Time 58:42

Line-up / Musicians

- Trevor de Brauw / guitar
- Laurent Lebec / guitar
- Larry Herweg / bass
- Bryan Herweg / drums

Releases information

Artwork: Aaron Turner @ Feral Pig

CD Hydra Head Records ‎- HH666-91 (2005, US)

2LP Hydra Head Records ‎- HH666-75 (2006, US)

Digital album

Thanks to TheProgtologist for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
Edit this entry

Buy PELICAN The Fire in Our Throats Will Beckon the Thaw Music

PELICAN The Fire in Our Throats Will Beckon the Thaw ratings distribution

(102 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(22%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(53%)
Good, but non-essential (17%)
Collectors/fans only (5%)
Poor. Only for completionists (4%)

PELICAN The Fire in Our Throats Will Beckon the Thaw reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by TheProgtologist
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Those who have followed Pelican since their 2002 EP have delighted in their sonic mainstay, the massive riff. But while the Chicago-based instrumental four-piece can still throw your spine out of whack with their furious crunch, what has come to distinguish them from their contemporaries is their steadily increasing eclecticism. On 2003's "Australasia", the band's sound grew more expansive, organic and improvisatory (including, many noted with surprise at the time, the incorporation of both acoustic instruments and the occasional ray of sun through the clouds of distorted heaviness); still, few could have predicted where the band was going earlier this year when they snuck out March Into the Sea. On that EP, the band previewed a song from "The Fire in Our Throats Will Beckon the Thaw" alongside a typically dense Justin Broadrick remix of "Angel Tears." But this preview version of "March Into the Sea" turned out to be a 20-plus minute epic, featuring extended improvising sections and boasting the use of acoustic guitars and flutes.

While I wasn't exactly taken with the flutes, what really impressed me about that release was the band's refinement of their use of dynamics and pacing (in addition to their willingness to play with form). They've put that to excellent use on "The Fire in Our Throats Will Beckon the Raw", as these songs unfold and move like the seasons (and it may be this aspect of their music which led the similarly expansive Opeth to tap them for the opening spot on their tour). This gives Pelican an opportunity to sharpen their instincts for musical tension: it's evident right away on "Last Day of Winter," which is by turns tentative and bursting, straining from its confines. This isn't one of Pelican's well-known epics but instead an exercise in the layering of guitar strata similar to that accomplished by their pals in Isis. When they're in this mode, Pelican is unapologetic about indulging in pastoral or serene moments (which are rendered more confidently this time out). Hear them patiently explore the raindrop reverberations of "Autumn into Winter" (which, fear not, culminates in a huge, shuddering groove), the all-acoustic untitled track in the middle of the disc, or the laconic, country-tinged "Aurora Borealis." Together this material constitutes one advantage this record has over Australasia, where - as pleasant and captivating as the soft-toned passages were - you still got the sense that they served as interludes between heavy numbers.

Still, as welcome as the musical growth is, it's the power of Pelican that really sticks with you. This version of "March into the Sea" is a tightly-coiled menace (until its lovely ending). And the long, punishing "Red Ran Amber" even dissolves into pure noise in the middle, almost like the ghost of My Bloody Valentine haunting a house built by Neurosis.

So in short, another fine release from a band that keeps getting better. Their efforts at vast range and textural experimentalism don't always convince completely and, while I greatly admire the diversity, the result is one of slightly less overall impact than previous efforts. But it's a damn fine thing that they're not content to tread water.4 stars and an excellent addition to a prog metal lover's collection.

Review by GoldenSpiral
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars To put it into a few words: this album is massive. Monstrous even. Huge metal riffs and bombastic soundscapes abound, but the compositions remain delicately arranged. Sludgy, de-tuned guitar riffs and pounding drums are balanced beautifully by Explosions In the Sky-style treble timbres. The songs grow and evolve seamlessly, and each is undeniably epic (almost every track is around 10 minutes).

The album begins powerfully with "Last Day of Winter", a track that sets the mood accurately for the rest of the record. The highlight of the album for me is "March to the Sea", an 11-minute epic that gives perfect examples of how Pelican can effectively balance two completely different guitar styles so nicely. All the while, no matter how much the guitar interplay is emphasized, each instrument is showcased in some fashion, though not with any noodly solos. Each player's talent is effectively displayed within the context of the overall sound.

They take a break from loud and long with a shorter untitled acoustic track in the middle of the album, which adds a nice touch to the overall feel of the record. The album ends as the rapturous crescendo of "Sirius" fades out ever-so-slowly into tiny shreds of feedback, and lets the guitars fade back in for one last chord before going silent.

This album is a monument to "how to use guitars effectively and interestingly in metal without any solos or flashy playing". A great record, though very different. 4.0 stars, prog-metal fans should make an effort to check this band out. For fans of ISIS.

Review by avestin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Pelican gives us gloomy, slightly depressing, ponderous and heavy music in this album. This time much more inclined towards the post-rock camp, the guitars are overall less heavy than in previous Australasia and resemble a bit the sound of guitars of Explosions In The Sky. As a result of this new lighter sound, the music seems more open, a bit more relaxed and sadder then past efforts. Mind you, the heavy guitars still maintain their presence although in a more refined way, allowing more space for the newer and other sounds to be expressed. Here you also have a much more dominant lead guitar, as a result of the change. It either leads or accompanies the music, making it a bit more interesting than simple soundtrack riffs being played. It begins with a fade in that finally explodes in and reintroduces us to the current sound, giving us the crunchy rhythm guitar, the lead soaring guitar and the typical post rock drum work, beating in all directions making some spectacular rhythms. It goes on to create a somewhat Explosion's like sounding track, but make no mistake; it is Pelican all the way. The overall atmosphere is quite sad, as if they depict the world rotting away into oblivion. To me their music on this album is not optimistic in nature, but rather a music that tells the tale of lost hopes and extinguished sparkles of faith. I can relate to that, since gloomy music, is my favourite type. The second track begins softly, acoustically (a feature that appears several times in this album), and slowly and only after a few minutes does the bass intervene and persuades the rest of the instruments to speed things up a bit. It even gets a bit more optimistic sounding there for some time. Then we get the crunchy guitar with somewhat dissonant riffs (which I love) and an excellent Pelican style riffing passage that delivers us the guitars playing between themselves for a bit. This all part is one spot of light in an otherwise obscure album. No point in telling you the rest. Only that the rest of this album is, as their previous one, original, unique sounding, and with every song aspire to discover new musical routes to express their feelings. The songs are always dynamic and develop the musical ideas as the song goes on. This is truly progressive music in that aspect.

They succeed again with this album to create their unique sound and a fitting soundtrack for our life. Beautiful music filled with emotions. To me this album shows a progression from their previous one, Australasia. This again shows this band's ability to renovate, reinvent and progress. 4 stars, meaning an excellent addition to a prog collection.

Review by Philo
4 stars With their second album Pelican achieve new levels without changing structure or even sounding repetitive. The guitar tones within The Fire in Our Throats Will Beckon the Thaw are more natural pushed tube amp sounding, loud for that blast of power rather than the overdriven distorted sound from the Australasia album. Overall this produces a bigger guitar sound, perhaps less wall to wall than the previous Pelican full length album but no less forceful. This time round Pelican weave in more nuances to their tight, even at times unflexible sound. Acoustic guitars are built beside the layers of electric guitars, this does give the band a broader base and perhaps future works could spring from this. They have certainly refined and sculpted their brand of heavy instrumental music, there is a fantastic progressive nature to the music. The Fire in Our Throats Will Beckon the Thaw is a big and fresh sounding album, and though I had doubts as to how Pelican would carry the momentum from their debut there should have been no such concern, The Fire In Our Throats... is a successful effort. The beauty with the album is the complete composure and consistency of the music, the album is a one large orchestration of super riffing. Vocals are never missed, if we have to talk about vocals. Pelican will never need them and hopefully will never resort to using them. The songs speak for themselves. And as powerful and sonic as the album is it also makes for a great background ambient when the moment strikes. So where do the go next? That's the burning issue for me, but I get the impression it will be another level, perhaps a drawing back of the tempestuous power, but we'll take this one now for sure.
Review by OpethGuitarist
3 stars A very well put together album, Pelican expands its sound and their overall focus. This album is probably their most refined orchestra of riffs and textures. That being said, to me, the tunes are not as powerful or moving as the ones found on Australasia. Pelican is a very well put together machine. The four feed well off one another, using each other to achieve a kind of band synergy that you dont often see, able to create more as a group than they probably should.

Let's just make this analogy. Pelican as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts, whereas a band like Dream Theater has the sum of its parts greater than its whole. Hopefully that makes sense for you. The album here is quite interesting, but personally, I've never found it as powerful.

A good album for those looking to branch off into sub categories of progressive metal.

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars The album opens with "Last Day Of Winter" my favourite song on this record that left me with my jaw hanging open. While I was impressed early in the song with the awesome and fantastic sound, I wasn't prepared for what I was about to hear. Early in the tune the drums and guitar create an ear pleasing melody, then things quiet down with percussion being the focus with outbreaks of guitar here and there. Then this guitar melody starts to slowly rise, like a beast out of hell, and at 5 1/2 minutes the beast has arrived in all his fury. The drummer is pummelling his drum kit as the sound gets louder and louder.Things slowly calm down, leaving drums as the only sound until the heaviness comes back one last time, only to die as the song ends with acoustic guitar. "Autumn Into Summer" features some odd timed drumming that is joined by a guitar melody 3 minutes in that builds and builds until all hell breaks loose. This is such a good head banging riff.

"March To The Sea" opens with some good riffs that get heavier, and some amazing drumming. The guitar melody that comes in after 3 minutes is fighting to be heard over the sonic soundscape. Things get quieter and louder before this one is over. "Untitled" opens with acoustic guitar and the strumming becomes more aggressive until 2 1/2 minutes in when it becomes pastoral again to the end of the song. "Red Ran Amber" is a heavy, melodic song with some scorching guitar until after 5 minutes when it calms down and I can breathe again. "Aurora Borealis" has a good mid-paced melody that slowly seems to speed up. "Sirius" is heavy duty 2 minutes in with a cool guitar melody.The drums are again a highlight, and the sound is just so good with the riffing and guitar melody over top of it all.

If you like Metal and Post-Rock like I do, this is a must have. And i'll always look forward to the last day of winter. 4.5 stars.

Review by Prog-jester
4 stars Slow-building, depressing walls of sound surround you. A major key dominates, but it is no way cheesy or pompous. The movements change each other, rarely irregular in signatures, but always breath-taking and mind-blowing. Awesome art-work - I have the same feeling while listening to PELICAN when I stare at the grey cloudy sky hanging heavily close to the ground, almost turning into the earth somewhere on the horizon...

OK, leave poetry to poets ;) PELICAN don't use vocals simply because they don't know where to put it (from their own words). So, the music speaks, and it does it well. Imagine a mixture of guitar-driven gentle Post-Rock (both MOGWAI and EitS immediately come to mind) with Stoner Rock and even Doom-Metal in classic SABBATHesque vein. Excellent stuff - I always loved mellow and melancholic slow music.Highly recommended!!!

Review by 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.

Review by Petrovsk Mizinski
5 stars Australasia showed much progression in Pelican's song writing, musical maturity, ability to evoke mental imagery and along with that greater emotional content, so clearly it was a record that left many people expecting even better things to come. The Fire In Our Throats Will Beckon The Thaw continues theme of nature present in Australasia, but this time around it's an even more prominent theme. The cover art work itself is very much nature focused too, only adding more emphasis to the general theme.

Make no mistake, Fire In Our Throats is heavy, very heavy. But just as Australasia put more emphasis on textural melody complexity compared to their debut EP. Fire In Our Throats takes this even further, but it never feels like it's lacking in sheer weight. If anything, the album offer a particularly huge and expansive feel, much like nature itself. Last Days of Winter kicks off the seasonal-nature feel of the album, starting off with some ambience that slowly builds up in intensity, and launches in the unexpectedly emotional riffage from Trevor de Brauw and Laurent Schroeder-Lebec, both on guitar. The sound is just massive, a big crushing wall that really suggests that could have easily been more than 2 guitarists in the band. Bryan Herweg's bass is loud and clear in the mix, but never overbearing here, so nothing but a positive in this aspect. As we traverse the seasons over the first two songs, it's very apparent the band is not only still as heavy as hell, but they are really perfecting the textural melody style, and the overall complexity is increased and in no way did it have a negative impact on the song writing. The songs present to us a better listening experience and are more emotional gripping than ever.

March To The Sea will be very familiar to those that had heard Pelican's March Into The Sea EP with the extended version of the song. Very dense, complex song, fast movement, and perhaps an ever so slightly faster tempo too. In the context of the album, it works well, allowing easier flow into the next song, and of course it ties in with the theme of nature. Aurora Borealis was quite a surprising turn of things for me on this album, because it really represented a much more post rock side of Pelican and a very light side of them too, quite a contrast from the dark brooding atmosphere from much of their heavier material. Aurora Borealis and Sirius were always very touching pieces of music and incredibly uplifting, Sirius being somewhat different in approach due to the extremely heavy dose of metal a bit into the song.

In terms of musicianship, I think the guys really did well here. The guitars were perfect together, absolutely top notch in all the musical contexts, and the use of layered melodies and riffing is really one of the features, for me, that took this album to a new level compared to their first EP and album. It really goes to show how you can be crushing heavy and have a great melodic sense in one album. The album is also a fabulous display of contrasting darker and lighter colors, to make something more than just one or the other. One thing that may not be particularly obvious to some people, but might be to guitar aficionados, is how even some guitar soloing techniques are incorporated into some of the songs, but it's done in a way that purely balances the surrounding musical context rather than being emphasized as guitar solos. Bryan Herweg's bass, as stated before but I felt it had to be emphasized, really really works here. Not only is he heard, but he also does something more than just double the bottom heavy guitar riffs. If anything was a little lacking, it's perhaps the drum work from Larry Herweg. His best display is March To The Sea, where his presence is heard very well, and he adds so much to the song, but on some of the other songs, perhaps he could have filled more space, but otherwise he did a pretty good job.

This album is as huge as they come: in sound, in structure and with a big seasonal-nature feel to match. The emotional content soars above their previous work, as well as the greater diversity in feelings and sound on offer and the band certainly set a high standard for Post Metal with this record. An album that is exciting and adventurous every inch of the way.

Review by Warthur
3 stars Pelican's brand of post-metal reminds me a lot of Mogwai - there's the same mixture of sparse sterility and threadbare raggedness, like an abandoned hospital. With The Fire In Our Throats Will Beckon the Thaw, they've greated an album that aspires to be just as haunting and fragile as Mogwai's excellent Ten Rapid (and in its best moments manages it), with just enough metallic roar to it to keep it on the metal side of the post-rock/post-metal divide (which as the 2000s went on got thinner and thinner). It got a lot of comparisons to Isis's Panopticon when it came out, and I don't think it's quite as good as that album, but in its better moments it comes pretty close to it. The main deficiency is that Pelican don't quite assert enough personality to distinguish them from the crowd, particularly in the context of the mid-2000s post-metal boom.

Latest members reviews

1 stars OK- I consider myself extremely open to all genres of prog. I enjoy prog metal, symphonic prog, classic prog, neo, you name the genre, I probably own a few masterpieces from each category. Now one would think that since prog metal is my favorite genre all around, that post metal would be another ... (read more)

Report this review (#165508) | Posted by Drew | Tuesday, April 1, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars A charge of melancholy and passion. At last I got into Pelican’s early stuff! This album grows on me. It has been in my CD-player more than 10 times, moreover, my Hi-Fi has nearly blown up because of the storms and squalls of rich Pelican’s sound – and well, it beats hell. ... (read more)

Report this review (#164847) | Posted by Paper Champion | Monday, March 24, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Unlike most of my reviews, this won't be about how brutal this Death Metal band is, or how ground-breaking the music from that Grindcore group has become. This time I am reviewing a really different type of band and I am not even sure about the genre as it's a mix between the riffing from ISIS ... (read more)

Report this review (#73002) | Posted by Herzebeth | Saturday, March 25, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Pelican's music stands out as a brilliant mixture of Post-rock timbres (Explosions in the sky and FLy Pan Am come to mind), Crushing Prog riffs and the depth and sensibility of a Doom Metal band (name one)... This band has managed to make memorable, timeless music, and "The Fire in our throats ... (read more)

Report this review (#63736) | Posted by Mnemosyne | Sunday, January 8, 2006 | Review Permanlink

Post a review of PELICAN "The Fire in Our Throats Will Beckon the Thaw"

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


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

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

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.