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Pelican - Pelican CD (album) cover




Experimental/Post Metal

2.96 | 20 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars After the blooming of post-rock in the late 90s and early 00s, Pelican rose up to join the experimental movement in 2003 with their self-titled debut EP. Pelican, however, is a [doom] metal band. In essence, this fusion of sludgy, doom metal and experimental/post- rock is unique, but they have not yet developed a sound that sets them apart from the metal bands they identify with. There may not be any vocals, but comparison, and even confusion with Isis is virtually inescapable.

Pelican relies on a thick, massive sound to carry their songs. Most of this material is straight-forward, but it is huge. Rather than focus on creating melodies, Pelican focuses on creating moods and atmospheres. There is not a lot of riffing; it's more of a firm sound, where generally the band is playing one massive riff, or complimenting chord patterns. That makes up the bulk of the songs. Most of this material is heavy, and there are hardly any guitar parts don't use distortion. While it suits the purpose, expanding their range of sound would open up a lot more possibilities for them. Besides expanding their overall tonality, they also need to be more dynamic. The first two songs, "Pulse" and "Mammoth" each hold their share of problems in that aspect. The first track is basically one chord pattern that gradually builds for most of its duration, and starts to vary slightly, but doesn't really go anywhere. It's not a fully developed song. "Mammoth," while appropriately titled for its huge sound, is rather boring. The second half of the EP is much stronger. "Forecast for Today" alone does more than the first two songs combined. The 13-minute closer, "The Woods," is easily the most dynamic, and consequently, the best track on this EP. Of course, to make a song that long, ample dynamic shifts are mandatory, and there is plenty of room for building up and bringing down.

In conclusion, the material presented is good, but it has a few issues that should be easily dealt with. With a little more variety and dynamics, they should be well on their way to producing some high-quality music. The blatant Isis sound will wear off eventually. Pelican has the right idea; they just have to run with it.

Moatilliatta | 3/5 |


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