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Pelican - Australasia CD (album) cover




Experimental/Post Metal

3.67 | 66 ratings

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3 stars Pelican is a Post Metal band in every sense of the word. Their music has that post rock feeling, but it is also very heavy and dense. Black metal lovers that want to check out Post Metal and/or Post Rock should listen to this band. I know many people that love black metal and that are very impressed with Pelican. The band is made up simply of two lead guitars, a bass and drums. This lineup gives a certain prehistoric feel to the music.

This album is their debut full album. When recording was going on for the album, there were some issues with the studio being under construction, so there were some problems with equipment and so on. There were also huge budget restraints, so the band felt the sessions were rushed. However, many critics have given praise to the album nevertheless. The album is completely instrumental.

The album starts out with an 11 minute monstrosity of a track called Nightendday, one that establishes the bands sound after a short, quiet introduction. When the band kicks in, you instantly get the thickness and denseness of the sound. Welcome to the sound of Pelican. There is a bit of melodic sense to the bands music even considering the heaviness. But other than a few short moments of reprieve, the music stays heavy. There are varying meter changes and thematic variety through the track to keep things interesting. The center of the track does break down for a while in order to build up through an extended crescendo, thus utilizing the typical post rock formula. But just as it reaches it's peak, it ends.

'Drought' comes next and starts out where the last track left off with hardly a space to tell where one end and the other starts. There is an obvious repeating riff that forms the basis of the track and metallic guitars play over the churning riff. Tempo increases and slows on an alternating basis. Finally after the 6 minute mark, there is some variation in the riff and things are a little more interesting here, but the track only goes for a few more minutes, so it's a little too late. Not much changes here like it did in the first track. There is a complete lack of dynamics in this song.

'Angel Tears' is another 11 minute track. It is a slower and plodding rhythm. The themes are too repetitive for the first 4 minutes and really not that interesting. There is more of a variation after this, but the tempo remains the same, so it's hard to catch that variation. At 6 minutes, tempo speeds up a bit, but you still get that churning repetitiveness. There just isn't anything to hold my interest in this long track.

'GW' is a short 3 minute track that you expect to lighten up a bit, but it's not, it's just more of the same in a short dose.

'Untitled' is also a shorter track at over 5 minutes, and it is actually the reprieve you expect since it is much softer, but still has that dark sound. It's more of an acoustic sound. Soon a high warbling sound is added, almost sounds like a saw or something. There are plenty of layers here, but they are softer, and this is a nice change of pace.

'Australasia' returns us to the hard and heavy epics approaching 11 minutes. This one is more like the first track, thank goodness. It's not so repetitive and it uses dynamics and tempo changes quite effectively, to keep things from getting too stale.

It's the first and last track, with help from 'Untitled' that save the album from falling into the 'same-ness' trap that so many bands of the genre tend to fall into. Is it enough to make me want to listen to more of their material? Well, yes it is, but it isn't high on my priorities however. There is good solid material here, but there is a lot of material that doesn't hold my interest too. So I would have to go with a 3 star rating on this, but they do generate enough interest to make you want to explore their music some more. If you like your Post Rock hard, heavy and dense, then this one could interest you. But I will remind you that it is quite repetitive in some places and some tracks, even though they are long, don't seem to develop very much.

TCat | 3/5 |


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