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PELICAN

Experimental/Post Metal • United States


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Pelican picture
Pelican biography
Founded in Chicago, USA in 1999

PELICAN were formed in Chicago by guitarists Trevor de Brauw and Laurent Lebec.Brothers Larry and Bryan Herweg round out the line-up on bass and drums,respectively.Pelican are a purely instrumental outfit and were signed to Aaron Turner's(ISIS)Hydra Head Records.In 2003 they made their debut with a four song,eponymous EP.

PELICAN released their first full length effort in 2004,the critically acclaimed "Australasia" album.In 2005 PELICAN released their second full length effort,"The Fire in Our Throats Will Beckon the Thaw".In 2007 PELICAN released the album "City of Echoes",an album that saw the band take their music in a more accessible direction.

With sounds that alternate between dreamy sounscapes and crushing riffs,PELICAN is leading the pack in a new era of instrumental post metal.Highly recommended for fans of progressive and post metal,with a sound highly evocative of the inspirational NEUROSIS and other post metal bands like ISIS,CULT OF LUNA,CALLISTO & MOUTH OF THE ARCHITECT

See also: WiKi

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PELICAN Videos (YouTube and more)


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Buy PELICAN Music


Nighttime StoriesNighttime Stories
Southern Lord 2019
$8.98
$9.36 (used)
What We All Come To NeedWhat We All Come To Need
Southern Lord 2009
$4.98
$5.61 (used)
Forever BecomingForever Becoming
Southern Lord 2013
$9.49
$6.98 (used)
Fire In Our Throats Will Becko n the ThawFire In Our Throats Will Becko n the Thaw
Hydrahead Records 2009
$29.86
$3.45 (used)
Ataraxia/TaraxisAtaraxia/Taraxis
EP
Southern Lord 2012
$8.04
$3.71 (used)
City Of EchoesCity Of Echoes
Hydrahead Records 2009
$6.00 (used)
AustralasiaAustralasia
Hydrahead Records 2009
$49.92
$2.48 (used)
Pelican : ArktikaPelican : Arktika
Oblique Records 2014
$23.99
$25.59 (used)
Untitled EPUntitled EP
EP
Hydrahead Records 2009
$24.95
$6.49 (used)

More places to buy PELICAN music online Buy PELICAN & Prog Rock Digital Music online:

PELICAN discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

PELICAN top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.67 | 66 ratings
Australasia
2003
3.90 | 101 ratings
The Fire In Our Throats Will Beckon The Thaw
2005
3.41 | 58 ratings
City Of Echoes
2007
3.56 | 36 ratings
What We All Come To Need
2009
3.90 | 24 ratings
Forever Becoming
2013
3.30 | 8 ratings
Nighttime Stories
2019

PELICAN Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 6 ratings
Arktika (Live From Russia)
2014

PELICAN Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

5.00 | 1 ratings
Live in Chicago 06/11/03
2005
5.00 | 3 ratings
After the Ceiling Cracked
2007

PELICAN Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

5.00 | 1 ratings
The Wooden Box
2010

PELICAN Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.96 | 20 ratings
Pelican
2003
4.20 | 29 ratings
March Into The Sea
2005
3.50 | 4 ratings
Pelican / Mono
2005
3.00 | 6 ratings
Pink Mammoth
2007
2.00 | 1 ratings
PLCN/TAAS (Pelican / These Arms are Snakes split)
2008
2.00 | 1 ratings
Young Widows Split Series, Vol. 3
2009
3.21 | 10 ratings
Ephemeral
2009
3.12 | 6 ratings
Ataraxia/Taraxis
2012
2.00 | 1 ratings
Deny the Absolute / The Truce
2013
3.00 | 2 ratings
The Cliff
2015
2.00 | 1 ratings
Midnight And Mescaline
2019

PELICAN Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Nighttime Stories by PELICAN album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.30 | 8 ratings

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Nighttime Stories
Pelican Experimental/Post Metal

Review by TCat
Collaborator Eclectic Team

3 stars Pelican is a major Experimental/Post Metal band that was founded in Chicago in 1999. They have been quite an influential band in the Post Metal genre over the years and have often been praised for their work, which is typically very heavy, dark and thick. Even though they have been one of the more popular bands in this genre, they have not always been a favorite of mine mainly because of the feeling of sameness overall. However, I still like to check in on them once in a while because there is no doubt the band is talented.

After releasing a few live albums, several EPs, a box set and 5 full length albums, and after 6 years, the band has released a 6th album in June of 2019 called "Nighttime Stories". Since I do have an interest in the band, I thought I would check it out to see where their sound has taken them. The line-up for the album consists of the same basic two-guitar, bass, and drum set up that has been their sound since the beginning with Trevor deBrauw and Dallas Thomas on guitars (the only non-original member having replaced Laurent Schroeder-Lebec in 2012), Larry Herweg on bass and Bryan Herweg on drums. The album consists of 8 tracks ranging from 3 minutes to 8 minutes with a total run-time of just over 44 minutes.

The opening track, "WST" is a 3 minute tribute to Dallas Thomas' father who died recently and is played with his father's acoustic guitar. It is accompanied by a deep bass and sustained notes which gets a bit heavier when the drums come in. The music is mournful and dark. "Midnight and Mescaline" is the first single released from the album. After that dark beginning, the sudden upbeat rhythm of this track will disrupt your reverie that you feel from the previous track. It is a nice surprise to feel a faster track and it has plenty of thick guitar layers, so the basic Pelican feel is there, discord and melody along with heavy riffage that give an almost stoner vibe to the music. So far, this is an impressive and interesting opening for the album.

"Abyssal Plain" has a title that reflects the muddy feel of their past work, but the beat is surprisingly uptempo again. With staccato notes, it evokes a brighter feel, but tends to move into some really thick sound from time to time. Overall, however, it is surprisingly catchy with the drums going off on some wild rampages a few times which take you into some mountains of noise, but always returning to a more melodic tone, but building to a heavy metal sound by the time it's done. "Cold Hope" is introduced with instant heavy chords and the drums come in with a more moderate beat this time. This one is more reflective of their heavy trademark sound, crashing cymbals and more of a trudging, lumbering feel. The wall of heavy guitar and drums is present through the entire track, but there are some melodious moments that play above the thick sound. The riffs can remind you a bit of Black Sabbath, but much thicker. For me, it's too much of an assault of noise mostly because it persists for almost 7 minutes.

Next is the quieter "It Stared at Me", which still remains dark, but doesn't assault you with sound. It floats along freely with lighter percussion and an almost psychedelic feel, much like the meandering feel of "Careful With That Axe, Eugene", and you almost expect to hear maniacal screaming, but it doesn't go that far, opting to remain lighter, even when the drums fall into a regular cadence later. The title track "Nighttime Stories" comes next with more of the trademark heaviness. The music has the doom metal feel and brings in another thick wall of plodding guitar work with even less melodic passages, just churning guitars. Again, this doom metal sound is not my cup of tea, but it is what the band is known for, so fans will be happy with the full-on assault of guitar heaviness.

"Arteries of Blacktop" continues with this thick sound, but at least has some sections where the drums push the rhythm along faster, but by now this sound is getting taxing and taking on the feeling of sameness like their past albums. This track finally flows into the last track "Full Moon, Black Water", and the album manages to surprise again with it's atmospheric beginning ringing from the previous track and a sudden acoustic guitar strumming. Don't settle in too much though as it all explodes into heaviness soon. This jamming wall of noise continues up until the last minute, where things actually become nice and reflective for the ending. It's too little, too late for me though.

I guess I keep hoping for more variety, and, even though this album delivers that especially in the beginning, it soon returns to the trademark doom metal attitude and then drowns in that sound for most of the album. There just isn't enough experimentalism or variety that I keep hoping for. There are small bits of sunlight and reprieve from that dirty, grimy sound, but the music pretty much remains the same as before. I was hoping for a bit more variety this time around, but once again, it isn't enough and the album finishes with nothing really standing out to me. Those previous Pelican fans should love this though, because it remains faithful to their sound, much too dark, thick and not varied enough for my liking. I need to go get a dose of vitamin D now.

 City Of Echoes by PELICAN album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.41 | 58 ratings

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City Of Echoes
Pelican Experimental/Post Metal

Review by TCat
Collaborator Eclectic Team

3 stars Pelican has always been a solid Post Metal band with a heavy, grungy and almost sludgy sound that I tend to get tired of rather quickly, because it doesn't have enough dynamic in it to suit my taste. Yet, I recognize their importance in the Post Rock and Metal genre, because when I think of that heavy wall of sound that some Post Rock bands have, I tend to compare them to Pelican. Their songs typically can be long, developing slowly sometimes until you are enveloped in this wall of noise, or sometimes just relentlessly grabbing you by the ears and dragging you under.

"City of Echoes" is Pelican's 3rd full length album, and one of the things I find intriguing about it is that it tends to be a bit lighter than some of their other albums, but it isn't to the point that you doubt you are hearing the same band, there is still a lot of heaviness to it, but the overall sound seems more adventurous. However, except for the title track, the songs are a bit shorter, staying around the 4 - 5 minute mark. You would think that taking Pelican in smaller sized chunks would be easier to digest, but now it seems that the songs are underdeveloped in some cases.

As most seem to acknowledge on this site, the best tracks are the first 3. As expected, "Bliss in Concrete" hits you hard and heavy, which is fine for an opening track, and the music is intriguing enough that it stands out from similar sounding bands with a good churning melody and a solid sound. "City of Echoes", the title track has great development, and the heaviness factor is lifted allowing the music to breath a lot more, and by the end, you welcome that muddy bass sound that drills its way into your head. "Spaceship Broken - Parts Needed" has a humorous edge to it as suggested by the title. There is that distinctive dual guitar sound, but the faster beat gives it a more uplifting feel, and the guitars feel more like they are interacting together instead of battling each other.

"Winds with Hands" starts to see a weakening in development and a lessening in the momentum that the band was seeing on this album. It is an acoustic number with a slight symphonic edge to it, but nothing really develops out of it, and as it seems to be building to something, it falters by adding a droning style that seems out of place. "Dead Between the Walls" returns to the sludgy sound of previous albums that even with it's shorter run time, just seems clumsy and uninteresting to me. Even the softer part in this track doesn't really add anything to strengthen it. The uneven drumming from the past is evident on this track too. "Lost in the Headlights" isn't anything really special as it just sounds like a heavy metal riff in need of some lyrics. There's more uneven drumming and uninteresting melodies in "Far From Fields" that again sounds like it is looking for vocals. "A Delicate Sense of Balance" just meanders jangly along at the speed of a dirge.

I applaud the effort Pelican made to try to bring more lightness and variety to their sound, but they forgot to bring enough interesting passages and melodies with them, and, after the first three tracks, everything just sounds like backup for songs that were supposed to have vocals added to them. Anyway, the albums gets away with 3 stars.

 Australasia by PELICAN album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.67 | 66 ratings

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Australasia
Pelican Experimental/Post Metal

Review by TCat
Collaborator Eclectic Team

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.

 The Cliff by PELICAN album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2015
3.00 | 2 ratings

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The Cliff
Pelican Experimental/Post Metal

Review by JJLehto
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Another Pelican EP, just enough to keep us satisfied, but leave us hungry enough to want more!

This EP consists of three remakes of their song, "The Cliff" released on their last album, as well as one original song, "The Wait".

The first remake, "The Cliff (Vocal Version" is just that, the original song but with vocals. This is of course shocking for the instrumental band, and unlike their only previous song with vocals which featured the singing in an airy, light style, this song features distinct, clear singing with lyrics such as "I'm gunna wait. I'm gunna wait here for you. You're running late. I'm gunna stay here for you. You're gunna love me someday." Honestly, I was a bit shocked...but it works. The vocals fit superbly and the lyrics, well they work! Also note the lyrics about waiting and the final song, "The Wait". Refreshing song.

"The Cliff (Justin Broadrick Remix)" is just that. Broadrick of Godflesh amd Jesu fame adds a noisy, industrial touch to the lengthened song, leaving it recognizable but clearly unique. The Palms Remix is done by Aaron Harris and Bryant Clifford Meyer from Palms, as well as the legendary Isis, and features the first song, (complete with vocals) but with some extra touches to it, such as Harris' classic drumming, some electronic touches, and a recognizable though clearly redone section of "The Cliff" with a nice ending.

"The Wait" is a Pelican song with all that we've come to love and expect. Beauty, power, subtle textured songwriting building to a powerful climax and of course the clean/heavy dynamic and powerful drumming.

So what to make of this little EP? Any Pelican fan will like it, and while it doesn't add much at all to their discography, take it for what it is: a fun, simple snack. The star power on this small EP is an intriguing touch, and while small there is a bit of a story to all of it: the first song, simply vocals added to an older song, is redone itself later. The lyrics in that first song, add a bit to the last, knowing what exactly "The Wait" is referring to, and perhaps adds to it's power and movement.

If you like Pelican, give it a listen. If you've never heard the band, give it a listen. The former should find it a simple, nice and fun EP, the latter will hopefully be encouraged to try the band's other material!

Good but non essential

THREE STARS

 City Of Echoes by PELICAN album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.41 | 58 ratings

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City Of Echoes
Pelican Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

3 stars No one knows more than a Proghead about the compulsion to organize music into hermetic sub-styles, arranged in a complicated taxonomy of species, genus, family and phylum. But, honestly...Sludge Rock? Sludge Metal? Fair enough, I suppose we all need a pet genre to call our own. And whatever this is, I'm willing to wade through it up to my aging eyebrows, at least once.

Like its namesake seaside bird this Chicago band is an ungainly critter showing unexpected grace in its natural habitat. The plodding Post Rock tempos, the over-amped twin electric guitars, and the constant ride-cymbal abuse may have all been aesthetic choices, or they might have simply marked the limit of the quartet's technical abilities. The rudimentary boom-thud drumming is an acquired taste: a little more rhythmic imagination might have lifted the music above the high-tide sludge mark. But that was never the band's game plan.

For lack of a cheaper comparison imagine the Post Rockers of EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY, minus the same transcendental glow. But is that really an acoustic guitar I hear, gracing the song "Win With Hands"? In the context of the album's typically doom-laden moodscapes it's an almost shocking breath of fresh air, no doubt sounding to any self-respecting metal-head like manicured fingernails on a dirty chalkboard. But don't fret: soon enough the music will revert back to its usual Visigoth-invasion soundtrack, in the aptly titled "Dead Between the Walls".

Supposedly there's a concept of sorts behind it all, about the increasing uniformity of global culture, but don't quote me on that. Without any lyrical help the music alone is hardly programmatic...thankfully, I might add. Nobody needs a Sludge Rock "Lamb Lies Down On Broadway", or a Sludge Metal adaptation of 'The Wall" (although the latter would be an improvement over the moribund original).

I probably wouldn't have made any effort to hear this album if the group wasn't featured on this web site, and if the album itself wasn't available at my local library. And it may not be entirely representative of the band-at-large, having a lower toxicity level than other Pelican droppings, so to speak. For contrast, bend your gray matter around the title track of the band's '05 EP "March to the Sea": an epic four-star slab of heavy instrumental ambience.

But this album provides an easy point of access to curious newcomers willing to don a hazmat suit with matching headphones. And, not unlike a dose of actual brownfield sludge, it can be hard to clean off your skin afterward.

 Forever Becoming by PELICAN album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.90 | 24 ratings

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Forever Becoming
Pelican Experimental/Post Metal

Review by ergaster

4 stars A little over a year ago I discovered post-rock/post-metal as a genre, and I have spent a lot of time since exploring it. Pelican is one of the foremost bands of the genre, but the first time I tried to get into them, on recommendations from friends, it didn't work--after a few tracks (from various albums) I found them grating, many of the songs over-long and meandering. It wasn't until I heard their EP from 2012 that my ears perked up--I liked Ataraxia/Taraxis a whole lot and it really changed my perspective: I joined the throngs enthusiastically anticipating the new album.

And for me, Forever Becoming was well worth the wait. Opening with the short, funereal "Terminal", the album then buckles down and gets to work. Track after track of epic mightiness, tight, moody pieces that rumble and blast along relentlessly, featuring thick fuzzy bass, powerful dense guitars; I have heard complaints about the drummer, but he suits me just fine on this album. Sometimes what you need is a plain, iron-clad anchor rather than frilly scrollwork, and that is what he delivers. This is just the kind of headbanging post-metal I prefer and Forever Becoming delivers in spades. Almost all the tracks are great, I could pick any one of them to highlight, but my favourite is the thick, sludgy "Threnody".

If there is any real issue, it is the last track, "Perpetual Dawn": the longest at over 9 minutes, and it begins to wander a bit through the middle, though it manages to recover before interest is lost. That said, I like this direction the band has taken, and I hope they stick with it.

 Forever Becoming by PELICAN album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.90 | 24 ratings

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Forever Becoming
Pelican Experimental/Post Metal

Review by JJLehto
Prog Reviewer

4 stars After a four year gap, with a small, solid yet unspectacular EP thrown in there, Pelican is finally back...sans original member Laurent Schroeder-Lebec. The split seems to have been amiable, with new guitarist Dallas Thomas being described by the band as "meticulous" compared to their more "freewheeling" style, resulting in a good balance.

So what does this all mean for the album? Right off the bat, it's a darker feel than usual Pelican, which took some getting used to as I always appreciated their more upbeat, even warm feeling.

It is a very solid output, which underwhelmed me a bit at first, but grew after a few listens. It lacks Pelican's old style of lengthy, meandering epics but also lacks their newer style of more concise, powerful songwriting. This isn't entirely new, I found the balance of progression and power just right on "City of Echoes" and fell a bit off with "What We All Come to Need". This is not to say it's a bad album, not at all, just not the strongest effort put out by the band.

It still has all the Pelican staples, such as great riffing and melodies, guitar interplay and at times displays greater energy than I've ever heard from them. Especially in the drumming of Larry Herweg. Usually known for his metronome style, he displays his greatest diversity yet, and really hammers away with some major power.

At times it feels a bit lost, but after a few listens it all works together. The balance mentioned by the band really comes into play as passages vary from super drifty to tightly composed.

"Deny the Absolute" starts the album off in grand fasion, filled with energy out of the gate and is perfectly composed, moving steadily from start to finish, never hanging around to long but not moving forward to quickly. Packed with great riffs, melodies, guitar interplay and power. In my opinion the best song off the album.

Other standouts include "Immutable Dusk" with it's lighter section, "Threnody" another superbly written song that does it all, "Vestiges" has one of the best passages in the whole album, and "Perpetual Dawn" moves between loud and powerful, and soft and moving.

Overall, a very good album that does nothing wrong, punctuated with some standouts. While it may not "wow" especially at first, this is a fine album that any fan of Pelican should enjoy, as well as those into post rock/metal. Here's to more great music with the new lineup.

Four Stars

 Ataraxia/Taraxis by PELICAN album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2012
3.12 | 6 ratings

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Ataraxia/Taraxis
Pelican Experimental/Post Metal

Review by JJLehto
Prog Reviewer

3 stars This is a difficult rating for me, because while the music is perfectly fine, it's not much of a departure for Pelican and it's a short EP. Clocking in at just under 18 minutes, this is a short but fine EP.

Musically there's not much to say if you're familiar Pelican. Their classic riffy and warm sound hasn't changed. Still heavy and atmospheric. Only thing that really stands out is how short the songs are. On their last 2 albums Pelican has gone for shorter songs opposed to their earlier epic ramblers, but these are even shorter...the longest just cracking 5 minutes. I did see one review comment they detected a bit of a stoner rock sound at times, and I'd say I notice it as well but it's just for a brief time.

"Ataraxia" is a very mellow, droning song. Minimalist and airy, very chill.

"Lathe Biosas" throws you right into it, almost sounds like mid riff, and is a classic Pelican song. Heavy, but not suffocating, valleys then peaks.

"Parasite Colony" is another straightforward Pelican song, though maybe a bit less riffy and more drifty. Both are cool songs.

"Taraxis" concludes the EP with acoustic guitar and light drumming, while electric guitar noises flutter around the background. It goes out with a bang though, with the heaviest stuff heard on the album.

So I'm not really sure what to make of this one. Is this just a snack to tide us over for a bit? Is it a sample of something we should expect to see in the future? (Shorter, lighter songs). Only time will tell, but as for "Ataraxia/Taraxis" there's really not much new here. Which is fine, a standard Pelican release is always a good thing! Any fan of Pelican, or lighter/progressive metal should enjoy and I think those that can tolerate some heaviness should also get a kick from this.

Note: a light snack always leaves you hungry, and with the break up of Isis...us post metal fans are still left starved. Hopefully the upcoming Cult of Luna album will finally fill the void.

A good, though unspectacular, and short EP...worth some listens but not essential.

THREE STARS

 The Fire In Our Throats Will Beckon The Thaw by PELICAN album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.90 | 101 ratings

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The Fire In Our Throats Will Beckon The Thaw
Pelican Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

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.
 What We All Come To Need by PELICAN album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.56 | 36 ratings

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What We All Come To Need
Pelican Experimental/Post Metal

Review by JJLehto
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This album is a bit of a departure for Pelican, which is why I think (despite critical reviews) fans of the band don't seem to care for this album, at least not as much as their other work. At first I was on board with that though I couldn't put my finger on why. With time though "What We All Came to Need" grew on me, and while it may not be the strongest album the band has put out, it is still very good.

Before this album, Pelican switched from one slower, progressive metal focused label (Hydra Head) to another (Southern Lord) and while both specialize in the same general types of band, Pelican changed things up with this release. The emphasis on riffing, (one of their defining features amongst post metal bands) is subdued, as is the heaviness. Now, it is still undeniably heavy, but less "sludgey" less bottom heavy and outright pulverizing. So at first listen this album can be a bit underwhelming.

Though it's just a different style, instead of riffing and pummeling this album is about texture, and atmosphere. I should say they are more the focus, as these qualities were always essential to Pelican. So it takes some getting used to certainly, but it has what you want from Pelican: guitar driven, upbeat post metal complete with amazing melodies, perfect guitar interplay, some awesome riffs, and while not as up tempo as "City of Echoes" still generally more so than most post metal. Progressive song writing still abounds, though it's not as epic or energetic as previous work, and feels less structured overall and more drifty. There is also increased use of melodic passages on this album. This is a more cerebral and reflective Pelican.

Some notable songs are "The Creeper" which is the slowest, heaviest, most brutal song on the album, "Specks of Light" the riffiest, most up tempo song (and with some killer parts) and the finale, "Finale Breath" which features vocals! A first for Pelican. Instead of the harsh shouts or emotional singing customary to post metal, they opt for shoegazing like dream like vocals, fitting for the nowhere drifting nature of the song. The vocals are courtesy of Allen Epley (who I've not heard of personally) and some other guest musicians make an appearance, including Greg Anderson of Sunn O))) fame, and Aaron Turner of Isis.

A little less traditional Pelican and more traditional post rock/metal this is not the band's best album, but it's still a damn good one. With some time and listens it should strike you as a solid and well executed, if unspectacular, post metal album.

Three and a Half Stars

Bump: 4 Stars

Thanks to TheProgtologist for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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