Pelican
Australasia


4.0
excellent

Review

by Dancin' Man USER (40 Reviews)
January 16th, 2005 | 113 replies


Release Date: 2003 | Tracklist


Although Pelican hail from the windy city of Chicago, Illinois they find a way to contend with the metal giants of Scandanavia. The best way to describe Pelican is Godspeed You! Black Emperor gone metal. Pelican are label mates with and were helped in being signed by the band Isis. Hydra Head, the label, has gone from being a primarily hardcore label to being one that encourages experimental music [insert: Sunn 0)))]. Pelican is just that. They are a post-metal band with no vocals but donít need them either. They play fairly slowly and change riffs very quickly. There is a lot of layering of parts and atmospheric build. This would make great movie music. From the bandís website, Australasia has nothing whatsoever to do with George Orwell or Eric Blair.

Release
November 4, 2003 on Hydra Head Records

Line-up
Laurent Lebec - Guitar<
Trevor de Brauw - Guitar
Larry Herweg - Drums
Bryan Herweg Ė Bass

Review
This album begins with an undistorted, slow deep riff with ambient sounds surrounding it that builds into the rest of the 11:14 minute epic that is NightEndDay. This is a great song. The riffs have a habit of evolving instead of simply changing like they do with most bands. They are gradual. The nice part is that they can go back to just about any riff in the song and it will fit. Not having vocals is probably a strength of this band. The skull crushing depth of some of the riffs is perfectly contrasted by the clear melody lines. The song swings from sounding like Doom metal to post rock to something along the lines of Tool. The song flows perfectly into Angel Tears, a similar sounding song. One thing this flow makes you realize is that this album actually had thought put into it. It is not just a jumble of songs that donít have to fit because of the lack of lyrical content. If anything, these two songs are closer to one long suite with clear themes that are repeated throughout. There is one riff that really stands out in this song. It goes from the skull crushing low end chords to a high melody very quickly and sounds great.
The ending silence of Angel Tears is resurrected by a slow build/fade in to bring about

Drought, the slowest music on the album yet. With an interesting dissonant riff. The song builds and speeds up and turns itself into an angry monster of a song. This song has the closest thing to vocals on the whole CD. Gasps and squeals that sound like an angry pig. Very cool. This is the best song on the CD. It is also the heaviest. It has some of the familiar themes from Angel Tears and NightEndDay.

GW is basically standard post-rock but with lots of distortion. At 3:34 it is the shortest song though and good enough to not get skipped.

Untitled (it doesn't even get that much of a name on the album) builds so slowly and when you can hear distinguishable instruments, it is the slightly out of tune acoustic guitar sound frequent in GY!BE songs. The song has no drums and there is a cello or the bass is played with a bow. The song is the mellowest by far and very nice. An excellent post-rock song as opposed to GW which is a not so excellent one. The ending is very atmospheric with reverb feedback sounds.

Australasia brings back the heavy deep themes of the beginning of the album. Another epic song clocking in at 10:48. It is the summation of the album. It closes and recaps and is a perfect ending. It has fast heavy sections, slow mind crushers, soft acoustic passages, post-rock perfection and then finally, the post-metal that this album is based on. This song is the one that says, ďWe really thought about what we were doing as we wrote this and here it is".

This album is great. It has its weak spots (specifically GW) but the good spots outweigh the bad many times.

Recommended to fans of
Godspeed You! Black Emperor
Tool
Gordian Knot
Explosions in the Sky
Anathema
Isis

Ranking
4/5




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user ratings (539)
Chart.
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
David Driver (5)
Australasia is a sweeping sonic journey that never feels old or boring, making it one of the most he...


Comments:Add a Comment 
SubtleDagger
December 27th 2004


737 Comments


Great album, I've been thinking of reviewing it for a long time and haven't got around to it. "Drought" rules, but the biggest problem with this album is it's too repetitive. Still, good review, good band, good album.

BuddyBigsby
December 27th 2004


531 Comments


Great band.

Post-Metal... did you coin that term yourself? Clever. It works.

Dancin' Man
December 27th 2004


719 Comments


[QUOTE=BuddyBigsby]Great band.

Post-Metal... did you coin that term yourself? Clever. It works.[/QUOTE]

I figured Godspeed is post-rock so this mut be post metal. Plus Per Ardua calls Arcturus post-black metal so I'm not stretching too far.

Bartender
Emeritus
December 27th 2004


826 Comments


I've heard one song from this (Drought) through Forced Listening, and it was pretty good. I remember standing in a CD store trying to decide between several albums, one of which was Australasia. I think I got something by Botch in the end.

Anyway, good review.

Happymeal
December 27th 2004


330 Comments


After hearing Drought for the first time I wasn't really impressed with it because of the repetitiveness. It kinda grew on me when I really listened to it, and I love it. This is a very good album. And so is your review;)

SubtleDagger
December 28th 2004


737 Comments


Botch pretty much > Pelican at this point. Hope it was We Are The Romans, that's a good album.

Ornery Cephalopod
December 28th 2004


21 Comments


Great album. It is kind of repetitive, but that's good in a way. Makes for nice background music. Or 'get-stoned-(don't-do-drugs)-and-space-out-with-headphones' music.

I was going to review this before, but then I thought it would be kinda hard to write much about it. For this I commend you.

I can't remember too clearly, but I think I read something about the name simply coming from the name for the Australia/Asian islands area. Something like they just saw it and thought it sounded hip...

Bartender
Emeritus
December 28th 2004


826 Comments


[QUOTE=SubtleDagger]Botch pretty much > Pelican at this point. Hope it was We Are The Romans, that's a good album.[/QUOTE]

Nah, it was just An Anthology of Dead Ends. They didn't have either of their full-length albums.

FillInTheBlankHere___
December 29th 2004


64 Comments


This sounds really good; it shall be added to my ever-growing list of bands to check out. Excellent review.

blueyxd
December 29th 2004


77 Comments


****, this is another one to add to the list of stuff to check out...

Anyone who says there is no good music around anymore... has it easy..

DFelon204409
Emeritus
July 26th 2005


3996 Comments


Man I'm digging this.

analrightstart
July 26th 2005


96 Comments


this sounds awesome, i've never heard of these guys before, but tool have been a long time favourite of mine and godspeed have also been right up there with my favourites... sounds like these guys are the next biug thing for me, i'm going to buy it tomorrow

DFelon204409
Emeritus
July 26th 2005


3996 Comments


Hahah. Anal right start.

Dancin' Man
August 8th 2005


719 Comments


hahahaha... that is pretty funny. Wonder if it was intentional. I might note - Pelican are better than and very different than Tool. If you want a Tool clone, this is not the place, they just have occasional similarities. This is a band I can see Tool Fanboys liking.

Arrakakaka
August 9th 2005


685 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I just bought this. The art in the CD is mindblowingly cool. Also, the CD is exellent. So was your review :thumb:This Message Edited On 08.22.05

Shadows
Moderator
August 9th 2005


2530 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

This band is very cool. Melodic heavy, sludgy, and strangely progressive all at once. An unlikely combo, but they make it work. Good job.

analrightstart
August 22nd 2005


96 Comments


I have listened to the album now, and they sound a lot more like explosions in the sky than anything else IMO, just a tad heavier.
I like it a lot, and it is what i have been looking for, along with Isis, those guys are great.

My user name is meant to be read as 'an alright start' which is what 'agaetis byrjun' is read as when in english form.

analrightstart
August 22nd 2005


96 Comments


Oh and yeah i wasnt looking for a tool clone, tool clones are wankers, I wanted something different, something fresh. If you were hinting that I was a tool fanboy you were wrong.

Dried Muffin Remnants
October 6th 2005


297 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is their second best work and the album that got me into this band. When I first heard this...all I could think of was Celestial by Isis but without the vocals.

Solid album, but not nearly as good as their next work.

4/5

Diabulus in musica
March 21st 2006


485 Comments


hey i downloaded like 3 songs from this album and theres no singing!!!....is this an instrumental album??



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