Review Summary: The undying flame had to start somewhere. Heav•y
1. of great weight; hard to lift or carry
2. of great amount, quantity, or size; extremely large; massive
3. of great force, intensity, turbulence, etc.
4. of more than the usual or average weight
5. having much weight in proportion to bulk; being of high specific gravity
6. of major import; grave; serious
7. deep or intense; profound
Give me a better statement to what Pelican is than definition 7. The Untitled EP
from the Chicago instrumental quartet contains a mere four songs, for most artists a small offering or sample of what they are capable of. The Untitled EP
is thicker than many full lengths. Clocking in at just under half an hour, four crushing suites deliver what is to flourish into a renowned signature of the “post-metal” genre.
If I were asked to deliver one small snippet of dense, heavy music, this would be my clear cut choice. Positive artistic aggression that is fully composed. Murky tones and dismal chords make for an atmosphere of pure muck, pure muck in the sense of dark, draining music. The Woods
carries throughout its 13 minute path a delicate smog that is as enticing as it is compressing. Simple ideas can be flourished into behemoths, as shown by this release. Fairly standard drum lines accompanied by creative fills aren’t groundbreaking. They aren’t the most technical beats, but ask yourself this: does it need to be?
Had I been asked to take one thing away from this record, it would without a doubt be Mammoth
. The epitome of all that is heavy, and the single factor that I believe defines Pelican’s strive. The simple body riff doesn’t give Muhammed Suiçmez an erection, but does it prove more effective than 80% of the mindless doodling that goes into his songwriting? Absolutely. Tasteful, impactful, and deeply impressing, Mammoth
gives us all a small piece of musical bliss, if only for a short 5 minutes. I would be infinitely grateful had the track been extended to over 10 minutes. Sense-filled chugging and an overall air of weight make each listen a “fix” so-to-speak, once you get one, periodically they must be dispensed.
I see this EP is somewhat of the same light as I see The Dillinger Escape Plan’s Irony Is A Dead Scene
, had it been a full length, I might have just found a new sexual attraction. Though plagued by time, or a lack thereof, the Untitled EP
still holds up as one of the early defining moments in the now fraudulent “post-metal” genre. An extra 30 minutes of music could only have helped the cause, making a somewhat awkward stopping point only the halfway point in a trend that could possibly have taken the album to near perfect status. By now, this kink has been smoothed, seeing as (in my eyes) the next three albums (Australasia, The Fire In Our Throats Will Beckon The Thaw, City Of Echoes
) have all been masterpieces, lacking a single definite flaw.
Everyone and everything have to start somewhere. This starting point is farther along in development than some artists have even touched upon dozens of releases into their seemingly endless careers. By all means, lay your hands on a spot of artistic greatness, the root of Pelicans ever-solid limbs, the Untitled EP
Just get them all