This EP is excellent. As a predecessor to the yet to be released full length (June '05), it gives us a sample of one of the tracks and a remix of Angel Tears off of Australasia. Let me simply say that this is worth hearing. The emotion that pours out of your speakers is amazing, especially when it can be heard without a vocalist. After Australasia I expected either more superb instrumental metal or a big disappointment. I am not disappointed. This is so listenable it blows me away. The layering, the writing, the textures, the blending the everything is perfect. The atmosphere set is mindblowing. Ranging from post-rock to a thundering spilling of thoughts and feelings.
The title track is apparently supposed to be a double length version of the same track to be released on the next full length. I wish they wouldn't cut it short there because every moment of March into the Sea is worth hearing. The way they were able to incorporate differnt instruments from piano to flute to acoustic guitars to what sounds like it could be almost mandolins blows me away. Yes they maintain their heavy pounding ultra melodic assaults but then they add more. The dynamic here is great because they have learned how to present a softer side since Australasia, that being the biggest disappointment off of that album. The songwriting has clearly developed and though they may be beign a bit self indulgent releasing a 20 minute song, I think they know it.
Angel Tears is good once again but different, most certainly not as good as the original. Justin Broadrick (Jesu, Godflesh) certainly adds somethign to it though. I dislike the addition of many new electronics as they seem to get a bit more repetitive than Pelican is. Jesu works very well with it's repetition but Pelican does well playing off of a theme and constantly changing pieces and that is not shone well here. I will therefore not really consider this track any fault of the band's, but more Justin Broadrick doing his thing. Unfortunatly, it is the weak side of the album. It isn't bad, just not as good as what it was. If this album were just March into the Sea, I would have to give it a 4.5/5 but I simply cannot do that with the addition of this decent, but outshone remix. Thus, a 3.7 is what I want this to get as 3.5 feels just a tad too low and 4 just a tad too high.
Listen to this, but also listen to Australasia. Both are great. If Australasia had the songwriting on it that is demonstrated in March into the Sea, I would consider it one of the best albums ever made. Instead, I sit eagerly waiting the release of their next full length album as I now have no doubt it will be their finiest work to date.