Pelican
Forever Becoming


4.5
superb

Review

by David Driver USER (79 Reviews)
October 12th, 2013 | 108 replies | 12,335 views


Release Date: 10/15/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A phoenix (pelican?) rising from the ashes.

9 of 9 thought this review was well written

For those who’ve been following Pelican for the last few years, it’s been very much a “wait-and-see” type of game. As I mused Pelican’s inevitable break-up in my previous review of their out-of-nowhere and hard-hitting Ataraxia/Taraxis EP last year, they’ve continued to surprise me yet again by delivering a full-length practically out of nowhere. With original guitarist Laurent Schroeder-Lebec out of the picture, and some much needed time off to recharge their creative batteries, it was no doubt that the bands fifth full-length, Forever Becoming, would be a much different addition to their discography, but I certainly wasn’t expecting it to be one of their best.

Starting a few years back, Pelican had hit a wall. After evolving their sound from a droning, post-metal sludge to a more straight-forward, energetic sound, 2009’s What We All Come To Need was a band who had been stuck in a rut, too comfortable with their sound and creatively grasping at straws. After years and years of quiet layoff, Forever Becoming is a band that’s back and better than ever. After moody, plodding intro “Terminal”, “Deny The Absolute” kicks off the album with the gusto not seen since City of Echoes: speedy, melodic riffing in a groove so deep that it could reach the earth’s core. “Tundra” also shows Pelican bringing their enthusiastic, off-kilter riffs to the fore-front before mellowing out into a melodic section and ending with a chunky, brutal, sludgy head-banger. There’s certainly enough good ideas swirling around during the start of Forever Becoming, which is something I thought that Pelican wasn’t capable of any longer.

But not only has Pelican brought back the sound that they’ve worked on the past few years since City of Echoes, the band’s is heard reaching further into their bag of tricks. “Immutable Dusk”, one of the strongest tracks on the record, starts strong before slowing down into something reminiscing of “Last Day Of Winter” from The Fire In Our Throats Will Beckon The Thaw, building softly before crashing into another groove-stricken riff. Follow-up “Threnody” continues in the same vein: a slower, longer build-up that is reminiscent of Pelican of old, hosting a breathable, acoustic section amongst the chaos, while closer “Perpetual Dawn”, up there with one of the best songs this band has done, finds the group taking their time to slowly brew an enveloping atmosphere that was a trademark of their early days, and the pummeling pay-off brings chills to your spine.

However, sadly, there are a few tracks on Forever Becoming that house some of the lazy Pelican traits of old. “The Cliff”, while a great song, never really finds the time to become fleshed-out, and just seems like a collection of riffs and not an entire, evolving idea. “Vestiges” is another heavier collection of riffs that take a back-seat to some breathable sections, although the latter’s fade-out ending leaves a little more to be desired and is something that is completely uncharacteristic of this band, who usually sticks an exclamation point to all their finishes.

But as it turns out, sometimes a lengthy break is all a band needs. While it usually spells out doom a majority of the time, Pelican’s sound here is invigorating, and that can only be due to the time they spent away from music to recharge their batteries and create a fresh, creative and delightful listen. Like a phoenix rising from the ashes (or, more appropriately, a pelican rising from...I dunno, a pile of fish bones?), Pelican has found a second-lease on life, and the story is just as satisfying as the product they’ve put forth.



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user ratings (128)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Beauville88
October 12th 2013



217 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Stream: http://pitchfork.com/advance/246-forever-becoming/

Artuma
October 12th 2013



10722 Comments


the fire in our throats rules but dunno if i am interested in this. review is great, pos'd

Digging: 68 - In Humor and Sadness

Dunpeal
October 12th 2013



3595 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

might bump to 4.5 eventually. it's pretty damn good

dosia
October 12th 2013



54 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Sounds pretty promising. The average rating does not, though.

Relinquished
October 12th 2013



24468 Comments


just check it out. 31 ratings don't mean shit even when the album hasn't been officially released.

dosia
October 12th 2013



54 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Yeah, I've been meaning to listen to it anyway. It's just that on this site 30 ratings very often signify an average closer to a 4.

Dunpeal
October 12th 2013



3595 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i never understand why ppl insist on relying so heavily on the ratings here vs. just simply giving it a listen, which could take all of 60 seconds

Relinquished
October 12th 2013



24468 Comments


"too comfortable with their sound and creatively grasping at straws."

but have you heard how beautiful Glimmer, the t/t, and Final Breath are?

MrSelfHater
October 12th 2013



9 Comments


Dem ratings.

FearThyEvil
October 12th 2013



12280 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

just check it out. 31 ratings don't mean shit even when the album hasn't been officially released.

Most of the ratings where WELL before it was released too. Feel like it should be wiped.

minty901
October 13th 2013



1963 Comments


i remember hearing a song way before release and thinking it sounded excellent. listened to the stream in the background and nothing grabbed me but i guess it needs more attention. i don't like any pelican album i've heard previously but i'm hopeful this might change that.

Artuma
October 13th 2013



10722 Comments


damn minty the fire in our throats and australasia are great

greg84
Staff Reviewer
October 13th 2013



7317 Comments


Great review. I liked it on my first listen.

Digging: Dog Fashion Disco - Sweet Nothings

zaruyache
October 13th 2013



5891 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It's great.

Digging: Sunwolf - Beholden To Nothing And No One

jmh886
October 13th 2013



790 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

One of my all time favorite bands. I honesly believe their past few releases have all ruled. City of Echoes is so underrated. Stuff is so fun to play on the geetar. Super pumped to listen to this properly.

botb
October 13th 2013



9560 Comments


this band is hit or miss, i wish they had a drummer that wasn't like the lars ulrich of post metal

Relinquished
October 13th 2013



24468 Comments


the drummer's real good on earlier material but now he rides with the riffs

botb
October 13th 2013



9560 Comments


ehhhh even on the fire, i feel like he should be doing more.

FearThyEvil
October 13th 2013



12280 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Vestiges reminds me of so much of Triad by Tool with the beginning riffs.

jmh886
October 13th 2013



790 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Yea I always drum along to Pelican songs, and I'm like why the hell is this guy holding back? This music was made for some badass drumming. Maybe he just isn't that good.



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