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 don’t 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 band’s website, Australasia has nothing whatsoever to do with George Orwell or Eric Blair.
November 4, 2003 on Hydra Head Records
Laurent Lebec - Guitar<
Trevor de Brauw - Guitar
Larry Herweg - Drums
Bryan Herweg – Bass
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 don’t 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
, 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.
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.
(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.
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, “We 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
Explosions in the Sky