Reviews Pelican Australasia

Pelican

Australasia

Pelican flirted with my heart earlier this year when they released their self-titled debut. And now with the release of their first full length, Australasia, they have completely taken me. It's been quite some time since a band has been able to garner my attention away from all other happenings in the musical world. They have pieced together a heavy yet beautiful album, the best of the year, without saying any words.

An instrumental metal act with glimmers of a post-rock, they formed in the most illogical location for their sound: Chicago, Illinois. Maybe they would have been better suited to form in upper New England, perhaps as small-town business men of rural Vermont that got bored of hunting. Or maybe these guys were a couple of ex-tree loggers that decided to grab up some instruments and jam. But I have strayed off-topic, I am not here to talk geography - I am here to scrutalyze - see what I did there? By picking and choosing elements from their predecessors and peers, these chaps have managed to shape a perfect marriage of Kyuss and Isis. The opening track picks up exactly where they left off on the EP and the listener is eased back into the stereotypically repetitive world of sludge metal. But things are not what they may seem here. Within the endless building sequences of deep power chords and loud drums is seamlessly molded the addition of melodic and acoustic guitar moments as well as tiny variations in guitars that perk my ears at every listen. These moments last long enough to catch the listener off-guard, but quickly recede back into the murky depths of the big swirling guitar.

Through and through, this record is a masterpiece of doom/stoner/sludge metal. But these fellows go beyond the restrictions of those genres, which is most evident in experimentation of guitar work, in particular the acoustical interlude track which brings to mind a sound that would fit perfectly on Mogwai's Rock Action. Australasia is a magnificent force with the power to both maim and lull the listeners ears. But with all masterpieces there is always that one weakness. While my fascination may cause me to ignore that, others may tend to find the music boring and repetitive with no real "staying power." But who really listens to those people anyways?

9.5 / 10Michael
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Hydra Head

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