What We All Come To Need

Written by: PP on 24/01/2010 23:51:11

Instrumental rock, post-rock, post-metal, sludge. Four genres that often have me pulling my hair because of the long-winded nature and the carefully constructed soundscapes of the music in them. It can often take weeks, if not months to fully appreciate the soundscape that each band in the genre is trying to build, but succeeding often means an exceptionally rewarding listening experience in the long run. Pelican, as you may have guessed, are one such band, having tread on all three genres since their inception, culminating in a brilliant release "City Of Echoes" a little over two years ago.

"What We All Come To Need" their fourth studio album, and one where the band takes a step or two back towards their post-metal past with a marginally heavier ring to the guitars. The band still spend between five and eight minutes per song, building imagery and beautiful landscapes in your mind through slow progression and a multitude of climaxes and cliffhangers. Guest guitarists Greg Anderson (of Sunn O)))) and Aaron Turner (of Isis) give their take on how a Pelican song can also sound like on "The Creeper" and the title track respectively, an interesting addition allowing fans of both bands to really see how it is possible to fuse two so very different sounds together seamlessly.

But it still feels like something's missing. Maybe the guitars aren't quite as intricate enough to fully explode the band's sound into your consciousness. Maybe the songs aren't 'catchy' enough? A strange term to use when talking about progressive instrumental music, I know, but "City Of Echoes", for instance, had that one melodic part that transcended into instrumental heaven in places that made the song stick to your mind. There are a few of these on "What We All Come To Need" as well, most notably on "Glimmer", but it's not enough to keep my interest long enough on the songs.

The surprise, however, comes on the final track "Final Breath", which isn't just the best Pelican song I recall hearing (bear in mind I haven't heard ("The Fire In Our Throats..." too much, I hear that one's supposed to be amazing), but it actually has VOCALS! For the first time ever, Pelican has brought in a guest vocalist in the form of Allen Epley (The Life And Times) who delivers some dreamy, prolonged floating vocals, which finally answers the question I've had about Pelican and instrumental rock in general: yes, it does sound better with vocals. The style is perfect for the song and gives the music a whole new dimension. Perhaps Pelican will realize that as well and add some more vocal parts on their next album?


Download: Final Breath, Glimmer
For the fans of: Isis, Neurosis, Russian Circles, Rosetta, Cult Of Luna
Listen: Myspace

Release date 27.10.2009
Southern Lord

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