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Pelican, Forever Becoming (Southern Lord Records)




Pelican, Forever Becoming (Southern Lord Records)


10/17/13
By Eric Saeger news@hippopress.com



 The last few albums by this singer-less Chicago metal band have been polite studies in riffage, sorely lacking in innovative drumming, which has always been, as I’ve said before how many times now, Pelican’s big weakness. Let’s go over it again: I’m not asking for Neil Peart — I’d settle for a whacked-out drum machine if it’d get my ears to keep from falling asleep, which happens with these guys, especially when they’re in their default groove, thoughtfully whamming their guitars in blocky verse-chorus parts like a teen garage band waiting for some Robert Plant savior to move into the neighborhood. This time, however, there’s real growth, at least enough to maybe rope in misfit hipster types who like SunnO))) and blissy-noisy things like that. “Terminal” opens the album with sounds appropriate for awakening the Kraken, giant, buzzing, loopy drone with — and here’s the best part — scattered drum shots that are incidental, adding to the mix through their relative absence, addition by subtraction, make any sense? A lot more psychedelic passages than I’ve ever noticed from Pelican before, some of them downright pretty (“Immutable Dusk”). B+ — Eric W. Saeger

 





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