02. Lathe Biosas
03. Parasite Colony
[Southern Lord Records]
There are two types of bands: the ones who experiment, and the ones who do not. Now, experiment is a broad term, but in context here, it simply means to explore terrain not necessarily natural to their respective genre of music, to welcome new instruments, to abandon old ones. To try different methods of generating sounds than just their instruments. And then there are bands that do not experiment. Sure, they may tune their guitars differently and go faster or slower, but they are mostly the same. Bands like Lamb Of God and Slayer do this relatively well and make consistently good albums. However, for the most part, bands tend to make the same album over and over again, which gets tiresome and boring. Pelican, however, prove once again that although they aren’t treading any new ground, they continue to churn out great albums.
It has been roughly three years since their last release, entitled What We All Come To Need. With all the band members moving to different corners of the continent, recording new material has been, needless to say, arduous. So keep in mind that it’s no easy feat that this EP was recorded in four different studios from around the United States. This EP manages to pack a punch, though, and while relatively on the short side for a Pelican record, it manages to stay with you.
Every single song on this record hangs heavy. The opener, ‘Ataraxia’, is solely acoustic guitar, building up some ambiance before bursting out of the gates into ‘Lathe Biosas’. Now the record begins to feel like a Pelican release. Not anything revolutionary, but this band are still evolving into one of the finest post-metal bands to come around in the past decade.
‘Parasite Colony’ is the most familiar track on this release. This one sounds like the Pelican that all fans have come to love: sludgy guitar riffs, powerful rhythm section, and a blooming song structure that grows with the progression of time. However it is the final track, ‘Taraxis’, that resonates the most. This song just has some quality about it that the others do not that separates it from the others. It may be the slow, churning buildup that leads into a very open, natural sounding midsection that makes you feel as if you on the coast of a sea, surrounded by sand dunes, with nobody but your own instincts to rely on for safe travel. Or it could be the ending, which comes together as the electric guitars swell and the drums pick up momentum. Whatever it is, this song is something special.
This album is a great release. Since Pelican are not set to release an LP yet, they decided not to keep their loyal fans waiting much longer, and thank god for that. This is enough to tide any form of Pelican fan over until their next full length comes out, which will hopefully be soon. Until then, this EP will quench your thirst for Pelican.
Pelican – Ataraxia/Taraxis