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Pelican - The Fire in Our Throats Will Beckon the Thaw (Cover Artwork)

Pelican

Pelican: The Fire in Our Throats Will Beckon the ThawThe Fire in Our Throats Will Beckon the Thaw (2005)
Hydra Head Records

Reviewer Rating: 5
User Rating:


Contributed by: AnchorsAnchors
(others by this writer | submit your own)

It seems more and more by the day, Hydra Head is becoming my favorite record label. It seems everything that they release is not only good, but exceptional. Their bands are constantly striving to put out the best albums they can, and I've yet to see them fail. Sure, they mostly adhere to the experim.
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It seems more and more by the day, Hydra Head is becoming my favorite record label. It seems everything that they release is not only good, but exceptional. Their bands are constantly striving to put out the best albums they can, and I've yet to see them fail. Sure, they mostly adhere to the experimental side of metal, drone, and grind, but who's complaining? Nobody that likes good music, that's for damn sure. Pelican are certainly the rule rather than the exception, but The Fire in Our Throat Will Beckon the Thaw is a whole new dawn for the band.

Dropping previous comparisons to Neurosis and Lungfish, the band has dropped something else as well. The aggression. The pummeling, bombastic riffing that fans of Pelican are used to have seen a reconstruction of sorts. Now more akin to post-rock than the experimental metal that garnered so many, warranted or not, Isis comparisons, Pelican put a brave foot forward; what's left to be determined is whether or not that foot has moved in the right direction. As with any evolution, they were bound to catch flack for the changes, but when a record like this truly soaks in, there's no argument as to whether or not the changes was for better or the worse.

Pelican's songwriting has taken on a much more linear approach than they had ever attempted, with each song building out rather than just piling riffs on top off riffs on top of rips. It's the space that the band has created that allows each musician to blossom into the force hinted at on previous albums. Each of Pelican's guitarists works so fluidly with the other to create these songs, that it's hard to imagine them ever going back to their previous style. "Last Day of Winter" is an extremely slow developing track, relying on a fair amount of methodical, repetitious drum fills and clean guitar to progress itself. Starting out immediately with some tight melodic grooves, the song seemingly ends before there's some harmonic guitar plucking that slowly but surely gets louder, until the veritable timebomb explodes and the wall of fuzz and distortion comes in, but underneath that layer of drone the quickly moving clean guitar pushes the rhythm right through that wall, all the while the drumming picks up, with each slap to the snare and each thumb on the bass drum just a tad louder than the last, with the chord progressions on that clean guitar becoming tighter and tighter until everything subsides, and slowly creeps back down to nothing. It's that kind of mastery that Pelican have finally been able to work to perfection.

And only Pelican would try to follow up such a masterpiece with an equally engaging, but even longer song. "Autumn Into Summer'' is that track, and while it follows in similar fashion, with a great amount of buildup and a crushing crescendo, it lacks the gravity that made "Last Day of Winter" so special, but it has its own unique charms. Transitioning hastily between rhythms and levels of distortion, it undoubtedly keeps you on your toes, but without any real risk there's not as big of a reward. The rewards do come, however, starting with the grace and beauty of the acoustic, untitled fourth track, which serves as only a prelude to the attention that the beauty and power of "Red Ran Amber" will command of you. Going through several stages, the track shines the spotlight directly on the precise, calculated songwriting that still manages to leave so much to the imagination. Straddling the thinnest of lines between metal and post-rock, the guitars aren't too aggressive and the drumming not too loud, but at the same time the almost-twinkle given off in some of the quieter parts will not let you rest on your laurels. No matter how delicate the sounds, you can feel the rumble build up in the pit of your stomach, and you just know what's around that bend, but it's the beauty of a journey that makes the payoff just that. By the time the song is in full swing, you can't help but sit back and be engulfed by the harsh beauty of what you're hearing.

This time of year, the record of the year argument inevitably comes up. What's troubling is, out of all the people I've talked to about this, I've heard not one mention of this album. My words really cannot do justice to the grandeur of this record; it's truly the best album of its kind to be released in as long as I can remember. While others may be selling this band short, rest assured, when my year-end list rolls around, these guys are making a hell of a case for number one.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Electrickle (February 17, 2007)

This album never gets old.

treos (November 1, 2006)

I have a kind of short attention span especially with music, generally if it doesnt catch my attention with some interesting riffs or vocals on the first spin i go onto something else that does and dont try it again for a while, which i know is probably a realy bad system but whatever. I wasn't really sure how the no lyrics thing with these guys would go over, and the fact that this style of music is considered "Ambient" turned me off a bit too, but i was unbelievably surprised. The climactic buuildup that these guys create is unbelievable. The riffs are amazing and this stuff has no lyrics to create objectivity about christianity or screaming that people dont like or anything, how could you NOT like them?

Score is for the review and the cd

FUckiNG AwesOME!

DenBez (August 12, 2006)

Best thing in history, ever.

HeresLookinAtYou (March 31, 2006)

This is the some of the most amazing music I've ever heard in my entire life.

....

wow

Anonymous (January 10, 2006)

fuck it, this is the best album i've heard by them. incredible. if you don't like it, you don't get it.

Anonymous (December 27, 2005)

It's about time this got reviewed.

Definitely one of the top 3 or 4 candidates for album of the year, across all boundaries of genre.

Anonymous (December 24, 2005)

So what's good about this hippy shit?
I've listened to their stuff at Myspace, it's like the soundtrack to some National Geographic documentary about whales or some other slow and boring animal.

Listen to the Briefs, fuckers. Or even if you don't listen to punk rock, at least listen to good music.

Anchors is an unbearable snob, kick him out, or name this site Snobnews.org instead.

Anonymous (December 23, 2005)

The 20-minute EP version of 'March Into The Sea' owns everything. It's more brutal than the Wu-Tang.

Anonymous (December 23, 2005)

so much better than australasia.

wyzo

kenjamin (December 22, 2005)

I didn't even know they released a new album this year. Jesus christ, I am out of the loop. I will buy this as a gift to myself this holiday season.

moneenerd (December 21, 2005)

Anchors is my all time fave reviewer on this site. Good work, again!

colton (December 21, 2005)

So, I like this more than anything Pelican has ever done.

sallyjesse (December 21, 2005)

i just heard this band for the first time, and i now i want to go directly to the record store and buy a copy OF ANY HUM ALBUM.

fritobandito (December 21, 2005)

I liked this sooooo much more than Australasia. ohhh man.

ridiculously good album.

Imalwaysright (December 21, 2005)

Amazing album. Epic soundscapes that are amazing to drift off into with some head phones on. Screw all the anonymous people who talk shit. Pelican is greatness.

Anonymous (December 21, 2005)

fuck this shit

benz (December 21, 2005)

Shit is hot! A lot of people say they need a vocalist but I think it's plenty evocative without some terrible vocals/lyrics fucking it up. A lot of the bands I hate, I hate purely on a frontman level.

-benz

Anonymous (December 20, 2005)

This album is a bunch of pretentious crap.

"The Fire In Our Throats Will Beckon The Thaw?"

Howzabout "The Fire In Your Throat Will Beckon a Load of Thick, Chunk-style Man Oil?"

Anonymous (December 20, 2005)

This album has a place in my top 3 of 2005. Really great album.

Ramo

sethcohen (December 20, 2005)

They are going on tour with Mono late spring

Anonymous (December 20, 2005)

AM I THE ONLY ONE HEAR WHO WANTS TO PLAY LIKE THEY DID ON THAT FIRST EP!!

The second song on there was when they were gold not to say this stuff is bad but thats when they had it best.

aubin (December 20, 2005)

Great album; and it's definitely less Isis and more Mogwai this time around.

Anonymous (December 20, 2005)

album of the year

Anonymous (December 20, 2005)

I'm a massive Pelican fan but this album isn't a patch on Australasia. The poor version of March into the Sea, possibly the greatest thing they've recorded, is a complete kick in the teeth too. Even Ran Amber on the Mono split is better than Red Ran Amber.

Good... But not as good as it should have been. Check out the riffing on the new Capricorns album. The immense lack of heavy on this record shifted to that one.

Anonymous (December 20, 2005)

i think 5 stars might be stretching it, but this is a really good album. more of a mogwai vibe than the last one.

etwiels88 (December 20, 2005)

Out of all the bands like this, I could never get into Pelican

Russe11 (December 20, 2005)

This album is magical.

Steveman (December 20, 2005)

Saw these guys at Flower 15. Intense live show. Awesome band.

youwinalemon (December 20, 2005)

I need to check this shit out.

Anonymous (December 20, 2005)

Sounds too much like Limp Bizkit.

-Chinatown

Infrarecon (December 20, 2005)

This is among my top albums of the year and coincidentaly i was seriously debating writing a review for this as well.

Anonymous (December 20, 2005)

this is bad ass. fuck YES.

crazytoledo (December 20, 2005)

I really need to check this out because everything about this I've read has called it one of the years best albums.

Testiclese (December 20, 2005)

sooooooooo good!

Anonymous (December 20, 2005)

This is pretty good, but some portions of the record are downright boring, and just don't stand out.

I think Australasia is better than this - all of the songs on that have a more unique feel to them than the songs on this record.

Anonymous (December 20, 2005)

Am I the only person who thinks that this band isn't impressive? I find it to be boring. If anything, I find this album to be my biggest dissapointment of the year. Sorry folks.

J-Funk

theundergroundscene (December 20, 2005)

7/10

pwfanatic (December 20, 2005)

best record of the year hands down.

BJR (December 20, 2005)

i love this cd but does anyone think australasia was better???

johnnydanger (December 20, 2005)

i just wish it was heavier

Anonymous (December 20, 2005)

Don't blink, you could miss something

Anonymous (December 20, 2005)

Fuck these arty-farty idiots with their pretentious album titles.
Fuck this snobbish bullshit. I wish all the people who like this would die an exceptionally painful death.

Anonymous (December 20, 2005)

This is one of the best cds of the year. Also, the Pelican/ Mono split is just as good, and the Mono side is magical.

AlmostPunkEnough (December 20, 2005)

these dudes make some sick music, but i really have to be in teh mood for it. i gotta say they're right up there with Neurosis as far as being the best at waht they do.

Lapse (December 20, 2005)

thank you god for finally reviewing this.

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