Pelican - What We All Come To Need review
|Album:||What We All Come To Need|
|Release date:||October 2009|
02. The Creeper
04. Specks Of Light
05. Strung Up From The Sky
06. An Inch Above Sand
07. What We All Come To Need
08. Final Breath
Two years down the road after Pelican's third release Echoes and they are back yet again to share with us their crushing instrumental metal. As a reminder, Echoes stirred some controversy among fans, many of them blaming the band's shift into a cleaner and less dense sound while others were accepting the slight change and were able to get on with their lives. Hence, it doesn't come as a surprise that the expectations for What We All Come to Need were like a bag of mixed nuts. Many different assumptions and feelings were involved before the release of the album. A dramatic and confusing time for the internet it was. As we fast forward through time back to the present a few months after the new album hit the shelves, I can safely share my impression on it.
For those of you hoping that Pelican revert back to their early days of "heavy wall sound" you will be disappointed. However, it isn't like the band is a stranger from what it used to be, as the defining elements of their music are still present and that's the crucial part. This time around, the Chicago based group opt for a more straightforward sound much in the continuation of Echoes but perhaps with more of an emphasis on their minor key/doom tinged sounding passages, for the most part. The album brings us the bone crushing riffs they're known for as well as the nice atmospheric and nostalgic parts that are capable of moving so many. Perhaps that the latter mentioned feature of their sound is less effective due to the cleaner production, thus the less pervasive magic dissonance brings to us sound junkies.
Nevertheless, where Pelican's sound doesn't exactly brew up the perfect storm as it once did; "Drought" and "March to the Sea" coming to mind immediately, their song writing has taken a more cohesive and effective direction. As I've mentioned above, the album is more straightforward this time around, the songs have a more concise nature to them giving them a strong punch and ultimately leads to the album being a memorable one, more so than any of their previous efforts. It ends up being a very satisfying listen with many of the catchy riffs being reminiscent of Black Sabbath or some sludge metal in general.
In the end, What We All Come to Need doesn't match the brilliance of The Fire in Our Throats... nor Australasia. The album being a more accessible listen comes with its advantages (more memorable) and its disadvantages (less original). Regardless, if you take this album on its own instead of sobbing all over the already mouldy cover of your Australasia copy, you should be able to appreciate it as it is still a fine slab of instrumental music and Pelican are still one of the contenders of the post-metal genre.
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