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Australasia
 
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Australasia

30 Aug. 2011 | Format: MP3

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Also available in CD Format
Song Title
Time
Popularity Prime  
30
1
11:14
30
2
8:23
30
3
10:59
30
4
3:34
30
5
5:20
30
6
10:48
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By A Customer on 29 Oct. 2003
Format: Audio CD
The much eagerly anticipated debut full length album by this instrumental four piece from Chicago finally arrives and it’s certainly well worth the wait!
Following on from their truly excellent (bordering on classic) Untitled EP reissued earlier this year also on Hydrahead, Australasia contains only six tracks but clocking in at a tad over 50 minutes it is a quite stunning piece of work. The production is again absolutely faultless, the guitars and bass sound Massive and the drums are as heavy as you could possibly want or even conceive. The overall affect is a truly magnificent sound, of which you probably couldn’t better in my opinion.
The opening track NightEndDay is a whopping 11 minutes long and as soon as you hear the reverb and bass line you know that Pelican are going to take you somewhere special. Pelican themselves say the album has a start middle and end; I like to call it a journey. The band’s sound is all about total immersion and huge great epic sweeping landscapes of sound (soundscapes?!) that sometimes leave you wondering what the hell you have just experienced but knowing full well you just have to listen to it again, and again and again…….
The album appears to be almost in two halves, NightEndDay sets it up nicely before the pummelling, thunderous and downright scary riffs of Drought leave you gasping as the incessant power of the band shine through in a track that I thought was similar in style and tone to Mammoth on the Untitled EP. The third track Angel Tears is a more “traditional” doom song, long chord sustain and slow rhythmic drumming prevail here until six and half minutes in and the tempo changes to a chug-a-thon with double kick bass drums going into overdrive.
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Format: Audio CD
Pelican's career is an interesting one for me. Being both a fan of post-rock and sludge/stoner metal (call it what you will), they often hit the spot perfectly. Their debut EP quenched my unabashed desires for monumental heaviness, sounding reminiscent of the most thunderous Isis or Neurosis climax, and the two latest releases ("The Fire In Our Throat..." and "City Of Echoes") are more geared towards the post-rock fan in me. Ultimately, I like these albums for different reasons. "Australasia", on the other hand, manages to combine these aforementioned qualities rather splendidly. It can whisk me up into ethereal places with its progressive post-rock styling, but equally, it can take my face off with outrageously powerful grooves.

Opener "Nightendday" is a perfect example of this. The song showcases airy, gentle, almost ambient moments - then there are typically Pelican melodic chord progressions - and then it is all shattered down with huge monolithic doom riffs. Perfect. And the rest of the album tends to follow suit. There is the utter groove-based sludge metal throughout "Drought" (quite possibly Pelican's most brutal and endearing piece to date) contrasting to the beautiful melodic strumming of "Angel Tears" and the serene acoustic untitled piece. The band really balances the album, giving just enough moments of splendid tranquillity to combat the monolithic heaviness. It is for this reason that I feel "Australasia" is Pelican's finest album to date. It manages to combine all the other standout elements of other releases, making it their most interesting and varied release. Fans of bands such as Isis, Neurosis, Mogwai, Red Sparrowes, Old Man Gloom etc will enjoy this.
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Format: Audio CD
Southern Lord sure do like their psychedelic bands. With Boris, Earth and Sunn O))) already on the books, and rising stars such as OM eagerly signing up, bands like Pelican aren't much of a surprise inclusion into the star studded world that is being signed to one of America's major record labels. This record is home to some of the metal industries best known and most loved doom/drone bands. These areas of metal are incredible psychedelic, a world that the reader should become accustomed to reading if they're likely to survive the mammoth world of Southern Lord geniuses at work. According to the additional information, Pelican originally started as a side project to the members' main band, Tusk. However, as the band have developed, the musicians behind the band have seemingly taken it upon themselves to make this their number one outlet of musical projections and thankfully so. Pelican began as a typical Southern Lord band, but have evolved into something extraordinary that cannot simply be contemplated by use of reading. The sound of this American band will often contain connotations to clichéd ideas.

Lexical fields will be something anyone who addresses the sound of Pelican will have to become accustomed to, just like we would have to when entering into the world of any established band who deal with purely instrumental based music and genres such as doom, drone and sludge are part of the history of said band. These genres are often described as; astral, cosmic, psychedelic, reflective, relaxing and even brutal given the fact that a lot of drone inspired bands can be very minimalistic and contain lengthy songs.
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