Album Review: Pelican - 'Ataraxia/Taraxis'

8 April 2012 | 6:27 pm | Staff Writer
Originally Appeared In

Lots packed into little.

More Pelican More Pelican

Chicago post-metal rockers Pelican sure do love their EPs, releasing five in an eleven year period in between their four full length album releases. The latest is titled 'Ataraxia/Taraxis' and features four powerful tracks that will leave fans of the band hungry for more.

The songs were created by making recordings in multiple studios, often not with one another, and compiling the results, an experiment which the band have indicated they plan to explore further in the future. Whilst this method should possibly give the songs, and record, a disjointed feel, the opposite is actually the case with all of the tracks fitting together nicely.

Opening track Ataraxia sets the scene with a lush landscape devoid of drums and powered by acoustic guitars, jazz pianos and touches of electronica. As far as instrumental groups go, Pelican are one of the finest at filling the void usually consumed by vocals with interesting instrumental quirks.

All four tracks are extremely diverse with second song Lathe Biosas, lifting the energy with a solid rock guitar riff and pounding drums right from its opening seconds. The thundering guitars drive the song and often seem to duel with the percussion line, with both horses taking slight breaks to allow the listener to breathe before crashing back in with all kinds of mayhem.

Parasite Colony contains the most emotion and atmosphere, albeit an incredibly dark and gloomy one, bringing across the vibe of loss or defeat, a total contrast to the track that came before it. The EP ends with Taraxis, a perfect companion piece to the opening track, once again conveying a sparse, airy and open environment which is centred around the strings and keys, using little else to help it tell the story.

Pelican know how to craft special little journeys on their EPs and 'Ataraxia/Taraxis' is one of their finest. The dynamics that are featured in such a short amount of time are brilliant and this is not one to miss for lovers of instrumental music.

1. Ataraxia
2. Lathe Biosas
3. Parasite Colony
4. Taraxis