Pelican_-_Forever_BecomingDid you miss Pelican as much as I did? As much of a fan as I was of last year’s Ataraxia/Taraxis EP I’d rather a full-length so the announcement of Forever Becoming being released, Pelican’s fifth full-length, definitely caused some dancing around the Popblerd offices (On my part at least).

Speaking of the EP, it was a great indicator of what was coming as Forever Becoming is all around a little looser production-wise (With What We All Come To Need’s Chris Common back at the helm) but gets back to some of the darker tones and expansiveness that the monolithic Australasia brought to the table. “Terminal” is this ethereal, almost mystical beast that begins with Larry Herweg’s subdued thundering and immediately sets the tone for the whole album. Bryan Herweg enters with some fuzzed out bass sounds until we’re introduced to new guitarist Dallas Thomas (Replacing Laurent Schroeder-Lebec) alongside fellow axe slinger Trevor de Brauw to complete the Pelican package.

The album version of “Deny The Absolute” sounds a little faster and definitely crunchier in the guitar department than on the version that appeared on The Mylene Sheath’s 7″ released earlier this year. “The Tundra” is gigantic and is a definitive Pelican tune featuring some mammoth-sized riffing from de Brauw and Thomas leading to a massive conclusion that sees the entire band in synch and firing on all cylinders. Following that is the slow burn of “Immutable Dusk” which is the first real long player on here and leads nicely into the equally heavy and lengthy “Threnody” with its’ southern twang mixed with some Tool-ish bass lines from Herweg making this one of the most interesting and eclectic Pelican songs yet.

From there on out Forever Becoming continues down the road to, ahem, “becoming” one of Pelican’s finest works to date with “Vestiges” being another stand out and closer “Perpetual Dawn” just basking in brilliance.

Forever Becoming is out through Southern Lord on October 15th. Get your copy here.

Grade: A





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