Pelican: Australasia Australasia (2003)
You can tell this is going to be a bit more atmosphere-based than the debut from the opening of “Nightendday”, where a lonely melody is played on a clean, detuned guitar over some eerie backwards sounds. To my ears, this is still predominantly a sludge metal album though: More post-rock-like moments frequently show up, but they’re usually brief respites from all the slow heavy bits. I like this approach a lot, actually: the quieter moments stand out more specifically because they’re in the middle of an otherwise unremittingly loud song, and when the metal riffs do inevitably return, they feel harsher by contrast. This is particularly effective in the untitled closing track, which starts out as another slow, heavy trudger before going into an extended, dreamy interlude that could have come out of The Smashing Pumpkins
. Imagine you’re traveling through a desert during a sandstorm, but every once in a while the winds stop and you get to marvel at this beautiful, desolate landscape for a few moments before moving on.
Drought, Australasia, Untitled