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Let Us Now Listen To The Discographies Of Various Musicians
Mike K

[table of contents]
Pelican: March Into The Sea and The Fire in Our Throats Will Beckon the Thaw
March Into The Sea (2005)

Another 30 minute "EP" - this time the label is a bit more justifiable because there are only two tracks and it basically functions as a teaser for The Fire in Our Throats Will Beckon the Thaw, which came out months later.

The title track was probably meant to be the main draw, and is probably still worth seeking out if you're a fan: Though "March Into The Sea" showed up on Fire In Our Throats... as "March to The Sea", this is an alternate, extended version that adds almost nine minutes to the run-time - at a little over 20 minutes, it's the biggest case of Epic Rocking the band have had so far. Most of that extra time is spent on an eight minute coda featuring acoustic guitar and mellotron; However, while they probably could have gotten away with just taking this version, lopping off those final eight minutes and giving it a premature fade for the album, this is actually an entirely different mix and recording of the song *. I wouldn't say this version is superior, but it certainly works just as well as the album version, and feels more like a synopsis of everything Pelican do in one track.

The other track here is a remix of the Australasia track "Angel Tears" by Justin Broadrick of Godflesh. It's a pretty interesting take on the song: At first what you're basically hearing is the original song with overdubbed droning keyboards, which already adds a different, more contemplative feel to the song. Then about 3/4 of the way through, most of the elements from the original drop out and we're left with those same synthesizer parts over a distorted, glitchy drum machine. It sort of splits the difference between being a remix and a full-on cover, all while still maintaining the spirit of the original song.

Primarily, I'd say this is a release for hardcore fans, but if you are one, it's notable for being a "teaser" that's still worth getting long after the album it promoted was actually released.

Key Tracks: March Into The Sea

The Fire in Our Throats Will Beckon the Thaw (2005)

This seems to be the album that broke them to a bigger audience, or at least got them some coverage outside of publications specializing in metal. Perhaps not coincidentally, at this point it was the most they'd focused on the post-rock elements of their sound. Which is not to say this can't still be a heavy album - "March To The Sea" is pretty much 12 minutes of non-stop furious riffs, and there are aggressive moments throughout, they're generally but one part of a song that hits several other different moods. Actually, "March To The Sea" may be the only track here where the louder parts read as "ominous" - elsewhere they're using heavy guitar tones to play more triumphant-sounding major key sections, which in a way makes me think more of a certain subset of 90's alternative rock than it does most metal - I'm thinking of bands like Hum, and again, early Smashing Pumpkins, who sort of mixed Alternative Metal elements with a more atmospheric, Shoegaze-inspired approach.

The one issue I have comes down to drumming again, but for different reasons than before - I've gotten used to Larry Herweg's somewhat plodding style, but while it works for the heavier or faster moments, there are times when his pounding and gratuitous cymbal crashing just end up stomping all over what are supposed to be more delicate moments of songs. Still, I can see where this got them more acclaim aside from being less metal-based - it was their most well-produced, dynamic album at that point in their careers.

Key Tracks: Autumn Into Summer, March To The Sea, Sirius
20th Jul '12 10:32:43 PM flag for mods
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