Pelican Ataraxia/Taraxis

Progressive instrumental band Pelican (who recently celebrated their ten-year anniversary) return with their highly anticipated follow-up to 2009's impressive What We All Come to Need. Four-song EP Ataraxia/Taraxis is a natural evolution from that previous release, showcasing their trademark thunderous post-rock sound. It isn't an easy time for melodic instrumental outfits, with the ever-shortening attention spans of listeners, but Pelican once again manage to reel you in as soon as opening track "Ataraxia" kicks in, holding you throughout. The doomy "Parasite Colony" is the standout of the four tracks, featuring one of their heaviest, crunchiest riffs in years. Each song on Ataraxia/Taraxis is diverse, with moments of melodious prog-rock, powerful riffs and hazy ambience; however, there's also cohesion to the EP that makes it feel expansive and utterly epic. If Ataraxia/Taraxis is any indication of what to expect from their upcoming full-length, Pelican still have great things to offer. (Southern Lord)