Pelican March into the Sea

Windy City blowhards Pelican have finally recorded some experimental art-thrash that even occasional metal heads can enjoy. March into the Sea is a two-song EP that spotlights a new, 20-minute cut and a remix by Godflesh/Jesu brainchild Justin Broadrick. After a good seven minutes of non-stop bashing, the title track finally opens up to uncover more sensuous, 5ive-styled layers beneath the surface. Drummer Bryan Herweg inexplicably creates continuous cymbal crashes (possibly with tympani mallets) for a seamless shushing effect, as the guitars roll and rumble by unabatedly. At the 12-minute mark, the aggression ablates to expose ominous, Isis-like acoustic guitars, unobtrusive piano chords, and a flute (surely a first for a Hydra Head release) that hearkens back to King Crimson’s 1969 debut. At 18:40, the piano fades out to leave behind slowly throbbing keyboard notes, the echoes of which linger long after the track ends. A cropped version of this song will also appear on Pelican’s upcoming The Fire in our Throats Will Beckon the Thaw full-length this summer. As for Broadrick, his eidetic remix of "Angel Tears” (from 2003’s Australasia) is strictly for diehards, as it suffers from the same abyssal monotony that sunk Jesu’s inaugural Heart Ache EP last year. Left to their own devices, Pelican certainly have the ability to transcend metal mediocrity, and they catch sight of their creative zenith at last with this material. (Hydra Head)