Published Jun 05, 2019Against all odds, avant-garde post-metal is having its day in the sun. Once relegated to the fringes of the music scene, Pelican's brand of psychedelic noise has been growing into one of the most popular styles of metal today. Better late then never, since the band seem on the verge of their biggest breakthrough in years.
With more melodies, more layering and a newfound love for Queens of the Stone Age of all people, Nighttime Stories is probably the most accessible album Pelican have ever written. Not to say it doesn't still have crush-your-eyeballs doom riffs, like those on "Arteries of Blacktop" and "Cold Hope," but they're not delivered with the aggression they used to be.
Without vocals, the band have more room to move musically, and they let songs like "Midnight and Mescaline" take on a desert jam rock feel that would be impossible to replicate were you to add singing. If you like post-metal, but feel it could be less esoteric, this is for you.
Maybe Pelican haven't changed so much. Maybe the influx of bizarre fringe projects has dampened the impact of what used to be so strange. But Nighttime Stories is the most memorable Pelican album since 2009's What We All Come to Need. They're showing no signs yet of slowing down yet. (Southern Lord)