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City of Echoes

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iTunes Review

Pelican’s third studio long-player finds the Chicago quartet pulling in the reins of their instrumental epics to offer compositions shorter in length but just as powerful (if not more so) than the recordings that comprise their two preceding albums. Upon close listen, the band’s implementation of verse-chorus-verse architecture reveals that Pelican are building actual song structures here, rather than blasting off into the stratosphere without a map. Opener “Bliss In Concrete” has memorable changes that are almost as catchy as any hook-laden pop song. Their winning combination of post-rock and doom metal leans on the former more often than before, especially in the melodic title-track and the gossamer “Spaceship Broken – Parts Needed.” Another noticeable change in the band’s musicianship surfaces in the kind of taut changes and unspoken communication between players that could only have blossomed from the incessant touring of their first two albums. The ferocious “Lost In the Headlights” is a prime example of the band’s ability to keep their changes vacuum-tight while allocating propulsive riffs underneath exploding leads before pulling it all back in with a soft recoil.

Customer Reviews

A personal favorite

This album has stood out as one of the best in recent years. Pelican not only creates a wonderful atmosphere with the beautifully crafted guitars, but the band creates an amazing soundscape when playing together. I always read reviews about how bad the drummer is, I think that is absurd. The drums, maybe not as polished or precise as other bands, certainly create a raw and unique sound. This album stands out, and I'm sure they can only continue to improve.


I'm stoked I found this band. So many times I'd be into a song only to be disappointed by the lyrics. Pelican solved this problem, no lyrics. This dynamic instrumental is amazing, the layered guitars, with songs that range from acoustic bliss to crushingly heavy riff laden tracks. If you like 'Orion' by Metallica you'll like this. I haven't been absorbed by an album like I have with this one in a very long time.

Great Band

Any ultra-negative reviews of this album, or the drummer, are from self-glorified critics with more time on their hands than they know what to do with. This album is great, and the drummer's loose playing fits in fine with this band. It gives a certain charm to the music that a more technically precise drummer would take away.


Formed: 1998 in Chicago, IL

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s, '10s

The secretive instrumental art metal outfit Pelican was formed in Chicago by guitarists Trevor de Brauw and Laurent Lebec, as well as bassist Larry Herweg and his sibling drummer, Bryan. Owing a great debt to pioneering forefathers Neurosis and often compared to Boston's Isis, Pelican coincidentally also found a home at Isis mastermind Aaron Turner's Hydra Head Records. After making their debut with an eponymous four-song EP in 2003, Pelican expanded their epic, otherworldly trance-metal with 2003's...
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City of Echoes, Pelican
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Customer Ratings


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