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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 critically acclaimed Australasia, followed in 2004 by The Fire in Our Throats Will Beckon the Thaw. After heavy touring, the quartet took a much-deserved break. They returned to the studio in 2006 and released City of Echoes in June 2007, followed by the live CD/DVD After the Ceiling Cracked later that December. What We All Come to Need, the band's fourth studio effort, appeared in 2009. While an EP, Ataraxia/Taraxis, arrived in 2012, that year would see the departure of Laurent Lebec, who was replaced by touring guitarist Dallas Thomas. Carrying on with a new lineup, the band released their fifth full-length, Forever Becoming, in 2013.
In 2015, Pelican released the Cliff EP. It featured the album tracks in four different versions, including remixes from Justin Broadrick, Aaron Harris, and Bryant Clifford Meyer. It also included a vocal version featuring Allen Epley and a previously unreleased track, the semi-acoustic "The Wait." ~ Eduardo Rivadavia & Thom Jurek, Rovi