PELICAN: What We All Come to Need: CD/LP

I have been really fortunate in coming across some remarkable albums this year. Especially in heavy music, it’s been a quality year (Isis, Converge, Slayer, etc.) Pelican’s latest and their first on Southern Lord (Boris, Sunn O))), Earth) didn’t let me down. In fact, I’d say this is easily their best album, even better than the fucking triumphant The Fire in Our Throats Will Beckon the Thaw. The eight tracks herein aren’t as long as some of their previous releases, with everything tracking in between four and eight minutes. Unlike the upbeat, righteous sound of their past work, What We All Come to Need has somewhat of a hesitant, contemplative sound. It’s not always blistering guitar attacks but there aren’t any acoustic interludes, either. Pelican hits it right on, balancing the melancholy with the edgy and pulling it off big time. There’s no standing back from the album; the riffs are too engaging. The textures and atmosphere give off an almost autumnal feel. There are a number of guest spots on the album with the biggest being Allen Epley of The Life And Times providing vocals on the last track, “Final Breath.” It’s a first for Pelican, but it sounds beautiful. This album works great as both background music while reading or when you want to rock out. It definitely covers all the bases. There’s no doubt this will be in my top five for the year.

 –kurt (Southern Lord)