Boomkat Product Review:
Remastered by Josh Bonati, Pelican's 2007 album is a celebration of serrated, angular instrumental metal that takes as much from post-rock as it does from Sabbath. One for the ISIS and Melvins fans, for sure.
Remember Pelican? Back in the '00s they were emblematic of the burgeoning "post-metal" scene, a small but perfectly formed group of bands like ISIS and Jesu who spiced up post-rock's drama and emotion with technical, distorted riffs and rapid-fire drums. 'City of Echoes' isn't as well known or as highly regarded as Pelican's now classic debut 'Australasia' or its Hydra Head-released follow-up 'The Fire in Our Throats will Beckon the Thaw', but it's aged well. The sonic advancements they made that polarized listeners at the time now sound prescient: their songs are more focused and less jammy than previously, and their production has been cleaned up and tweaked to match big room rock acts of the day. When it was released, fans who claimed Pelican for the underground were annoyed that the moves they'd made felt like selling out - listening now there's none of those suggestions muddying the experience.
Particularly, Larry Herweg's drums - previously a sore point for many listeners - sound fatter and more intricate than ever, providing a solid base for Trevor DeBrauw and Laurent Schroeder-Lebec's powerful riffs. The blast beat sections are particularly memorable, and on 'Spaceship Broken - Parts Needed', Herweg shimmies into overdrive, rattling out double-time rhythms while his bandmates offer a heavier answer to Slint's finger-twisting melodics.