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Pelican Confront Evils of the World with Bleak, Unifying Music

PelicanEven without lyrics, instrumental Chicago post-metal band Pelican create desperate and desolate scenarios with their music. There may not be a vocalist screaming through the tracks, but the band’s brooding riffs and seismic rhythm shifts are more than enough to create sonic violence and tension.

And the contrast between the serene and the serrated keeps the music flowing like blood from an open wound, even when the band is playing at its most hypnotic. For Pelican, beauty and tragedy are but a chord change apart.

“Our view of the world is just kind of dark and bleak,” drummer Larry Herweg told Noisecreep. “There are so many things falling apart and so many bad things happening around the world, and that’s where the darkness comes from. But at the same time, it’s important to stick together and try to get through the hard times. So I think the name of our new record, ‘What We All Come to Need,’ is a title for the times.”

Like many Americans, Pelican have been hit hard by the crumbling economy and had their spirits crushed by the ongoing wars overseas and natural disasters like the earthquake in Haiti. Messages of love and unity aren’t exactly evident in the droning, crashing soundscapes of ‘What We All Come to Need.’ Even so, Pelican want their music to help listeners realize the best way to survive calamity is by holding on to hope.

“I think the message of the album is ultimately positive,” Herweg said. “What we’re saying is, ‘Cherish your loved ones and family and friends, and stick together. Stay strong and keep some sort of hope inside of you for the future.’”

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