Pelican – Ephemeral EP (Southern Lord Records)

Saturday, 16th March 2013
Rating: 7.5/10

A stop-gap EP before the next full-length (due sometime later this year or early 2010), Ephemeral is merely a snippet of what Pelican (far and away the best instrumental metal band of the last decade) can do. For those of us who know what the band are capable of, as in 2005’s earth-shattering The Fire In Our Throats Will Beckon the Thaw, the prospect of new Pelican material is always an exciting one, so there’s no letdown here – just more mounds of anticipation piled on.

Buoyed by their recent hook-up with Southern Lord, the Chicago/Los Angeles-based quartet continue to drive home their sonically dense template of post-metal riffage with shoe gaze sensibilities on Ephemeral…all without vocals, naturally. Purely for the sake of reference, Ephemeral picks up where the band left off on 2007’s City of Echoes. There appears to be more of a reliance on straight-ahead, less sideways riffing on “Embedding the Moss,” while “Ephemeral” opens things up a bit more with loose, jangly riffs and a steady, driving beat. A cover of Earth’s “Geometry of Murder” (with Dylan Carson) rounds out this 3-song affair.

Hardly mandatory (that distinction would belong to the aforementioned The Fire In Our Throats Will Beckon the Thaw), Ephemeral is another winner in the band’s flawless catalog. They’ve yet to disappoint, so no major expectations for the next full-length, ok? Right, guys? Guys?

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