Stream it below:
I can honestly say that Pelican have provided me with some incredible musical mementos, from their heavier early days through to their more recent melodic period, which on occasion has journeyed with me on an almost personal level, being the commuting man I am. Still, I’m not a cannot of any sort. I was oblivious to the fact they last toured over here with Torche in 2008 and only found out they stopped off in Manchester thanks to a flyer I spotted on my way home from a Meshuggah concert on the very same day.
Hence, I and a lot of fans have long awaited Pelican’s return to these shores, which was finally to arrive this past week. I made no secret of my anticipation of these shows through this site, so Monday 9th April turned out to be a quietly but keenly anticipated evening, a correction of my previous oversight.
I’ve been doing gigs for nearly eleven years now but this was my first time ever at the Brudenell Social Club, a venue that appears to excellently marry a modern day gig venue with the quirks and hallmarks of traditional working men’s clubs (a fading hallmark of UK culture, eroded by modernization and town/city centre pubs, clubs and bars). It provides an intimate setting for performers and paying punters alike, and a perfect one at that for Pelican to deliver their set.
Pelican pull largely from their recent output for this show (‘City of Echoes‘ through to new release ‘Ataraxia/Taraxis‘), but stick mainly to the heavier and shorter songs that provide most energy to their show. ‘Lathe Biosas’, one of the two newies in the setlist, is a superb opening riff machine, creating a simultaneous throng of flashbulbs and headbangers alike. It flows seamlessly between ‘Echoes‘ and ‘What We All Come to Need‘ material, laying on thick heavy grooves through ‘Ephemeral’ and ‘An Inch Above Sand’. They do treat the audience to one oldie, ‘Mammoth’, during their encore, and is everything its name suggests – ultra heavy, trudging, crushing in every sense.
We got a little over an hour from Pelican tonight, and perhaps would have liked a bit more from them – but then, it was a Bank Holiday and the turnout was impressive for a Monday, though not quite a sellout. But instrumental bands often take flak for not being entertaining enough, if that’s the right word. Pelican tonight showed why they’ve stuck around so long and continue to drive forward, proving once again you don’t need a vocalist conjuring demons through their voice to make for a heavy force. Pelican are much more engaging for that, and let’s hope its not another four years before they return to these shores again.
*Apologies to Blacklisters and Bleaklow, whose sets I didn’t catch as I was tending to my fatherly duties back home, which will always come first. Hope you had a blast.
Yes yes y’all, Pelican are hitting the UK‘s shores this week! We’ve been mega excited for this tour since it was announced way back in November last year. They’re soon to officially release their new EP ‘Ataraxia/Taraxis’ through Southern Lord on Monday April 9th, a date which sees their gig in Leeds on the 9th as a record release show!
Les Voyages De L’Âme
It’s been a wondrous couple of years for French multi-instrumentalist Neige, whose seen his work spread out globally, all to widespread critical acclaim and wanderlust. His main concern, Alcest, took off spectacularly with ‘Écailles de Lune‘, an album that unquestionably made waves within the black metal scene. Neige also provided lead vocals on ‘Agape‘ by German atmospheric black metallers released Lantlôs, further broadening his spectrum and reducing hardened metallers to their knees in awe.
I’m not saying this as a superfan, because I’m not. In actual fact, while I enjoyed the previous Alcest album, it took a while to grow on me. That’s not to fault the album, just it didn’t have that effect on me that it certainly had on a lot of other people. With that said, its pleasing to report that ‘Les Voyages de L’Âme‘ (translating to English as ‘Voyages of the Soul’) is every bit the success that meets the lofty (if quiet) expectations now expected of Alcest.
It begins with ‘Autre Temps’ which begins softly with some solitary guitar, which builds up a little into the opening verse which re-introduces us to Neige’s soulful croon. The gentle opening does eventually open up into slightly heavier waters, the first signs of which occur during ‘Là où Naissent Les Couleurs Nouvelles’. Even the blast sections don’t encourage headbanging, even when Neige is letting out a rare roar over them, so awashed in shoegaze elements they are. They do turn up at welcome moments that provide that little bit of variety to keep it interesting all the way through, driving ‘Beings of Light’ despite the caress of some higher pitched vocals. But your most likely to find yourself applauding them, or even finding some ethereal beauty in them as you might during ‘Faiseurs des Mondes’, one of ‘Les Voyages‘ many highlights. A credit to the only other member of Alcest, drummer Winterhalter, whose performance here might well be understated in the shadow of Neige’s large contribution.
But to try and point out every high point of the record is a fruitless task. To pick out a low point is impossible, cos there simply aren’t any. We are seventeen days into January as this post goes live, and already we have an album of the year contender. It’s rare you get metal albums of this ilk that won’t just capture the imagination for the moment, but will echo throughout time. ‘Les Voyages de L’Âme‘ is all that and so much more.
The flyer speaks for itself. Personally, I’m completely stoked for this. Massive, massive Pelican fan and never got round to seeing them. Monday April 9th, 2012 will change that. Nice.
Yes, the post-metal uber-dudes return to the UK for the first time in three years, stopping at seven venues along the way. No supports announced yet, but already is a tasty looking treat for 2012.
Well, this is it. The ‘Kin Hell Fest is now less than 24 hours away! So without further ado, We Must Obey completes its in-depth preview of Leeds’ newest all-dayer and takes a look at the final four bands:
Described by many as one of the UK’s best live acts, Astrohenge do away with genres, refusing to be pigeonholed as their music bounds across different soundscapes and styles with a stubborn refusal to be anything ordinary. This London lot are probably going to be one of the highlights of the day, a treat not to be missed. Facebook
Astrohenge – Chapter One (live)
Ingested – Skinned and Fucked (official video)
All ticket information etc. can be found within that press release, but for those of you without, you may wish to go through the official channels – the ‘Kin Hell Fest website and the event pages on the social networks, with it being such short notice. That said, there should still be tickets available on the door on the day – just make sure you check first, to be on the safe side.
So, ‘Kin Hell Fest. Tomorrow. 12:00pm. ‘Ave it!