With the recent release from Pelican, a four song EP breaking their three year silence much like they broke onto the scene in 2003, and the fact that instrumental heaviness has been executing the eardrums at Adrenochrome in the recent past, the mighty, thunderous instrumentalists are the topic of today’s post.
Ataraxia/Taraxis was released on the 10 April this year to a blinding reception. This is surely the release to please the majority. It has elements of many of the different aspects of Pelican’s progression over the years, for me it does a good job of encapsulating the rather intense decade or so spent with this band and in just four tracks.
The word Ataraxia means a psychologically lucid state. The state of freedom from emotional disturbance and most importantly, anxiety. It is cognitive tranquillity, peace of mind at the core and the EP is an aural distillation of this idea. The therapeutic title track was the last to be written for the record and is in the same key and tempo as the following track Lathe Biosas, the two combining to start the EP strongly. The EP finishes with the giant sounds of Parasite Colony and Taraxis, the latter being described by Trevor de Brauw as ‘by far the most ambitious recording experiment our band has ever done’, Rock-A-Rolla magazine, issue 37. With the band members living in separate cities most of the EP was constructed using home demos and file swapping. It was literally built as recordings and never once played together as a band.
The EP has everything, the peaceful and really quite comforting melodies of What We All Come To Need coupled with the colossal riffage of Australasia, whilst leaving plenty of room for the musical exploration of their other work. It is comprised of two songs written for WWACTN but not finished in time to make it onto the full length and two songs that are fairly major compositional experiments. Due to the nature of the recording process it wasn’t until late on that the final order of things was put into place. Rumour has it also that the band are in the process of putting together another full length, of course we’ll keep you posted on anything we hear regarding this.
Ataraxia/Taraxis is out now on Southern Lord.