It’s been about six years since Chicago instrumental metal greats Pelican released Forever Becoming, their last album. Since that time, they’ve been through some changes. Guitarist Laurent Schroeder-Lebec has left the band, and Dallas Thomas has stepped in to replace him. And the band has mourned the loss of Tusk singer Jody Minnoch, who died of an undisclosed heart ailment in 2014. (Half the members of Pelican also played in Tusk with Minnoch.) Next week, Pelican will come roaring back with Nighttime Stories — their first album since 2013, and their first since all these changes.
Pelican have generally been slotted into the hazy, tough-to-define “post-metal” category. They’ve toyed around with the sonics of various indie rock subgenres like math-rock and post-hardcore, and they’ve historically been as invested in tricky, proggy beauty as they have been in flattening you. But Nighttime Stories, while it plays around with plenty of different sounds and influences and moods, is a metal album. It is a grand, heavy, overwhelming statement, and it very rarely lets up.
We’ve already posted the early tracks “Midnight And Mescaline” and “Cold Hope.” And today, we get to hear Nighttime Stories in its entire wordless, skull-smashing glory. Right now, you can stream the whole album at NPR; listen here.