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City of Echoes

19 customer reviews

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Audio CD, June 5, 2007
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Editorial Reviews

Their third record is a series of (r)evolutionary instrumental ruminations on touring and the homogenous effects of globalization. With shorter songs and expanded catchiness, "City Of Echoes" is Pelican's "pop album". After exploring Earth's melodicism, Goatsnake riffery, and Hum post-rock textures, they've now decided to drastically reduce their song length and deliver a driving rock record. "One minute you're being sucked down by an undertow of surging, cascading guitar riffs and crashing drums, and the next you're being lulled to sleep at the bottom of an ocean of soothing ambience. A positively elemental album for scope, ambition, and vision" - Kerrang. "Pelican sculpt triumphant epics as awe-inspiring and unstoppable as shifting glaciers" - Revolver.


Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 5, 2007)
  • Original Release Date: 2007
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Hydrahead Records
  • ASIN: B000PA9OP2
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #88,886 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By V.D.M. on June 5, 2007
Format: Audio CD
City of Echoes is much different than its predecessor The Fire in Our Throats Will Beckon the Thaw, but it triumphs beautifully. Many Pelican fans will write this off as "not heavy enough," but that would be an insult to the band. It still has the awesome sludgy riffs and dark melodies, but there is a different mood than their EP or their first two albums. From the rocking opener Bliss In Concrete to the gorgeous title track and to the epic album closer A Delicate Sense of Balance, this CD should please most Pelican fans and win over some new ones in the process.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Shanghaied on June 26, 2007
Format: Audio CD
Compared to their last LP, "The Fire In Our Throats Will Beckon the Thaw," City Of Echoes is a much safer release. Just looking at the track time and overall length of the album should lend some insight to this; the average track time of TFIOTWBTT was a whopping 8:20, whereas the average here is around 5:19 (admittedly, the latter's track count was greater by 1). The longest track in The Fire was over eleven minutes long, while Echoes longest, the title track, only measures in at 7. Also, City of Echoes is about 16 minutes shorter than TFIOTWBTT.

What this does to the sound is even more obvious; Echoes sounds much more organized and harmonic, even condensed when compared with TFIOTWBTT. Each song seems to sustain itself, though there is variation. For example, my personal favorite, track 3, begins with a simple, repeated piano note that in an almost symphonic progression is fleshed out into a full, more staggering chorus of guitar. The interesting aspect here is that it doesn't grow into a towering wave like, say "The Last Days of Winter" did on TFIOTWBTT, but has what you might consider checkpoints where the song grows. This could be anything from another guitar layer to a change in riffs. Either way the sound doesn't sneak up on you as it has on other releases, but rather jumps at you suddenly.

This album doesn't sound quite as epic; instead it sounds intelligent and meticulous, and I have to say that I grow more fond of its accessibility and forwardness with each listen. Perhaps you could slake it up to the band wanting a safer record as I already have, but the bottom line is that the music is still well executed and definitely exhibits movement and variation.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Tom Chase on June 18, 2007
Format: Audio CD
"City of Echoes" is Pelican's third LP and continues the band's style of instrumental post-rock/metal. Gone are the drawn-out progressive pieces such as "March to the Sea" or "Nightendday" that took the listener on lengthened ten minute plus journeys. Instead "City of Echoes" delivers eight condensed and concise tracks, all roughly around the six-minute mark, and all keeping the themes and ideas trim and tight.

Obviously personal taste will have a major role in determining the result of this new direction. I can see it bringing in new fans due to accessibility, or perhaps reeling back old listeners who became bored with the old longer compositions. On the flipside I can also see it disappointing a portion of fans - those that liked the band's progressive approach. Initially I was quite firmly in the latter camp, irritated by my initial listens I thought Pelican had completely lost their song writing ability, as the album sounded like a confused mess of noise and heavy riffs. But it really did grow after a few more listens, and I began to pick out song structures that initially seemed scrambled.

I appreciate "City of Echoes" more by treating it as one large song, as this way I find it encompasses all of the old elements combined into a more dynamic and contrasting composotion - an aspect lacking in many of the individual compositions. This includes the rich and beautiful acoustic passages (represented by my favourite track on the album "Winds With Hands"), melancholy guitar motifs (evident throughout but most notably in the beautiful title track and "Far from Fields") and thundering riffs (something in plenty with the monstrous "Dead Between The Walls", and the fierce climax to the opener "Bliss In Concrete").
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A. Stutheit on March 15, 2013
Format: Audio CD
On their third full-length, Chicago's Pelican craft songs that manage to be twice as memorable, if only half as long, as the ones they were recording at the beginning of their career (see 2003's "Australasia," etc.). Simultaneously commandingly heavy, beautifully progressive, extremely intelligently written, and full of nooks and crannies that unveil themselves more and more with each and every listen, 2007's "City Of Echoes" is the progressive sludge/doom metal quartet's finest and most accomplished hour to date.

Part of its smashing success is owed to the fact that Pelican have huge instrumental chops that simply cannot be messed with. So even though the band opts for lengthy, Isis-inspired instrumental journeys quite often, they can also throw down the Mastodon/Godflesh-worthy heaviness with the best of `em. This is partially due to the fact that the guitarist crank out muscle-bound riffs with ease, but it is also due to the fact that Pelican now have a drummer, Larry Herweg, who has played with such heavyweights as Lair Of The Minotaur and Tusk. As such, there is a subtle, yet undeniable grindcore tinge to this album's arrangements. As a result, the album finds the perfect equilibrium of beauty and punishing brutality, light and dark, aggression and restraint.

"City Of Echoes" kicks off with a sludgy, towering doom-laden dirge anchored by droning guitars and a dirty-sounding bass bottom that gives the arrangements a positively grungy feel (at least at first). The first seventyor-so seconds of "Bliss In concrete" is really gloomy, sluggish, and hypnotically trance-inducing; but then the opener switches gears, ascending to brutal, up-tempo metal riffage, laying one massive (and eminently memorable) Black Sabbath riff on top of another.
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