Pelican's instrumental heaviness was full-formed at birth in 2001 with a monstrous debut that Hydra Head bestowed upon the world. The brutalist forms of metal were long a grounding presence in the songs of Pelican; but in the years leading up to their iconic 2007 album City Of Echoes, the band shed some but certainly not all of the metal tropes that informed their first fruits. An ebullient temperament teases through the guitar work that laces through City Of Echoes from Trevor de Brauw and Laurent Schroeder-Lebec. Pelican's sharp mimesis of the Takoma ellipsis and the dangling participles of math-rock complication paralleled the likes of Explosions In The Sky and Rodan with a gifted knack for lachrymose celebration. Yet time and again, Pelican's reprises the violent crack of metal through the heavy riffage of downtuned post-hardcore chug and double-kick blastbeats, making any Pelican song an unpredictable journey. The albums opening cut "Bliss In Concrete" sets the stage with a series of interlocked riffs of crunched guitar and bass, with the stylistic transitions pronounced by the drums of complicated time signatures rapidly changing course only to double up on the snare and kick, only to glide into a pop-punk immediacy of the now. Similarly, the titular track skips to a doleful guitar jangle out of the early '90s indie-rock playbook, then taking a very Pelican left-turn with a mighty crescendo of galloping hardcore that never seems out of place. Assymetrical by design, City Of Echoes erupts through its kinetic compositions deliberately seeking a panoply of emotional content through melody, harmony, dissonance, and noise. No words necessary for these sermons of jubilation tempered with aggression and consternation.