After four years of silence, instrumental metal standard bearers Pelican have come thundering back, with Forever Becoming, an eight-song album destined to be considered one of the most punishingly rewarding albums of the year.

Before their hiatus, the group had laid a sizeable chunk of the groundwork for the instrumental metal scene that's come into its own in the 13 years since they started playing together. After 2009 the band found itself slightly adrift, and found the day to day struggle of being full-time underground musicians colliding with new families and non-musical careers. Wisely, they didn't make any rash decisions, and as suits a band known for making dense, meditative sounds they simply patiently figured out how to move past their obstacles.

This reborn Pelican is purer, more focused, and far more assured. Recorded at Electrical Audio in Chicago with engineer Chris Common, and featuring The Swan King guitarist Dallas Thomas (replacing the amicably departed Laurent Schroeder-Lebec) Forever Becoming is an immense, speaker-rattling meditation on the infinite cycle of death and life. It takes a lot of experience and a lot of confidence to attempt a head-on ascent of the biggest, most monolithic theme in art, but Forever Becoming is proof that Pelican has plenty of both, and knows how to wield them.

*Forever Becoming release date: October 15th on Southern Lord Records. You can stream album track 'Immutable Dusk' via the below Soundcloud link.

*Pre-orders for Deny the Absolute b/w The Truce 7" out August 20th over at The Mylene Sheath.

Celebrating their 10th year as one of independent music's most substantive bands, Louisville's Coliseum return with their fourth full-length, the stunning Sister Faith, released on April 30, 2013 on Temporary Residence Ltd (Holy Roar in UK/Europe and Daymare in Japan). Expanding on the anthemic direction the trio veered toward on 2010's highly acclaimed House With a Curse, Sister Faith's 13 songs are the most dynamic and immediately captivating of the band's career, bristling with galvanizing melodies at the collision point between punk and noise-rock.

The first album to be recorded in producer J. Robbins' recently relocated Magpie Cage Studios, Sister Faith is also the first Coliseum recording to feature new bassist, Kayhan Vaziri, in addition to contributions from some of the groups' closest friends and musical peers: Wata of Boris, J. Robbins (Jawbox, Burning Airlines), and Jason Loewenstein (Sebadoh, The Fiery Furnaces), Jason Farrell (Swiz, Bluetip) all make small but memorable contributions.

John Baizley of Baroness recently wrote, "Musical progression tends to come at the expense of quality or ethics, and Coliseum have sacrificed neither. Though punk-rock may have been the template (and paradigms DO shift), songwriting and emotional content have become Coliseums focus, and to that end they have gracefully transitioned from the unrelenting anger, rage, and rawness of youth to a more thought-provoking, yet no-less-powerful or insightful sound that is entirely their own." Sister Faith is the encapsulation of that slow and steady transition, the new peak of Coliseum's highly creative and inspiring career.

Highway Cross

LillianGiven that they've been quiet for a while, I sometimes forget how much I love Cloak/Dagger. The Virginia hardcore band drops bullshit-free, Stoogey tunes of a most righteous quality. They even have good taste in record labels! Which is why I feel ever so slightly guilty about liking Highway Cross. Featuring (former?) Cloak/Dagger members Matt Michel and Colin Barth, Highway Cross continue that band's style, to the point that I feel like I'm committing audio infidelity.

Run Dry offers up four tunes on seven inches of vinyl, simply and expertly. The recording quality is a little cleaner that the graininess Cloak/Dagger favors (think Smoke or Fire), but the heart is still there. While nothing can quite top the joys of screaming "STAY WASTED" (I don't care how straight your edge gets, them shits is tru punx), Highway Cross still hit a sweet spot.

That's the biggest strength ’n weakness of being a no frills rock band. Highway Cross delivers a 7-inch that doesn't stray from a tried and/or true path. If you like opener "Ringing in My Ears," you will like closer "Run Dry." It doesn't matter which side you spin first; you can use the digital download code to play the songs in any order. But while that means there's a lil bit o' homogeny at play, it also means you cannot fuck with this formula. Coupled with this very punk rock 7-inch format, you cannot deny the tru punx qualities that are inherent. And, really, isn't that what makes our stupid lives tolerable?



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