Pelican, with Thrice and Circa Survive

In no rock subgenre is the guitar solo more integral than in metal, and sounds unheard, you could be forgiven for thinking that "instrumental metal" would describe songs that are merely extended solos. Pelican's music is more intricate than that, as befits a band that came up in Chicago's experiment-friendly scene. Pelican may now call Los Angeles home, but their metal riffs still rest atop the post-rock dirge so associated with the Windy City. What's more, Pelican's atmospheric and melodic songs often owe more to Billy Corgan than Yngwie Malmsteen. Much of last year's City of Echoes brings to mind grunge-era Smashing Pumpkins (sans words, of course), yet the foursome throws in a gut-wrenching riff here and a double kick drum there, if only to remind you they aren't simply aping Mogwai or Explosions in the Sky. Bring earplugs.

 
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