Genre: Technical/Progressive Rock/Metal
Location: New York City, New York
Now I know what you might be thinking when you see a song that’s 17 minutes long, “You really expect us to listen to that? That’s like 3 songs in one?” But trust me, as you listen to it, it doesn’t feel very long at all. This amazing piece takes you on a journey – a journey through groovy, fresh guitar solos, funky riffs, dynamic ups and downs and Mike Portnoy’s expert drums.
That’s right. This project was founded by Mike Portnoy of Dream Theater as a side project (but ended up roping in John Petrucci and Jordan Rudess…so it was kind just like a different flavor of Dream Theater???) They also had bassist Tony Levin of King Crimson playing with them.
One thing that made me laugh was when I read that Portnoy’s first choice for a guitarist was Dimebag Darrell…you know…of Pantera. Of course Dimebag was an amazing guitarist, but somehow this doesn’t really seem like his style.
A testament to the incredible talent of these band members is that the albums were mostly improvised.
“Sólstafir” is the Icelandic word for “radiating sun beams”
As the fall brings us closer to the dreary and dark time of the year, I begin to bust out my dark emotional music. I’m not exactly sure how to categorize these guys musically – not that everything needs a category. They started out as a viking/black metal band, yet now they have more of a post-metal, rock sound. Their music is dreary and emotional.
Fjara means “Beach,” which explains why this video is on a beach! Wow! Look at my amazing powers of reason.This video itself is very mysterious and leaves more questions than answers. It also gives you a chance to enjoy the beautiful Icelandic landscape.
Reading the lyrics leads me to believe that the song is about dragging around the burden of past memories and broken promises. Perhaps the landscape of the beach is significant, because the beach is where the land comes to an end and new life begins. Finally, when the protagonist of our video gets to the end of the line, a waterfall, she thrusts herself and the boat – or it might be a coffin (as Eaarth Animist astutely pointed out) over the edge, bringing an end to all the past pain and hurt.
This is the furthest I will go.
Never the same again.
The vile path calling me,
the day I ran from life again.
If I win this one time,
it will still be the end of me.
My belief that nothing ends well.
This is the end for me.
Day and night heart was uneased.
Broken will frozen smile.
Riding on, heart pumping tears.
Day and night I walk alone.
Bones rotting in the earth,
like your secrets
that you long kept from me.
But blood weighs more than silence.
Broken words, shards in your mouth,
cut deeper than any wound.
Broken vows will never be the same.
Lies like the viper’s bite.
I feel like this music takes your mind on a peaceful, trippy journey. There are no vocals, just the gentle lilting of the guitar. It comes in slowly, from the distance, much like an Aurora Borealis spotted in the sky.
SOUND: Pelican began by recording a more doom metal sound. But now they are more known for their post rock, experimental sound.
ORIGIN: They hail from Evanston Illinois.