City of Echoes [Hydra Head]

They’ve been called instru-metal, post-rock, and all sorts of other monikers, but the sprawling, arty metal of Pelican transcends simple genre classifications. City of Echoes, the group’s third full-length album, is a heavy, sprawling record that, amazingly enough, never grows tiring to listen to. Much of this is due to guitarists Trevor de Brauw and Laurent Lebec, as their epic, de-tuned riffery isn’t couched in faux processed heaviness—their tones are real, often straddling the line between clean and overdriven. And those organic electric tones paired with glorious splashes of acoustic guitar make City of Echoes easily Pelican’s best and most fully realized effort yet.