Background information
Origin Evanston, Illinois, USA
Genres Post-Metal, Post-Rock, Experimental Rock, Instrumental Rock
Years active 2001 - Present
Labels Hydra Head Records, Southern Lord Records, Temporary Residence Limited
Associated acts Lair of The Minotaur, Tusk, Æges, Teith, Histoire, Human Cock, The Look Ahead, Asschapel, Booby Hatch, High Strung, The Swan King, INTRCPTR, This White Light
Website Facebook

Pelican are a post-metal/post-rock band originating from Evanston, Illinois. Forming in 2001, the band gained quick acclaim with their initial albums "Australasia" and "The Fire in Our Throats Will Beckon the Thaw", characterizing an eclectic mix of stoner metal, post-rock, progressive rock and sludge. From that point the band gained worldwide notoriety, touring the world with the likes of Mono, Russian Circles, Unearthly Trance, Black Cobra and High on Fire just to scratch the surface.

Over a 15+ year career the band has managed to compose five studio albums, six extended plays and a host of other releases, mainly working with Hydra Head Records, Temporary Residence and as of 2009 Southern Lord Records. With the exception of two songs ("Final Breath" on 2009's "What We've All Come To Need" and the title track to the 2015 EP "The Cliff") all of the bands compositions are instrumental.


Pelican and Australasia (2001 - 2004)Edit

Pelican had formed sometime in 2001, with the founding lineup consisting of Laurent Schroeder-Lebec, Trevor de Brauw and brothers Bryan and Larry Herweg. Drawing inspiration from the likes of ISIS, Earth, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Slint and Neurosis among others the quartet quickly composed four songs that year and released them as the Untitled EP (Or Pelican as some sources acknowledge it), exuding their own blend of atmospheric post-metal. Slowly building a name for themselves in Chicago's heavy scene, the band would get the attention of one Hydra Head Records to whom they'd sign to. The first releases featuring Pelican on the label would be a reissue of the debut EP and a contribution to the Champions of Sound 2003 split 7" with Scissorfight and The Austerity Program. This would also lead to the trio of bands touring together that August in one of Pelican's earliest known tours.

In the time preceding these releases, Pelican would begin recording their debut studio album and finish it by August right before the Champions of Sound tour.[1] The studio the band recorded this debut in had notably been under construction which forced the sessions to be rushed, along with suffering from budgeting issues.[2] Despite these setbacks, Pelican's first studio album Australasia saw it's release on 4 November 2003 to positive reception from critics. With a new album in tow and a rising fanbase, the band would begin touring in support of the record, including the band's first tour of Europe alongside Jesu, closing out with an appearance at All Tomorrows Parties at Pontins Camber Sands Holiday Park in the United Kingdom.

The Fire In Our Throats Will Beckon The Maw and City of Echoes (2005 - 2008)Edit

Pelican would begin 2005 with a series of short mini-tours as work began on a sophomore album. On 10 March work was complete on the new album.[3] On 29 March 2005 the band released their first DVD Live in Chicago 06/11/03, limited strictly to 1000 copies. On 12 April 2005 a 20-minute single for March Into The Sea served as a teaser for the next album.

The Fire In Our Throats Will Beckon The Maw would be released on 26 June 2005 to positive critical acclaim for it's environmentally conscious themes and atmospheric writing. Ultimately it would make a handful of top album lists, Ranking #35 on Terrorizer's Top 40 Albums list and #1 on Decibel's top 40 albums list.[4] The band would follow with an extensive touring cycle in support of the album, including the band's first Japan tour (With MONO) and a string of North American tours with the likes of Big Business and Opeth. 2006 would see the European leg supporting The Fire... and a co-headlining tour with Mono. By the summer the band would have five more songs written for a follow-up as touring resumed in the fall with Daughters and KEN Mode.[5] By December the band would enter Electrical Audio in Chicago to record their third studio album.[6]

Drawing inspiration from touring experiences and globalisation, Pelican's third album City of Echoes would be released on 5 June 2007. To some critics it was observed as a departure from previous efforts but ultimately reception managed to be positive. The band also released their first music videos in support of the record ("Dead Between The Walls" and "Lost In The Headlights") and reached the Billboard charts, peaking at #9 on the Heatseekers and #40 on the top Independent albums. A world tour ensued in support of the album, seeing the band travel through North America, Europe, Australia and Japan. Festival appearances included Roadburn Festival, Primavera Sound, Les Eurockéennes de Belfort and Roskilde. The band also released a remix EP in Pink Mammoth on 11 September and a retrospective DVD in After The Ceiling Cracked on 4 December.

2008 would see the band back on the road in North America further supporting City of Echoes with Unearthly Trance, Black Cobra, Thrice and Circa Survive. The quartet would return to Europe with Torche not long after. In regards to releases the band largely put out splits with These Arms Are Snakes and participated in the 2008 edition of Champions of Sound, the last tour of the year being with Kayo Dot and Steven Brodsky in support of the split.

Southern Lord and What We All Come To Need (2009 - 2012)Edit

On 6 February 2009 it would be announced that Pelican would sign with Southern Lord Records while the band would be recording an EP at Red Room in Seattle. Following an extensive North American touring cycle (With the likes of dredg, Tombs, Wolves in The Throne Room and ISIS), Ephemeral would be released on 6 June 2009. Notably, this EP features a cover of "Geometry of Murder" by Earth with Dylan Carlson as a guest. The band would appear at two Southern Lord showcases alongside Earth and Sunn O))).[7]

Pelican's fourth studio album What We All Come To Need would be released on 27 October 2009 to a largely positive reception, peaking at 13 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart. Notably this album tends to exuberate a much darker tone due to the band's morale and personal issues looming. What We All Come To Need also features a host of guests including Aaron Turner (ISIS), Greg Anderson (Sunn O))), Goatsnake and Allen Epley (The Life and Times, Shiner) performing vocals on the closer "Final Breath", the band's first song to feature a vocalist of any sort. An extensive North American tour with Black Cobra would follow that fall.

Touring would slow going into 2010 though the band made an appearance at Scion RockFest. The band would compose two shows for their tenth anniversary, notably also releasing a box set known as The Wooden Box, a ten-LP set featuring nearly every release up to that point.[8] Pelican would tour North America the next year though notably Dallas Thomas (The Swan King) would be in the place of Laurent Schroeder-Lebec. 2011 shows included appearances at The Power of The Riff, Boomslang and Adventures in Modern Music. Schroeder-Lebec still contributed to local performances and studio work at the time. The band would compose a four-song EP and release it as Ataraxia/Taraxis on 10 April 2012. On 26 June 2012, Pelican announced that Schroeder-Lebec had amicably left the band due to family and business commitments.[9] For the band's first European tour in four years (Including an appearance at Roadburn Festival) the band kept Dallas Thomas as their touring guitarist. The band would also appear at Bonnaroo and participate in a series of Southern Lord showcase events presented by Scion.

Forever Becoming (2013 - 2015)Edit

In late 2012 after a canceled Australian tour, Pelican would begin work on their fifth studio album. Originally the band had planned to write as a three-piece but Dallas Thomas contributed to the sessions and ultimately became the new guitarist in place of Schroeder-Lebec.[10][11] Going into 2013 the band would make an appearance at Maryland Deathfest before embarking on a tour of Europe that June. Returning to the States, Pelican would begin recording on their fifth album.[12] On 10 July 2013 Pelican would announce Forever Becoming,[13] which would be released on 15 October 2013 to positive reception and peaking at 7 on the US Billboard Heatseekers charts. The band would close out 2013 by participating in the Inviisble OrangesCMJ Music Showcases and touring with Coliseum, with further North American touring in support of the album the following year. The band's first official live album Arktika saw release that August.

Pelican's touring wuld slow in 2015, only performing at festivals and on a handful of dates with Goatsnake. In the meantime the band notably released an EP entitled The Cliff on 24 February 2015, the title track featuring Allen Epley on vocals and thus the second Pelican song to have a vocalist. Notably this EP features two remixes and an instrumental b-side known as "The Wait".

Nighttime Stories (2016 - Present)Edit

Going into 2016, Pelican would tour Europe in the Spring which would include appearances at DesertFest London, DesertFest Berlin and Dunk!Festival before returning to the States for appearances at Psycho Las Vegas and The Power of The Riff. The following year would see the band touring with Inter Arma and Jaye Jayle, the latter tour making an appearance at Psycho Las Vegas. Shows would be more sporadic in 2018 until on the band's official social medias that on 4 October 2018 that the band had begun work on their next studio album.[14] Set for a likely 2019 release, Pelican's sixth album would mark the longest gap between studio albums at six years.

On 26 February 2019 Pelican would announce a new single for Record Store Day (13 April) entitled Midnight and Mescaline. This would be along with a tour announcement with Cloakroom and a deluxe digital reissue of Forever Becoming, remixed by Chris Common.[15] Pelican's sixth album, Nighttime Stories, would see it's release on 7 June 2019.


Studio AlbumsEdit

  • Australasia (2003, Hydra Head Records)
  • The Fire in Our Throats Will Beckon the Thaw (2005, Hydra Head Records)
  • City of Echoes (2007, Hydra Head Records)
  • What We All Come to Need (2009, Southern Lord Records)
  • Forever Becoming (2013, Southern Lord Records)
  • Nighttime Stories (2019, Southern Lord Records)

Live AlbumsEdit

  • Live in Chicago 06/11/03 (2005, Hydra Head Records)
  • After the Ceiling Cracked (2007, Hydra Head Records)
  • Arktika (2014, Self-Released; 2015, Daymare Recordings)

Extended Plays and SinglesEdit

  • Pelican (2001, Self-Released; 2003, Hydra Head Records)
  • March Into The Sea (2005, Hydra Head Records)
  • Pink Mammoth (2007, Hydra Head Records)
  • Ephemeral (2009, Southern Lord Records)
  • Ataraxia / Taraxis (2012, Southern Lord Records)
  • Deny the Absolute / The Truce (2013, The Mylene Sheath)
  • The Cliff (2015, Southern Lord Records)
  • Midnight and Mescaline (2019, Southern Lord Records)

Split ReleasesEdit

  • Champions of Sound 2003 (Split with Scissorfight, The Austerity Program) (2003, Hydra Head Records)
  • Pelican / Playing Enemy (Split with Playing Enemy) (2005, Hawthorne Street)
  • Pelican / Mono (Split with MONO) (2005, Temporary Residence Limited)
  • Pelican / These Arms Are Snakes (Split with These Arms Are Snakes) (2008, Hydra Head Records)
  • Champions of Sound 2008 (Split with Zozobra, Stove Bredsky, Kayo Dot) (2008, Hydra Head Records)
  • Split Series Part 3 (Split with Young Widows) (2009, Temporary Residence Limited)

Misc. ReleasesEdit

  • The Wooden Box (Box Set) (2010, Viva Hate)
  • B-Sides and Other Rarities (Compilation) (2020, Self-Released)


  • Bryan Herweg - Bass (2001 - Present)
  • Larry Herweg - Drums (2001 - Present)
  • Trevor de Brauw - Guitars (2001 - Present)
  • Dallas Thomas - Live Guitar (2010 - 2013); Guitar (2013 - Present)
  • Laurent Schroeder-Lebec - Guitar (2001 - 2012)

List of Known ToursEdit

  • Champions of Sound Tour (With Scissorfight, Harkonen) (2003)[16]
  • 2013 Winter Mini-Tour (2003)[17]
  • Australasia Spring North American Tour (2004)[18]
  • Australasia European Tour (Select dates with Jesu) (2004)[19]
  • January 2005 Mini-Tour (With Envy, Malady) (2005)[20]
  • April 2005 Mini-Tour (With Oxes, Zombi) (2005)[21]
  • The Fire in Our Throats Will Beckon the Thaw North American Tour (2005)[22]
  • July 2005 Japan Tour (With Mono) (2005)[23]
  • Summer 2005 North American Tour (With Big Business) (2005)[24]
  • Ghost Reveries North American Tour (With Opeth) (2005)[25]
  • December 2005 UK Tour (2005)[26]
  • The Fire in Our Throats Will Beckon the Thaw European Tour (With Cave-In) (2006)[27]
  • MONO / Pelican 2006 Tour (With Mono, Russian Circles) (2006)[28]
  • Exclaim! Aggressive Tendencies Tour (With Daughters, KEN Mode) (2006)[29]
  • City of Echoes Spring North American Tour (With Young Widows, Russian Circles) (2007)
  • City of Echoes Spring European Tour (With These Arms Are Snakes) (2007)[30]
  • City of Echoes North American Tour (With Clouds) (2007)[31][32]
  • City of Echoes Australasia Tour (With Envy, KTL, The Stockholm Syndrome) (2007)[33]
  • Death Is This Communion December UK Tour (With High on Fire) (2007)[34]
  • 2008 North American Tour (With Black Cobra, Unearthly Trance; Unearthly Trance would drop off on some dates) (2008)[35]
  • The Alchemy Index Vols. III & IV Tour (With Thrice, Circa Survive) (2008)[36]
  • 2008 European Tour (With Torche) (2008)[37]
  • Champions of Sound 2008 (With Kayo Dot, Steve Brodsky) (2008)[38]
  • What We All Come To Need North American Tour (With Tombs, Dredg, Wolves in The Throne Room) (2009)[39]
  • Wavering Radiant North American Tour (With ISIS, Tombs, Keelhaul on select dates) (2009)[40][41]
  • What We All Come To Need Fall North American Tour (With Black Cobra) (2009)[42]
  • 10 Year Anniversary Dates (2010)[43]
  • 2011 North American Tour (2011)[44]
  • 2012 UK Tour (2012)[45]
  • 2012 European Tour (2012)[46]
  • Southern Lord Summer Tour (With Black Breath, Burning Love, Enabler, Martyrdöd)[47]
  • 2012 Australia/New Zealand Tour (With Sunn O))); Canceled) (2012)[48][49]
  • Forever Becoming European Tour (2013)[50]
  • Forever Becoming North American Tour (With Coliseum) (2013)[51]
  • 2014 North American Tour (With Tombs, Nothing) (2014)[52]
  • Black Age Blues North American Tour (Select dates with Goatsnake) (2015)[53]
  • 2016 European Tour (2016)[54]
  • Pelican and Inter Arma Tour (With Inter Arma) (2017)[55]
  • Pelican and Jaye Jayle Tour (With Jaye Jayle) (2017)[56]
  • 2018 North American Tour (With Cloakroom) (2018)
  • Nighttime Stories North American Tour (With Cloakroom) (2019)[57]
  • Nighttime Stories European Tour (2019)

External LinksEdit


  1. Lambgoat
  2. / Hail Metal via Wayback Machine
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  15. Pelican Facebook
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  17. Pelican via Wayback Machine
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  57. Pelican Facebook
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