Forever is a long, long time. It proved to be too long for founding Pelican guitarist and main songwriter Laurent Schroeder-Lebec, who quit the band in 2012 after 11 years of post-metal meanderings. Without Lebec, the remaining members — guitarist Trevor de Brauw, bassist Bryan Herweg and drummer Larry Herweg — had to take time to regain their bearings and refocus their energy, and in the end they’ve proven they’re still just as relevant and impactful as they were when they released their first full-length Australasia a decade ago.
Forever Becoming takes the band to an even more expressionistic realm. Gone are more traditional rock constructs of the last two albums, replaced by passages more reminiscent of their earlier output, but with more focus and less aggression. “Terminal” opens the album with spare beats and torrents of feedback over a simple, chiming synth line before developing into a melancholy guitar melody underpinned by menacing distortion. “Deny the Absolute” boosts the engines with crashing beats and scrawling guitars, resembling a cross between Swervedriver and Neurosis. Forever Becoming is a constantly evolving work that illustrates how unexpected loss can sometimes lead to reinvention and discovery.