It can be either a blessing or a curse when a band's style
can be summed
up in a short sentence or phrase -- it's a blessing in that a
potential fan base
is easily identified, but a curse in that the band might feel
pigeonholed or unfairly categorized.
In the case of Pelican, the phrase would be
"Isis without vocals".
It would be unfair to stop the review there, as Pelican is more than
an Isis clone, but as a basic description of where these guys are
coming from, it sums up the situation nicely.
The lack of vocals aren't particularly missed, since bands of this
write songs with long, drawn-out instrumental passages that ebb and
flow, with vocals almost an after-effect.
Thus far the band has released one full-length album and two long EPs
(at around 30 minutes each, the EPs are practically full-lengths
themselves), and they've really nailed the
atmospheric post-hardcore style quite well indeed
of course, is still the standard-bearer here -- while Isis sounds
like Neurosis and Pelican sounds like Isis, Pelican sounds more
like Isis than Neurosis, if that makes sense).