If you’ve ever familiarised yourself with the audible aestheticism and ethereal fingerprint of Post-Metal, you’d sure as hell know of the innovative tendencies that continue to be manifested by Illinois’s Pelican. Having been six years since the release of their fifth studio LP ‘Forever Becoming,’ the band have returned once again to keep the candles of their career lit with ‘Nighttime Stories,’ where Pelican drive us back into the rabbit hole of their instrumentally driven narrative.

Much like its predecessor, ‘Nighttime Stories’ treads with heavy steps in its progression for most of the journey with a plethora of down-tuned, Sludge-oriented licks, combined with several melodious approaches including more traditional rock ‘n’ roll-based riffs that the band hadn’t previously tampered with. Pelican also take the time to inculcate a little more speed as the album furthers itself.

This doesn’t speculate that the record identifies itself as a product that’s to be considered entirely doom ‘n’ gloom either—Pelican don’t completely suppress themselves from executing the more mesmeric and atmospheric side that’s noticed on past efforts ‘The Fire in Our Throats Will Beckon the Thaw’ or ‘City of Echoes.’ Such can be diagnosed at the beginning of ‘Nighttime Stories’ with WST, and eventually in It Stared at Me and Full Moon, Black Water, which all help build the momentum and keep the experience all the more consistent in being enticing to the listener. Pelican’s Sludgier side of the spectrum is accentuated by tracks such as Abyssal Plains, Cold Hope, and Arteries of Blacktop. These tracks in particular form somewhat of an abysmal aura, and a more malevolent narrative to ‘Nighttime Stories,’ delivering a sense of dread and condemnation as you venture through each of these tracks.

One of the other greatest components that deserves some shine is the overall production quality and mixing that takes part throughout ‘Nighttime Stories;’ the consistency in maintaining all the fundamentals of what makes a Pelican record is crisp, and all so natural throughout its course. In terms of the overall atmosphere of the album’s theme, it’s rather transparent to see that Pelican have made ‘Nighttime Stories’ a really cold, and heavily extravagant piece that simply captures certain vibes and sensations translating multiple scenarios to the listening experience. To say ‘Nighttime Stories’ is better than most of the discography would be somewhat disrespectful to the aptitude that has perfected Pelican’s career. I say this, because Pelican have not one dull, monotonous piece out of everything they’ve done—so it’s quite clear to say ‘Nighttime Stories’ is another product that keeps the balance of Pelican’s capability and musicianship going strong as they continue to further their ingenuity. Words don’t ever need to be spoken to create or tell a story, and Pelican prove that notion with the instrumental proceedings of ‘Nighttime Stories.’