Elder


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Elder (2009), 6/10
Dead Roots Stirring (2011), 6,5/10
Lore (2015), 7/10
Reflections of a Floating World (2017), 6/10
Omens (2020), 4.5/10
Innate Passage (2022), 5/10
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Boston's trio Elder, fronted by vocalist and guitarist Nicholas DiSalvo, offered stoner metal and doom metal, i.e. the 100th variation on Sleep's Holy Mountain, on Elder (2009), an album of lengthy jams full of well-executed retro-sounding sludgy riffs. They deviated towards heavy psychedelic rock with the five lengthy songs of Dead Roots Stirring (2011), notably the massive opener Gemini, with wicked guitarwork not heard since the days of
Kyuss. The two lengthy compositions of the EP Spires Burn (2012) presaged an evolution towards a more varied (if less massive) sound. They became a quartet on Lore (2015), an album that veered towards prog-metal but maintaining the emphasis on heavy riffs. Songs like their apex Lore strike a balance between their old sound and a sound that borrows from both Motorpsycho and emo melodies. Their instrumental proficiency further increased when they became a quintet on Reflections of a Floating World (2017), an album that sits somewhere between the epic sound of Dead Roots Stirring and the psychedelic sound of Lore. While some of the songs don't justify their juggernaut duration (opener Sanctuary is basically just a tribute to their original sound), The Falling Veil packs more variety than usual, with its acoustic trance, punk-ish gallop and hysterical repetition, and the 13-minute Blind boasts one of the most glorious build-ups of their career, followed by master guitarwork that now places them firmly outside the stoner genre. The instrumental Sonntag even winks at German intellectual prog-rock of the 1970s (Can, Neu). The closer, Thousand Hands, plods along uninspired for a few minutes but then closes the album with another formidable burst of instrumental lava. At this point they seemed to follow the route of Baroness and Pallbearer.

However, the EP The Gold & Silver (2019) moved decisively into German-inspired prog-rock. Having relocated to Germany, and replaced their drummer and hired a synth-man (also on electric piano and mellotron) they changed style again. Overall, the first German album, Omens (2020), sounds like Yes for the post-doom generation, with a mediocre vocalist who tries too hard to sound charismatic.

Eldovar - A Story of Darkness & Light (2021) documents a collaboration with the German band Kadavar.

Innate Passage (2022) continued in the vein of their electronic prog-rock, notably with the 15-minute Merged in Dreams Ne Plus Ultra, another Yes-like fantasia.

(Copyright © 2023 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )