ELDER

Heavy Psych / Stoner Metal / Stoner Rock • United States
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Elder is a stoner/doom metal and stoner rock/heavy psych band from Boston. Their self-titled debut album was released in 2008.
Thanks to Balthamel for the addition and adg211288 for the updates

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ELDER Discography

ELDER albums / top albums

ELDER Elder album cover 3.83 | 5 ratings
Elder
Stoner Metal 2008
ELDER Dead Roots Stirring album cover 3.80 | 6 ratings
Dead Roots Stirring
Stoner Metal 2011
ELDER Lore album cover 3.83 | 3 ratings
Lore
Stoner Rock 2015
ELDER Reflections of a Floating World album cover 3.19 | 13 ratings
Reflections of a Floating World
Heavy Psych 2017
ELDER Omens album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Omens
Heavy Psych 2020

ELDER EPs & splits

ELDER The Gold & Silver Sessions album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
The Gold & Silver Sessions
Heavy Psych 2019

ELDER live albums

ELDER demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

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ELDER Reviews

ELDER Reflections of a Floating World

Album · 2017 · Heavy Psych
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adg211288
Active for a little over a decade now and US band Elder have certainly changed along the way. Starting life as a stoner/doom metal band and releasing the self-titled debut album Elder (2008) in this style, they've become increasingly more based in psychedelic and progressive sounds, which is the flavour of the day on the group's fourth full-length album, Reflections of a Floating World (2017).

Much like their last album Lore (2015), Reflections of a Floating World is a lengthy album made up of a short track list. Six tracks, each lasting for extended durations where the shortest offering is 8:39 long, with most surpassing ten minutes. The title track of Lore was longer than any of these here, but overall Reflections of a Floating World stands as Elder's longest record to date. With long running times like these it's obvious that the band wasn't writing with catchy tracks in mind, but something more atmospheric and intricate that requires the teeth to be sunk into and given several listens before it can really be appreciated.

Some elements of the band's earlier metal sound is still in evidence on the album, such as during opener Sanctuary, which starts off in such a way that you'd be forgiven for thinking nothing had changed since the debut, but mostly Elder have moved away from metal at this point and are better described as a heavy psych group with strong progressive rock influences in the structure of their compositions. They're still pretty heavy though. Plenty of vocals are used, but quite often there are extended instrumental sections, which prove to be the most interesting aspect of the band's music. Quite the range of different sounds can be heard within the same song from keyboard parts, clean tone guitars and metallic riffs. When the vocals are featured it's of note that frontman Nicholas DiSalvo's singing style has changed a lot since the band's early days, being much more melodic and in keeping with the more rock based music the band is playing now.

Reflections of a Floating World is certainly the kind of album that is a slow burn. There's a lot going on and a listener may be several listens deep before they've even started to get a grasp on the scope of the work Elder has created. It's pretty grand. The biggest issue facing the release though is that despite being very accomplished there isn't actually all that much to give the tracks identity from each other even after several complete listens. This makes it the kind of album that is best taken in a single sitting to get its full effect, but it's long duration may be a barrier to some listeners. The one track that really stands out as different is the much lighter and hypnotic instrumental Sonntag. Though the album as a whole can be described as an atmospheric work, that song takes it even further. Technically speaking though it's the least interesting of the bunch, slowly building and changing up small ideas in what's otherwise a fairly repetitive pattern. Fortunately it's the shortest song, but as mentioned earlier, that still makes it 8:39 long.

An intriguing album that I have to say does live up to its name in the way it inspires reflective contemplation in me, Reflections of a Floating World is not perfect by any means, but it's clear to me that the trio that make up Elder are a group of talented guys. They seem to still be in the transitional stage from their earlier stoner/doom metal sound though and haven't yet completely honed their new craft. For my part I find this album quite the pleasure while its running and can recognise the number of quality riffs found within, but after the event it's failing to leave too much of a lasting impression, and that's the kind of thing that is going to elevate Elder's music to the next level.

ELDER Elder

Album · 2008 · Stoner Metal
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Unitron
Sadly, there are many bands that suffer from the unfortunate fate of that "sophomore slump", and never get out of it. Some bands stagnate, and some get worse. One such band that belongs to the latter, in my opinion, is Elder. While many disagree and prefer the neo-psych/prog rock styling of their recent material (their 2017 album in particular), Elder had an amazing winning sound on their self-titled debut from 2008.

This is pure distorted, fuzzed out, and groovy stoner metal at its finest. Nick DiSalvo brings somewhat of a sludgy Crowbar-esque delivery with his gruff vocal performance, but it's blended with riffs that are right out of the holy gospel of Tony Iommi. The solos are often pretty bluesy, but sound as heavy as the rest with the crushing distortion. There's an amazingly heavy bottom end, with the bass rumbling at your feet, while the drums keep a constant punch. Right at the beginning of the album, "White Walls" rises from the pit with a rumbling bassline that fire right into a stoner-doom plod. "Ghost Head" is a masterpiece of stoner metal, and probably my favorite on the album. The crash cymbal perfectly opens up the song, and the fuzzy guitar riffs groove like there's no tomorrow. DiSalvo's vocals switch from gruff to a more Floor-esque style, and really fit the somewhat bouncy groove.

The production is just what you would expect from a stoner metal album, full of powerful and punchy distortion. It's as groovy as Black Sabbath, fuzzy as Blue Cheer, and as heavy as Soundgarden. If you're looking for some great stoner metal that you may have missed over the years, this album is right up there with the best. It's a damn shame that they didn't continue with this sound, as this is absolutely killer. If this review doesn't explain enough, just try not to instantly get addicted to the blistering riffing of "Hexe" (Or the whole album for that matter). There's no need for drugs, when the music can do the work for you. Hope you found this review helpful, feel free to comment!

ELDER Reflections of a Floating World

Album · 2017 · Heavy Psych
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Unitron
Reviewer's Challenge Selection: August 2017

What's worse than bad? I didn't know before, but this album answers that question.

Some people will say that a boring album is worse than a bad one, which I personally disagree with. I'd rather listen to a really boring album than a flat out terrible one, but guess what? This album manages to somehow be both boring AND awful, and how do you ask? Well join me on this masochistic journey, through the seas of mediocrity.

Mastodon's new album mostly rested on the lame side, and Coheed and Cambria has some pretty mediocre stuff too. So take that, and make it worse. Add in some generic ambiance that does nothing but act as filler to justify the long song lengths, making the listener ask where the actual music is, and you've just about got it. Guess what though? The music isn't any better than the droning ambient parts, so you may as well just turn it off and stare at a blank wall. Most of the songs sound pretty much the exact same and follow the same pattern. Synthetic overproduced rock riff, emo-esque vocals, droning ambiance, then repeat. It just all sounds so sterile, and doesn't have any riff, melody, hook, or anything that gets me into the music or brings out any emotions. There is one song that stands out though among the boring stuff. That is "The Falling Veil", and it stands out it all the wrong ways.

Why is it so bad? First of all, it takes like two minutes for the actual song to start playing, but when it starts, you'd rather go back to the ambiance. The riff sounds like some sickening happy melody for the newest summer pop hit. It sounds way too flowery for an what an album like this is seemingly trying to do. For a little while it goes away, so you just get some more boring riffs and vocals, but it comes back. Coupled with a stale polished production, this is not what I look for in a supposedly "hard rock/stoner rock" album. Also, every song is way too long. If you can make it work, go ahead and make an album with all songs being 8+ minutes. However, when you don't have the songwriting skills to back it up, it just ends up feeling like a waste of time.

There is little music that annoys as much as this album, but when I listen to this album I just feel down. I was in a pretty good mood before listening to this. Now I just feel annoyed, but maybe it's because this album doesn't sound like what was advertised. This album is considered stoner rock, but it's really not. It sounds more like a poor man's Motorpsycho than anything else. The only brief moment that is stoner in anyway and sounds decent is a 30 second riff around the 3 minute mark of "Blind". Besides that, it's a pretentious neo-psych/indie/prog rock album that's trying to disguise itself as a stoner rock album. If you want real stoner rock, check out some Clutch or Fu Manchu. Unless you want the Top 10 indie rock hits but made overly long, I would avoid this album.

ELDER Dead Roots Stirring

Album · 2011 · Stoner Metal
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Warthur
A morose expression of crushingly heavy stoner doom with occasional glitterings of mild psychedelic influences from this capable, instrumental-oriented power trio. Nick DiSalvo's vocal performances may be slightly generic and lukewarm here and there, but the fuzzy, esoteric, Fucking Champs-esque guitar tone he breaks out here and there on the album helps bridge the gap between the more stoner-oriented moments and the traditional doom metal bedrock of the album. On balance, I think I would prefer it if this album were an all-instrumental affair, though to be fair for long stretches it basically us, so I can't mark it down too much.

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