Label: Armageddon (USA) Stickman Records (EU)
Release Date: 24 April 2020
Country: New Bedford, Massachusetts, USA (Current location Berlin, Germany)
Format Reviewed: High-quality digital recording
ELDER is the answer to escapism carried out in progressive, heavy rock with the whimsy and freedom represented in psychedelic toned keyboards. This album transports the listener to the undiscovered regions of where their ever evolving creativity takes them and us, on a journey. This band challenges themselves to re-do their sound, seeking more areas to embrace and go towards, kind of like uncharted space. Adventures still to unfold.
ELDER had their origins in 2005, presenting as a stoner rock/doom influenced sound. (Think of Electric Wizard and Fu Manchu as a reference.) Today’s members are, Nicholas DiSalvo (guitars/vocals/keyboards), Michael Risberg(guitars/keyboards), Jack Donovan(bass), George Edert (drums) and guest-only keyboardist, Fabio Cuomo on this album.
Since 2005 they have released seven albums, three singles and EPs. Now, let us have a look at their latest offering.
The first track, “Omens” ushers the listener into a synth sound right off the top, with those notes of psychedelic dreaming interwoven with well-arranged guitar riffs. Vocals start and the music gains that piece needed to make the song “sing” as it were. Its a complete, brilliant mix of excellent arrangements that hold your attention.
The second track, “In Procession”, begins with riffs and keyboards layering in, overlapping, and pausing. Engaging lyrics that tell a story. I’m taken with the excellence of how this track was arranged. Very well done.
The third track, “Halcyon”, begins with a zenning, continuous tone. It’s a flavor of building and crescendoing hypnotic to the ears. Then, the riffs and drumbeats together add another layer to give it more teeth. Vocals rebuild the calming mood in later parts of this track to a conclusion that firmly holds.
The fourth track, “Embers” immediately begins with guitars that don’t slow down. A departure from the previous track in its calming sound. Vocals are strong, with thoughtful lyricism. Of the whole album, this track is the one I see as a combination that satisfies the need for a rock-inspired mood but still incorporating masterful keyboards.
The final track, “One Light Retreating” is the fall into gritty whimsy performed in the pausing of sounds. It’s very much an atmospheric tone that takes that journey to the unknown. I think the pausing in this is why I like how this final track concludes. It doesn’t hit with riffs, instead of its waves of sound.
For those that absolutely enjoy the psychedelic freedom of synth keyboards with brilliant riffs, progressive rock, and; a band that strives to reinvent & metamorphosize themselves further, then ELDER is for you.My rating is a 7/10 Darksun
7/10: Victory is Possible!
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