Elder (USA-MA)
Reflections of a Floating World


4.3
superb

Review

by insomniac15 STAFF
June 2nd, 2017 | 220 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Revealing another masterpiece...

I think nobody expected Elder to evolve so much during the past decade, at least not until Lore was released. The self-titled was promising, but the jumps in quality and musical prowess from one album to another are simply admirable. Dead Roots Stirring was them moving from Sleep territory to a more stoner/psychedelic effort. Then, four years later, Lore brought in a new perspective. Delving into progressive rock while keeping the heaviness of its predecessors, the LP blew everyone’s minds how well it was crafted. The expectations went through the roof and I was worried Reflections of a Floating World would be under cooked, especially since it came out just over two years later (one of which was abundant in tour dates). Nevertheless, the band did it again and presented us what’s arguably their best work so far.

Musically, it follows the blueprints utilized on the previous two records. Even so, they went back and worked on improving their delivery. As a result, the band left some room to breathe throughout the album (Lore had too much going on at various points). ‘Sonntag’ is a perfect example as it strays from the main tracks, building on a krautrock-inspired motorik beat, complete with percussion, haunting synths and theremin. Guitar leads pop up here and there, but the focus is on a mesmerizing groove that acts like a break from the overall madness and maybe baby steps into a different sphere for the next album.

Moving on with the honing, the guitars don’t drown the bass on the heavy parts anymore, plus the snare has a better rounded tone. Moreover, Nick fine-tuned his vocals, giving his strongest performance so far. The opening epic, ‘Sanctuary’ starts with a groovy melody which goes strong for a couple of minutes, before leaving room for soaring guitar solos and vocals. It’s impressive how multiple small tweaks are continuously added and the drumming is splendid. Halfway, they get into this glorious riff that smoothly paves the way for a subdued segment comprised of effects-soaked picked chords. These alternate for a while with subtle changes, then proceeding to a hard hitting coda. The next mammoth track, ‘The Falling Veil’ starts slow, building tension in order to effectively let loose a swerving riff accompanied by powerful vocals. The guitars complement each other really well, wandering in myriad directions. On top of this, on the second half, keyboards enter to furthermore enhance this intricate beauty. Again, the final minute is simply crushing. Playing as a four-piece now (Mike Risberg from Gold & Silver joined as second axe man) really helps and I am sure live it’s going to be a whole new adventure.

Like a gift that keeps on giving, the quality of the tracks is stunning all the way. For me, ‘Blind’ is the best moment overall, along with ‘Staving off the Truth’, as it brings everything they have to offer into a 13-minute odyssey (much like ‘Lore’ did). The scorching main riff drives us for a minute or so, being interrupted by a piano and vocal interlude, before bursting again with added keyboard touches. The mid-section nicely intertwines them with the other instruments, each member sharing the spotlight. After another verse, the song brings forth a string of riffs, one cooler and dirtier than the other. This onslaught is stopped by a jam session where the bass and drum interplay takes the spotlight whereas the others play airy chords. Again, the last minute is simply gorgeous. ‘Staving off the Truth’ goes through all the aforementioned motions, but every part is essential to the entire piece. I love the dreamy beginning and the transition to the fiery riff is excellent. I am curious if they recorded multiple layers of guitars, because at times it feels like an entire sonic wall is coming right at you. It’s nice how they focused on expanding the intro midway, with the bass offering some great lines. The sound scapes grow in intensity in the background, unleashing another round of potent riffage. After multiple listens, I am not tired of hearing them.

In the end, one has to listen to Reflections of a Floating World two or three times to truly grasp its beauty. It’s clear that Elder worked hard on consolidating their strengths in order to bring an even better album than Lore was. They fine-tuned the sound, production, vocals and brought a truckload of strong riffs & melodies. I understand it might be too much of the same formula for some, however, everything flows so natural from start to end, you just enjoy it without thinking about it. This is hands down the best album any prog-influenced stoner/psychedelic act released this year and definitely a contender for the album of the year.




Recent reviews by this author
Wordclock HeraldsCausa Sui Vibraciones Doradas
Cairo Knife Fight SevenBodyjar Terra Firma
Carbon Based Lifeforms DerelictsMonolord Rust
user ratings (339)
Chart.
4
excellent
other reviews of this album
Chamberbelain (4.5)
A sonic hallucination....



Comments:Add a Comment 
insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
June 2nd 2017


4400 Comments

Album Rating: 4.3

I'm curious to see if fans like this better than Lore. I find it more refined although Lore had some bigger riffs (but the mix might have tricked us with the guitar set so loud). Anyway, this is an excellent album, I love it.



Stream here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tqMfWwnLtKg

Digging: Wordclock - Heralds

Xenophanes
Staff Reviewer
June 2nd 2017


907 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7 | Sound Off

Sweet, will check

Digging: Blood Cultures - Happy Birthday

Sniff
June 2nd 2017


3977 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This >> Lore

necropig
June 2nd 2017


3087 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Intriguing

Digging: Blaze of Perdition - Conscious Darkness

Lucid
June 2nd 2017


8810 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

great review. this band is something special

Underflow
June 2nd 2017


3833 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is phenomenal.

ashcrash9
June 2nd 2017


2849 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

really excited to check this out soon

Spacesh1p
June 2nd 2017


7202 Comments


Can't wait to check this.

ChaoticVortex
June 2nd 2017


512 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Hyped to the max. Ready to check this one out. The singles were great, heavy yet spacey with a touch of 70's prog rock.

bloc
June 2nd 2017


45323 Comments


Lore got boring fast

Digging: Flotsam and Jetsam - Doomsday for the Deceiver

Sinternet
June 2nd 2017


15088 Comments


awesome art, will check as lore was p cool

Digging: Charli XCX - Pop2

trilogique21
June 2nd 2017


1363 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

can't wait to jam band is awesome

Digging: Tchornobog - Tchornobog

Rastapunk
June 2nd 2017


1278 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I'm hesitating between waiting for some money and buying the CD or just getting the digital download...



Rules but I love Lore a bit more, had more parts were I was amazed.

Lucid
June 2nd 2017


8810 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"rules but I love Lore a bit more, had more parts where I was amazed"

that's where I'm at with this as well



StarsDie
June 2nd 2017


60 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Definitely awesome, but it does resemble Lore a little bit too much.



Still love it though.

L4titudes
June 2nd 2017


3452 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It's now confirmed. This is a really good band.

Scoot
June 2nd 2017


18778 Comments


these guys ruuuuule

frozencarl
June 2nd 2017


272 Comments


band is awesome [9218410]

parksungjoon
June 2nd 2017


5509 Comments


can't wait to jam band is awesome [2]

"It's now confirmed. This is a really good band."

only now? have you even heard dead roots stirring

parksungjoon
June 2nd 2017


5509 Comments


mindpos insomniac, u always rep the cool shit



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2017 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy