Elder (USA-MA)
Omens


4.1
excellent

Review

by Raul Stanciu STAFF
April 24th, 2020 | 246 replies


Release Date: 04/24/2020 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The progressive rock process is complete...

Elder are one of those bands their peers should take notes from. The ascending sonic path they have been on since their debut is downright impressive. Aside from audibly leveling up skills on their instruments with each passing year, the quartet have been thoroughly honing the group chemistry as well. The results are always rewarding, amassing previous experiments while taking steps forward too. Last year’s Gold & Silver Sessions EP opened new doors, cutting the distortion and vocals in order to expand on psychedelic, sometimes krautrock-inspired jams. Meanwhile, keyboard parts enriched the palette, discreetly enveloping the guitars. As expected, the latest album, Omens benefits from these features, blending everything into another epic journey.

At this point, the stoner rock and doom elements in Elder’s music are reduced to traces, since they have morphed into a progressive rock band with psychedelic leanings. Completing this process is new drummer, Georg Edert who favors a more subtle style with multiple flourishes (characteristic to the respective genre), as opposed to Matt Couto's focus on straightforward, punchy patterns. Meanwhile, as usual, the songs themselves pass through several moods, yet with less aggression overall. The band prefers to explore more melodic passages this time, often intertwining guitar notes. ‘Halcyon’ and ‘One Light Retreating’ display best these smooth interactions, building lovely leads alongside really tight bass and drum grooves. Crunchy chords and licks are switched back and forth, thus, creating beautiful sonic landscapes for us to wander over. The heavy segments don’t reach such powerful heights as on preceding LPs, but I understand the quartet’s decision to create a different, albeit cohesive experience. Moreover, the electronic elements occasionally share the spotlight, especially on the title track and ‘In Procession’. It’s interesting how nicely they accompany the guitar progressions, still, there are several moments where they are used as short introductions or lush intermissions with ambient purposes. Now, the one thing left to improve is Nick’s voice. He gradually included more verses over the years, slowly taking them to the forefront. Due to a polished production, his vocals are at their most audible on Omens. The front man did a good job working on his delivery, however, on certain parts he struggles a bit to sing them. Nevertheless, I am sure he is aware and working on this aspect as well.

In the end, Omens is an excellent album, one that is both familiar for fans and a step further in Elder’s sonic evolution. All the noodling and meticulous structure developments paid off, since all songs flow impressively smooth. We receive just about everything in each of them, from sweet, subdued notes to hard hitting riffs, besides infectious crescendos or atmospheric, melodic progressions. I can see a number of people being slightly turned off by the diminished presence of murky stoner grooves, although this transition was gentle enough for everyone to accommodate to it by now. Give the LP a few listens to properly unfold and plunge into the group’s brilliant universe.




Recent reviews by this author
The Flaming Lips American HeadTim Bowness Late Night Laments
The Atomic Bitchwax ScorpioMotorpsycho The All Is One
Protomartyr Ultimate Success TodayDonny Benet Mr. Experience
user ratings (272)
3.7
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
April 24th 2020


5215 Comments

Album Rating: 4.1

As expected, another excellent Elder album. The stoner doom fan in me wishes it had a tad more fuzz on it, but oh well, I admire them for moving forward and trying new things. Also, I love their album artworks.



Stream the album here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nuZAepXQdM0

Digging: Gazpacho - Fireworker

Kompys2000
April 24th 2020


4468 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yup, Elder still out here Elder-ing and I'm still out here enjoying it. Really digging some of those keys, they were integrated really smoothly here.

Digging: Pelt - Ayahuasca

DoofDoof
April 24th 2020


8512 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Should be a fully instrumental band tbh

greg84
Emeritus
April 24th 2020


7634 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice. I normally dig these guys. Need to check this out.



Digging: IDLES - Ultra Mono

Kompys2000
April 24th 2020


4468 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The vocals are a pretty obvious weak point but I don't think I'd go so far as to say they actually detract from the music

Scheumke
April 24th 2020


1862 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Can't wait to listen to this.

Digging: Pain of Salvation - Panther

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
April 24th 2020


5215 Comments

Album Rating: 4.1

I think with some proper vocal training lessons, Nick can do better.

DoofDoof
April 24th 2020


8512 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The tone of his voice isn’t that bad, it’s just something in the execution, so I agree

Kompys2000
April 24th 2020


4468 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I kinda get the same thing with the vocalist for The Sword, where he sings perfectly well but it just feels very charmless and anonymous. These guys are good enough otherwise that I can look past it but it's kind of a recurring issue in this genre ime

zakalwe
April 24th 2020


31646 Comments


Vocals are great. Band is quality. Looking forward to this one.

DDDeftoneDDD
April 24th 2020


13277 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

wow. rev is up! sweet!

Digging: Anna von Hausswolff - All Thoughts Fly

JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
April 24th 2020


28901 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice nice, listening now and it doesn't feel like the vocals sit right in this mix; don't really like or dislike them, but I think they're overly foregrounded more than anything else. The jams are funtimes though



EDIT: "Due to a polished production, his vocals are at their most audible on Omens." lol yeah, insomniac said it better - just not sure how much they benefit from the polish

Digging: Deftones - Saturday Night Wrist

audiosmurf
April 24th 2020


72 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

instrumentation is tighter than ever, the flow is tasty af and the vocals have simply become so integral to the Elder formula, that getting rid of it would rip a hole into its character. this might just be their most cohesive yet and i dont think they skipped on the heaviness at all. The finale of halcyon is just straight up faceblastery.

dedex
Contributing Reviewer
April 24th 2020


4812 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

listening rn, and as I love the music yeah the vocals are not Nick's best

Digging: The Ocean - Phanerozoic II: Mesozoic | Cenozoic

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
April 24th 2020


12880 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Really good review Mr. Raul : ] This album is so much of a journey really.

dedex
Contributing Reviewer
April 24th 2020


4812 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

You ever gave Reflections of a Floating World a listen Nocte?

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
April 24th 2020


5215 Comments

Album Rating: 4.1

Thank you! This is what I like when listening Elder, the albums are really immersive.

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
April 24th 2020


12880 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

@Dedex, negative. My only other experience with these guys is Lore other than that I kind of have what I need here.

nightbringer
April 24th 2020


1442 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

While vocals here are hardly performance of the year standard, their roughness suits the music pretty well. I dig their imperfections.

dedex
Contributing Reviewer
April 24th 2020


4812 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Well if you're ever in the mood for a cosmic journey with more background-y vocals, you know what to do ;]



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





FAQ // 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 2005-2019 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy