Kadavar and Elder
Eldovar - A Story of Darkness & Light


3.5
great

Review

by Sunnyvale CONTRIBUTOR (64 Reviews)
December 4th, 2021 | 14 replies


Release Date: 12/03/2021 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Elder and Kadavar go vintage on their collaborative effort

In hindsight, Americans Elder and Germans Kadavar seem like an ideal match. Both groups are big names in the heavy psych/stoner realm, and their paths became ever more likely to cross once Elder relocated to Deutschland (seemingly the undeclared center of the universe for heavy psych), but it still took a series of events to make the grandly-titled Eldovar-A Story Of Darkness & Light come to fruition, The groups started jamming together at some point during the COVID-19 pandemic (you may have heard of it) and one thing led to another, resulting in this full-scale collaboration being released.

The music on this album is likely not a total surprise for anyone who has been following the trajectory of the two bands involved. Elder’s steady shift from grittier stoner rock/metal towards more airy prog has been well-documented, and Kadavar’s 2020 effort The Isolation Tapes was alternately lauded and dismissed for its dive into Pink Floydian space rock. With this set of seven songs, the collaborators lean into classic influences, not just that of the aforementioned Pink Floyd but of 70s-era progressive rock more generally, along with traditional hard rock like Led Zeppelin. This is (of course) leavened with a dose of modern stoner and psychedelic sensibilities, but the album remains retro in spirit.

Despite its an ambitious-sounding moniker, Eldovar-A Story Of Darkness & Light benefits greatly from an approximately forty-five runtime, which proves ideal for what it is offering. Despite the relative brevity, though, not everything here is especially memorable. The album’s closing one-two punch of the lengthy epic “Blood Moon Night”, which nicely balances mellow shimmer and head-banging rock, and the gorgeous “Cherry Trees” is the best on offer, but before the listener gets there he or she has to make it through a few less impressive numbers. More disappointing offerings include “In The Way”, which seems directly inspired by some of Led Zeppelin’s folkier songs like “Tangerine” or “Going To California” but sadly measures nowhere near either of those classics, and the instrumental interlude “Rebirth Of The Twins”, which passes by without much to comment on. That said, nothing here is less than reliably pleasant, and there are numerous gripping moments throughout (my personal favorites being several sections of the previously-cited “Blood Moon Light” and the grand guitar solo which ends “El Matador”).

Taken on its own terms, Eldovar-A Story Of Darkness & Light is a great record which most fans of the two creator bands will enjoy (to varying degrees). It’s also a fairly accessible effort which will appeal to a broader audience within the rock-loving public. However, this release ultimately seems more like a curio than a classic, and will likely not serve as the iconic moment for either Elder or Kadavar.



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user ratings (39)
3.3
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Sunnyvale
Contributing Reviewer
December 4th 2021


3284 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Album is a low 3.5 for me, it's the type of thing that I might have been a tad disappointed in if I knew it was coming out. However, since the release surprised me I had no expectations,an enjoyable effort if definitely flawed.

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
December 4th 2021


26865 Comments

Album Rating: 3.9

Really nice rev Sunny, I played with the thought of reviewing it too so one less to worry about! lol



The album is pretty cool, fans of both bands should definitely check it

Digging: Tomb of Annihilation - End of Time

Sunnyvale
Contributing Reviewer
December 4th 2021


3284 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks Dewi! Glad to I could take some work off your plate...





chchelse2
December 4th 2021


66 Comments


Got the same Pink Floyd/Led Zeppelin vibe from this. In The Way had me thinking Gallows Pole.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
December 4th 2021


9403 Comments


Album stream:
http://beholdtheelder.bandcamp.com/album/eldovar-a-story-of-darkness-light

Great review.

Digging: Kold Front - Kold Front

Sunnyvale
Contributing Reviewer
December 4th 2021


3284 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks Voivod!



@chchelse2, Gallows Pole is a good reference point for that tune, for sure

nightbringer
December 5th 2021


2407 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

This album isn't doing a lot for me.

Aluktodolo
December 6th 2021


214 Comments


The first track they released started off really promising but the latter portion of it had some pretty stale progressions that went nowhere. Elder are in a strange place for me at the moment; Reflections of a floating world was such a great record and although it had clear influences, they really sounded like nobody else, but their last full length had a strange focus on easily the weakest element of their sound (vocals) and the guitars were heavily dialled back, as well, so I’ve gone from hugely anticipating new releases from them to tempering my expectations a fair bit.

ShartHarder
December 6th 2021


107 Comments


yeah agree, liked the single they put out but the rest of this is pretty uninteresting. production feels very 'light' and airy if that makes sense, these guys are best when riffing hard and being loud. cool that they are experimenting with every release but this might have been their weakest album

nightbringer
December 6th 2021


2407 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I actually really liked Omens but this is just a bit flat.

Zakusz
December 6th 2021


274 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Pretty disappointed with how plain this all unravels for it's runtime. Loved Omens, maybe I'm just not a fan of the split effort

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
December 7th 2021


26865 Comments

Album Rating: 3.9

The opener is jam on toast though.



Elder has been on a weird run as of lately, but I love the more Kadavar bits of this.

DungeonBoy
December 8th 2021


8694 Comments


yeah this was not really doing it for me, but I really do dig these collaboration type albums bands have been doing more recently. The Pijn Conjurer one is among the best IMO

Digging: Nyktophobia - What Lasts Forever

nightbringer
December 8th 2021


2407 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Yeah that one is really strong.



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