Elder (USA-MA)
Innate Passage


4.2
excellent

Review

by Raul Stanciu STAFF
November 25th, 2022 | 133 replies


Release Date: 11/25/2022 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Blending Reflections and Omens to create a mammoth of a record…

Elder have completed the process of becoming a progressive rock band with 2020’s Omens. The production became crystal clear, the overall approach owed more to ‘70s acts rather than modern stoner doom fuzz and various synths were present all over the songs. What was going to happen next? Bring a harder edge back into the sound. It definitely helps the gnarly epics on Innate Passage reach new peaks from that extra boost its predecessor often missed. The foundation of this LP follows the same recipe, the quartet working on small details and vocal delivery most. More crunch on guitars brings improved dynamics, especially when crafting such sonic rollercoaster rides. There are also more upbeat segments this time, augmenting the overall flow. The first two tracks especially, “Catastasis” & “Endless Return” are the most powerful here. They have carefully built structures, admirably blending intertwined leads among electronic touches, while the bass and drums play their own tight grooves. It seems as if they took a page from Motorpsycho and their recent antics. Meanwhile, Nick’s voice feels more comfortable, finding a sweet spot in his range so he doesn’t struggle. “Coalescence”, on the other hand, starts strong with a fun, alternative rock riff. After setting the mood, the tempo starts shifting and synths gently expand around it. The tune at the core switches between softer verses and heavier choruses, leaving way to a sweet keyboard solo over the pounding coda. I enjoy a lot the way Elder keep you on your toes without using slow build-ups to reach a grand finale. Often the little things happening mid-song are just as interesting, if not more than that one riff at the end to wait for.

One thing that the group has held onto tightly is the usual 5-track records, which still works wonders for them. At this point, they effortlessly pull off such massive epics. For example, “Merged in Dreams/Ne Plus Ultra” dives head first into prog territory, going from lush Moog keyboard lines over a dreamy instrumental to dueling guitar solos or labyrinthine rhythm sections with several breaks. Annexed is an atmospheric variation of the main melody, its picked chords floating until one final, striking riff caps them all. Album closer, “The Purpose” further develops from the same sonic bits of its preceding cut. The sharp guitars take off each in its own direction, whereas the bass does a splendid job driving the tune with its thick low end presence. Slightly darker in tone, this final moment on the LP emphasizes maybe most the introspective vibe of Innate Passage. It reflects the course and results of Elder’s current phase. From the explosive, fuzz-drenched early works to the more settled, mature route, the band embarked on one of the most ambitious trajectories in the genre. Thankfully, it keeps paying off as this is another brilliant effort and a must listen.




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user ratings (220)
4
excellent
other reviews of this album
pennyroyal22 (3)
Where has the fun gone? (Nowhere -- it was left behind.)...



Comments:Add a Comment 
insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
November 25th 2022


5854 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

I was a bit skeptical during the first listen, but this is one hell of an album.



Stream here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2jhmxHLJ1XU&ab_channel=ELDER

SharkTooth
November 25th 2022


14882 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good to know they went back to the sound of Reflections here, Omens felt rather underwhelming when I heard it



checking now

Underflow
November 25th 2022


5294 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This album is so, so good.

InfernalDeity
Contributing Reviewer
November 25th 2022


413 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Band has matured their sound a bunch

Underflow
November 25th 2022


5294 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Gets better with every listen imo

Pikazilla
November 25th 2022


24614 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Myes

Tyll
November 25th 2022


34 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Great review !

Album gets better and better with every listen.

My album of the year!

Joellipopelli
November 25th 2022


8 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Damn this record is so good

While I enjoyed Omens a lot, a lot, this Album basically improves on every aspect of it.

Really enjoying the vocals on this one too! Some great melodies and harmonies.

May have to lower my score at some point, but I'm currently feeling a five. Definitely my favorite of their albums!

chemicalmarriage
November 25th 2022


3938 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Very glad I got a preorder for this

kildare
November 25th 2022


91 Comments


Liked "I enjoy a lot the way Elder keep you on your toes without using slow build-ups to reach a grand finale." Great review.

@Raul Stanciu (or anyone else interested): I'm a compulsive genre-splitter, and am also trying to broaden my music knowledge given all the reviews I'm reading of bands in genres I don't listen to. So I'm making playlists from Sputnik with titles like "folk" and "progressive metal" But if I mix grenres like Sputnik does I'll have too many playlists and the exercise is pointless.

This might be unanswerable, but if you HAD to pigeonhole this album into only one of the genres listed (progressive rock, stoner rock, or psychedelic), would it be easy to choose just one? Or is that impossible?

ThatDude
November 25th 2022


96 Comments


Elder can do no wrong. Will take numerous listens to fully assimilate everything this record has to offer.

eirinn
November 25th 2022


46 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

At this point I'd say progressive rock, but a tag is always reductive. This sounds interesting anyway, still have to form my opinion about it. While instrumentally it flows really well, I keep finding the vocals quite predictable and the weak point of this band. On the other hand, there are some great and "airy" passages. Third spin on the way...

Joellipopelli
November 25th 2022


8 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

@kildare I would definitely pigeonhole this into progressive rock

Sure, there’s a lot going on on this record but prog rock would probably be how I‘d describe it to someone who doesn’t know Elder

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
November 25th 2022


5854 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

@kildare - Yeah, this is more of a progressive rock record. Usually stoner has a murkier sound, heavier with fuzz and here isn't the case.



The vocals are the weakest point, but here they don't bother, whereas on Omens there were moments where you could hear Nick struggling to sing the right notes.

Sunnyvale
Staff Reviewer
November 25th 2022


4578 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Not sure how this stacks up against their other releases after just one spin, but definitely excellent as usual. Good review Raul!

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
November 25th 2022


5854 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

Thanks! After 3 or 4 listens I managed to have an overview of all the record. There's a lot going on

necropig
November 25th 2022


6744 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

oh damn new shiz

icatchthirtythree
November 25th 2022


1107 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

excellent album, so stoked!

nightbringer
November 25th 2022


2639 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

A winner from the first listen.

arf
November 25th 2022


487 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"if you HAD to pigeonhole this album into only one of the genres listed (progressive rock, stoner rock, or psychedelic), would it be easy to choose just one? Or is that impossible?"

I'd simply tell them the genre is SPACE rock.



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