Review: Elder ‘Omens’

A colour out of space – Elders’ new offering Omens – reflects the transitional times in which we now find ourselves – confusing, often bleak, but yet beneath this challenging era, emerges a spectral pillar of hope and beauty.

Elder ‘Omens’

Hailing from Boston, Massachusetts, this is the band’s fifth album which features a new line-up including guitarist Michael Risberg and new drummer Georg Edert, guitarist and front man Nick DiSalvo and bassist Jack Donovan along with guest performances by Fabio Cuomo on Rhodes piano and synthesizers.

Together they ventured to Studio Black Box in North-West France to record with Peter Deimel. The result, a cinematic record, gleaming with psychedelic melodies, progressive craftsmanship, gentle oscillations and a sonic exploration of space and time confirming the next evolutionary stage of the band’s existence.

One who expects the hard-rock power of ‘old’ Elder, will indeed find it here, but in minimal flashes throughout a polished full-length, mastered by Carl Saff in Chicago.

Opening track, Omens, coaxes the listener onto an astral plane, bright with clean picking and melodic breakdowns, leaving one with no choice but to strap in and go along with the bands newly refined sound, evolved from doom into prog-laden power, pushing creative boundaries within an endless void.

do not press play expecting a return to their doomy beginnings or Lore. Instead, enjoy an hour of escapism in another world. Highly recommended for those who want something a little different…

In Procession is a sonic exploration through hard riffs and synth, ascending the listener to the upper echelons before levelling off into a smoke-tinged jam, welcoming us to the records interlude.

An idyllically peaceful and calm beginning greets us in Halcyon. Here we soar into the bands post-rock sound – something that would not be out of place on a God Is An Astronaut or Colour Haze record – high above the Earth, a mix of distorted riffs and tubular keys blend together in a truly beautiful composition.

Embers leads with guitar and bass, interwoven in an intricate rhythm playing, blanketed with DiSalvo’s catchiest vocals on the record. Bordering on mainstream rock for the first half, it finishes with a psychedelic flurry of keys and synths.

One Light Retreating is a finale fitting the records concept with a melodic and haunting outro akin to Zeppelin’s No Quarter. Drenched in washy cymbals, low fuzz basslines and sprinkles of keyboard create a floaty atmosphere, almost as if one is descending from the heavens, guided by a post-rock harmony, we fade out in a tender, yet beautiful, nothingness.

Not one to rest on laurels or play it safe, Elder demonstrates musical maturity and creative courage to allow a shift in dynamic with their latest creation – do not press play expecting a return to their doomy beginnings or Lore. Instead, enjoy an hour of escapism in another world. Highly recommended for those who want something a little different.

Label: Stickman Records (Europe) | Armageddon Label (US)
Band Links: Official | Facebook | Bandcamp | Instagram

Scribed by: Seán O’Connor