I recently wrote about Elder’s Lore, which is hands down one of the best metal albums of the 2010s. Or one of the best rock albums of the 2010s, really, because while there’s an element of doom metal to what they do, they’re really just a supremely heavy and epic rock band. And when we get down to it, a lot of the best metal bands are really just great rock bands. There’s room to debate this I suppose—in black metal for instance, there’s some good stuff that has very little to do with more traditional rock ‘n’ roll tropes. But a lot of my favorite metal bands—Baroness, Yob, Kylesa, Pallbearer—are playing rock ‘n’ roll with some slight stylistic differences.
Elder is arguably even more rock ‘n’ roll than those bands, but they’re also arguably even more epic. I own two albums by them, one of which has five songs, the other has six, and they’re both double albums. And not just because the album is slightly too long to fit on one LP. Each side is at least 15 minutes. That’s a lotta rockin’. Whole lotta rockin’. Too much rock for… you know, I’ll just stop here. (No, no, don’t stop-a-rockin’!)
Reflections of a Floating World was the band’s newest album when I bought it, and it’s my second favorite of theirs. Their earlier stuff is a little closer to stoner rock (but still not “traditional” if you can say such a thing of stoner rock). And their newest, Omens, is the most explicitly prog in the ’70s-era sense of the term. Lotsa synths. Very Rick Wakeman. (I mean, not really, but sorta.) This one, however, is just a bunch of long but outstanding rock songs with some punchy, heavy backend to them. I’m always in awe of how this band can make songs that feel like they’re so boundless, yet so intricate, and yet they never get boring! There are moments in a lot of 10-plus-minute songs that feel like they can be edited out, no matter the band. That’s not true of Elder. They can just keep going and it’ll sound amazing.
(Also, really dig the aqueous color scheme on this bad boy. Ear candy and eye candy.)
Sound Quality: Great