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4 stars Barely recognizable to their former sludge metal selves, Omens sees Elder continue on their genre defying/redefining journey. Predictably, I have already encountered metal reviewers who seem bothered by the band's swapping of torrid riffage for ethereal mellotron enhanced jamming. While they are entitled to their musical conservatism, the progressive music world benefits immensely from Elder's refusal to pin themselves down to their original genre label.

This is not say Elder does not have a recognizable sound or that their stoner roots have been completely uprooted. Rather the more melodic licks, arpeggios and psychedelic passages that punctuated previous releases have become, on Omens, the core of the song writing. Imagine the adventurousness of mid 70's Yes (e.g. Close to the Edge, Relayer) with a strong stoner rock guitar providing the grounding. Perhaps this was a predictable development for the group, at least if you have been following them. But it has certainly been a welcome one.

I admit to wanting to give this album 5/5 mid way through my first listen. I am sucker for the kinds of chords and ambient tone colors served up on this record. Repeat listens have brought me back to Earth a bit. Still brilliant!

Report this review (#2374731)
Posted Sunday, April 26, 2020 | Review Permalink
Avant/Cross/Neo/Post Teams
3 stars Heavy art rock with psychedelic & pop flavour, in a phrase.

Actually I've bumped into this album "Omens" performed by ELDER, along with recommendations by Bandcamp. They say a German combo ELDER launch "heavy psychedelic rock with progressive elements" that let me expect such a stoner / shoegaze soundscape with hallucinogenic inspiration. In brief, this is my first listen to ELDER's creation, but their latest album "Omens" sounds tighter and more acceptable than expected. Ther melodic lines are quite reasonable and theoretical, and rhythmic vibes are a bit complicated but strict and supportive for the entire instruments and sound atmosphere. For example, "Embers" is a cool rock full of uptempo strong rhythmic movements and dramatic guitar / keyboard-oriented ensembles. Fluent guitar cross talks, dreamy keyboard works, and explosively kicking beats are impressive indeed. In "In Procession" metallic departure, delicate keyboard solos, powerful voices, based upon catchy melodic foundation. The titled track is pretty understandable and favourable, but simultaneously constructed with wonderful combination of theatrical sound expression and immersive rhythmic heaviness.

Although this album would not be satisfying enough for psychedelic / stoner / shoegaze progressive rock maniacs, their splendid, high-qualified work in 2020 could be appreciated by Heavy or Crossover progressive rock fans. Additionally, the sleeve intensively with darkness and anxiety to the real current world is very delicious too.

Report this review (#2494787)
Posted Saturday, January 16, 2021 | Review Permalink

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