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Elder Innate Passage album cover
4.16 | 49 ratings | 6 reviews | 33% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2022

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Catastasis (10:50)
2. Endless Return (9:54)
3. Coalescence (9:47)
4. Merged in Dreams - Ne Plus Ultra (14:43)
5. The Purpose (8:37)

Total Time 53:51

Line-up / Musicians

- Nicholas DiSalvo / guitar, vocals, keyboards
- Jack Donovan / bass
- Michael Risberg / guitar, keyboards
- Georg Edert / drums

- Behrang Alavi / vocals (1,2)
- Fabio Cuomo / keyboards (5)

Releases information

Label: Armageddon Shop (US), Stickman Records (EU)
Format: Vinyl, CD, Digital
November 25, 2022

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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ELDER Innate Passage ratings distribution

(49 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(33%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(43%)
Good, but non-essential (18%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

ELDER Innate Passage reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by BrufordFreak
4 stars A late arrival in the musical year (released on November 25), this Berlin-based (originally formed in Boston, Mass.) ensemble celebrates their 15th year with only their seventh album release.

1. "Catastasis" (10:50) long-rising mid-to-low synth note is soon joined by arpeggiating guitar before full band kicks in at the very end of the first minute. At 1:30 there is an introduction of keyboard sounds that give the grungy baseline track some new life--a lighter, more interesting aspect--which is then culminated with a wild synth solo just before a quiet "reset" bridge before vocalist Nicholas DiSalvo's Kevin Moore-like voice enters to sing. Musical shift at 3:40 into heavier, MOTORPSYCHO-like motif allows Nicholas a chance to explore new styling and melody. I really like the instrumental passage in the middle of the fifth minute, just before the grungy MOTORPSYCHO section that follows. Then at 5:42 we emerge from another high-speed tunnel with Mellotrons and softly arpeggiated guitars and bass into a more uplifting, high-sky region--one in which the keys and guitars seem to support the skyward exploration of our eyes (and dreams). Wonderful! The eight minute turns quite NEKATR-like before the "choral" style multi-voice vocals enter singing a gently melodied passage. At 8:40 we then revert to some more guitar-oriented grunge music as the guitars solo over the top. At 9:44 we then return to a more melodic though still heavy motif over which a Richard Wright-like synth solos to the song's close. Very good song--and a great sounding start to this album. (18.25/20)

2. "Endless Return" (9:54) intricately performed music on a complexity level somewhere between those of MOTORPSYCHO and Jared Leach's GHOST MEDICINE. Not very engaging until the more melodic and smoothed out second half. Nice choral vocals. A tough song to rate since I didn't connect at all (except on a cerebral level) with the first half, but I loved the seventh and eighth minutes. (17.75/20)

3. "Coalescence" (9:47) I love the time the band takes to patiently establish the baseline fabric of the song--with great sound and balance of top-to-bottom dynamics--but when the CHROMA KEY-like vocals start at the four-minute mark it's quite a let down/disappointment. 'Trons, synths, and thickening guitar play build after first verse. Nice. Again, quite wonderful sound clarity and mix. The second verse offers very little improvement upon the first--except for the retention of the fuller soundscape. The two-part two-guitar interplay in the seventh and eighth minutes is nice but never really reaches the tension levels (and resolution) that one hopes for. Still, it's pretty. Return to vocals for the ninth minute before giving way to a synth solo. Sounds so 1975! Solid song that is actually quite enjoyable to listen to, just not worthy of superlatives. (18/20)

4. "Merged in Dreams - Ne Plus Ultra" (14:43) with this opening I feel as if I'm in STEVEN WILSON Hand. Cannot. Erase. territory. Dreamy synth lazily soloing over the top reminds me of California psych-pop band WEST INDIAN GIRL. Heavy guitar strumming and play burst onto the scene at 1:50, and then at 2:34 a more heavy fast-driving guitar riffing starts- -over which Nicholas DiSalvo enters with a Bent Sćther-like vocal. The guitar-centric section that then ensues is very much like Jared Leach's wonderful 2016 release, Discontinuance, but then we back off into more CHROMA KEY-like sound space and vocals at the end of the sixth minute. It's very pretty, relaxing and engaging (with, again, nice multi- track vocal arrangements). Very anti-climactic middle section seems to "end" with a silence starting at 10:10 filled only with a repeating, distant piano arpeggio until subtle synth layers and, eventually, electric guitar chord arpeggi begin to rejoin and re-populate the sonic field. Drums slowly re-introduce themselves until at 13:10 the full band rejoins to play a repeating five-chord progression to the song's close. Very nice but, once again, seems to be begging for more/different build and resolution. (26.5/30)

5. "The Purpose" (8:37) another long (three minute) and engaging intro. Nicholas' vocal enters and the music, for once, stays similar. Once again I feel a very strong CHROMA KEY throughout this song: chord progressions, pacing, synth- born atmospherics, and, of course, Nicholas' vocal sound. At the four-minute mark begins a dreamy space interlude of delicately played instruments, each playing stoccato notes while forming a beautiful weave. At 5:10 we return to the opening motif and the Kevin Moore-like vocal. Then, at the very end of the sixth minute, the guitars burst forth over the continued rhythm section tapestry, but then soon step back so that the many keyboard sounds and textures can step back into the weave. The final 70 seconds find the band reverting to the gorgeous space music of the middle interlude--to fade. (14/15)

Total Time 53:51

Elder's music has become more complex (and very similar to Motorpsycho ?) and intricate (? and Ghost Medicine) than previous albums but somehow less "complete": each song seems to fall short of perceived heights and dénouement of internal conflicts. Too bad cuz the production is excellent and the sound very welcoming. At the same time, I noticed how much I was enjoying the album with each successive listen--due, I think, to the fact that one becomes familiar with the music so easily.

A-/4.5 stars; a minor masterpiece of heavier progressive rock music--and definitely a step in the right direction for this band.

Review by Negoba
5 stars A delicious combo of post-rock atmosphere and proggy touches on a base of select stoner metal.

Over the last year, I have been exploring the breath of psychedelic hard rock and metal, wanting a sound that is a little more ethereal than the sludge of the doom side of stoner metal and maybe just maybe some musical flourishes of prog. That search led me to Elder and their most recent album Innate Passage which contains 5 songs clocking in at 53:53.

The opener "Catastasis" sets the stage, starting with echo-y guitars very much in a post-rock vein but quickly bringing in a heavy guitar groove and then the synths. Vocals finally enter at 2:45, and are definitely more of a textural layer than a lead element. Both vocals and the overall groove sits somewhere between Mastodon and Pink Floyd. In the Mid-point is a riffy guitar break compete with twin leads reminding us that this music has its roots in the 70's. The entire song lasts about 10 minutes and covers a lot of territory but the mood remains pretty ethereal throughout. Nothing is jarring or harsh. The band definitely knows their audience and delivers.

The rest of the album follows the formula and the vibe but keeps introducing new themes, new elements, new angles. In spite of the length of the songs and the consistent tone, I never come close to getting bored. The multi-layered sections vary from smooth to complex. Lots of rhythmic ideas, many composed lines, guitar leads, different types of keyboard tones, plenty of echo and reverb, you get the picture. If Motorpsycho went completely heavy psych, you would be pretty close to this sound.

The individual components of this music are not new. At the same time, I personally have not heard them combined in quite this way and certainly not this well. I would guess that one's response to this music would mirror your response to the many styles they are drawing from. For me, those are some of my favorite styles so finding this album was so exciting that I considered it a personal birthday present (I was born in November when it came out.)

So for me it's a 5 star. YMMV.

Latest members reviews

3 stars I do like this album, although I don't love it. It is superior to many other prog albums from 2022 I heard, but in my humble opinion, it brings nothing new to the table. And for me personally, that is important. Especially for a prog act. but I would have liked more variation and surprises. Th ... (read more)

Report this review (#2879858) | Posted by WJA-K | Thursday, February 2, 2023 | Review Permanlink

5 stars A stunningly great album, and a big surprise for me, as I generally don't care much for 'Heavy' Prog, or anything that has strong 'metal' tendencies, but this is fantastic. And I think their earlier reputation as a 'stoner metal' band, or whatever, just no longer applies. This is a fantastic progres ... (read more)

Report this review (#2874507) | Posted by BBKron | Wednesday, January 11, 2023 | Review Permanlink

4 stars ELDER is the heavy psych band formed in 2005; work in perpetual evolution to develop planing melodies introducing sonic dreams on the stoner and the dynamic psyche, on the metal prog worthy of a DREAM THEATER, QUEENSRYCHE or ANATHEMA at the start, much more on the MOTORPSYCHO of which they must ... (read more)

Report this review (#2855133) | Posted by alainPP | Monday, November 28, 2022 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I first heard about Elder following the release of their 2017 album Reflections of a Floating World, and was instantly floored with the extremely thick and dense stoner doom sound mixed with atmospheric psychedelia and prog rock. While this certainly isn't new for stoner doom bands to mix prog i ... (read more)

Report this review (#2854812) | Posted by Rayven | Sunday, November 27, 2022 | Review Permanlink

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