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ELDER

Heavy Prog • United States


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Elder biography
Formed in Boston, Massachusetts, USA in 2005

ELDER is a 3 piece heavy psych band from Boston. It's a work in progress who continues to meld the familiar sounds os Sleep's colossal riffage with their ever-evolving vision of soaring melodies and sonic soundscapes. The music is on the line between classic stoner metal and psychedelia. Since the release in 2010 of their second album "Dead Roots Stirring", the band has continued to push their sound in more dynamic and inspiring directions, while still holding true their original heavy approach.

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ELDER discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

ELDER top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.56 | 16 ratings
Elder
2008
3.94 | 24 ratings
Dead Roots Stirring
2011
4.17 | 51 ratings
Lore
2015
3.92 | 76 ratings
Reflections Of A Floating World
2017
3.60 | 63 ratings
Omens
2020

ELDER Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.60 | 5 ratings
Live at Roadburn
2013

ELDER Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

ELDER Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

ELDER Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.94 | 8 ratings
Spires Burn/Release
2012
3.24 | 10 ratings
The Gold & Silver Sessions
2019

ELDER Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Lore by ELDER album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.17 | 51 ratings

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Lore
Elder Heavy Prog

Review by PJMarten

5 stars This is probably the best album by the band, at least in my opinion as there are many contenders to come. Each track is an epic with four being over ten minutes long, one even reaching sixteen. Keyboards make a come back bringing more diversity in the instrumentation.

"COMPENDIUM" is the first track and it really sets a high bar. After the vocals, the song really starts to get good with its instrumentation. My favorite part is when all the instruments quiet down and its just the guitar making beautiful rhythms. "LEGEND" starts with a laid back, atmospheric guitar solo; I'm imagining rain streaming down a window glowing through a dark room. The structure here is similar to that of Dead Roots Stirring, and like that song, keeps introducing new passages throughout the track. The ending mirrors the beginning but this time more epic. "LORE" (the song) is absolutely amazing. The first half of this song heavily builds up to the second half, which is just one stunning melodic passage after another. This song needs to be listened to multiple times as after the initial impression, the second part provides a new context to the first making the song even better with future plays. "DEADWEIGHT" is the song that people probably forget, but don't be fooled, this track is no filler. The guitar solo is the standout moment here and is quite powerful. "SPIRIT AT APHELION" ends the album on a high note, the beginning is awesome with the acoustic guitar and keyboards, very lovely. The song gets very energetic, the chorus especially gets me going.

I love this album, it's a masterpiece in my eyes without any flaws. I can't see how any fan of metal or heavy prog wouldn't be able to enjoy it. While I like the vocals, that might be the only thing that would put people off. Another thing is that this might be the best place to start if one hasn't listened to Elder before.

 Spires Burn/Release by ELDER album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2012
3.94 | 8 ratings

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Spires Burn/Release
Elder Heavy Prog

Review by PJMarten

4 stars This is an EP? If Kanye West released this, he would call it a full length album and charge full. What you get here are two fleshed out songs; these are not leftovers at all. Same line up as Dead Roots Stirring, in fact, any of these songs would have fit right in with that album without deterring quality.

"SPIRES BURN" is the darker track of the two. I don't usually pay attention to lyrics, and while I do like Nick's singing (as I do for any singer really), I just don't care for words in music. However, the writing here is rather prophetic with adds intensity to the song. I love the guitar solo after the six minute mark, makes me want to put on a leather jacket and shades while driving a motorcycle. "RELEASE" is my favorite song here and one of my favorites in Elder's discography in general. This track is full of beautiful guitar leads and melodies. The good vibes are right there at the begging and the chorus is solid. The guitar solo at 6:15 is spot on and the ending is just perfect. I love this song so much.

It's not often an EP blows me away. Even though its just two tracks I have to give this release four stars. Release (the song) alone is worth it even though Spires is great too.

 Dead Roots Stirring by ELDER album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.94 | 24 ratings

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Dead Roots Stirring
Elder Heavy Prog

Review by PJMarten

4 stars Elder's Dead Roots Stirring is their second and much improved album. This and their self titled work are rather similar, same instruments, same band members, and same style of music; just that this one is better in every way. As far as I can hear, this album has no keyboards, but this isn't a problem since this band is all about the guitars. Once again DiSalvo steals the show with his playing, and he's a lot more creative with his writing.

"GEMINI" is the first track and consists of two parts. The first part is more of standard rocker with a chorus that I can see the crowd shouting during a show. This is probably the weakest part of the album and I feel even weaker than the first album. However, it only gets better with the second part with an awesome guitar solo creating an epic melody. The second and one of the most iconic Elder songs is "DEAD ROOTS STIRRING." This is the longest song up to this point at twelve minutes long (unless of course, you consider both parts of Riddle of Steel as one song). This is also the most progressive song so far kicking off with an awesome four minute guitar solo. After this, the song goes back and forth between singing and instruments, and even towards the end of this song, new riffs and melodies are introduced; legendary song. "III" is an instrumental song starting off with acoustic guitars and a medieval aura. This track builds up into a heavier electric guitar riff, and before you know it, the song ends. This one is rather hypnotizing and feels shorter than it actually is. "THE END" is an intense and highly energetic track. I especially like the riff after the first chorus. The second half of the song consists of a lot of jamming with the last forty seconds being especially ear pleasing. The last song, "KNOT," is also a lengthy track at twelve minutes. This one's fast paced and adventurous, taking you on a musical journey from beginning to end. I get a lot of early Rush vibes with it being less heavy but still having edge to it.

This album is excellent for any heavy prog or metal fan. While not the most progressive, Elder's creativity is already taking off. Four stars, Especially thanks to the epic "title" track.

 Elder by ELDER album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.56 | 16 ratings

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Elder
Elder Heavy Prog

Review by PJMarten

3 stars Elder is a Heavy Prog band, but this particular album is more of a progressive metal offering. This self titled work is the first real album of theirs, if you haven't listened to this band before, don't bother with the demos as they don't represent the current iteration of the group. While still early in their music exploration, the elements that make them great are already here. This band is a trio consisting of Matt Couto on drums, Jack Donovan on bass, and Nick DiSalvo on guitar. The percussion is alright, but doesn't stand out and relies too much on cymbals. The bass playing is better, dancing along with the guitar rather than mimicking it like many other metal bands do. Where this band really shines is with the guitar playing, DiSalvo being the mastermind here providing epic leads and exciting riffs. There are also keyboards in a couple songs, though they are primarily pads, occasionally providing psych moments.

The music here is some of the heaviest and most aggressive in their entire discography. The progressive aspect is mostly with the length of these songs. "WHITE WALLS" kicks the album off with a deep and distorted bass line, followed by the rest of the instruments. Despite being the shortest song on the album, it's still nearly seven minutes long. The best part is towards the end with an awesome guitar solo followed by synth pads; this part especially pumps me up. "HEXE" is the best song here, even though this album is rather consistent in terms of quality. The tempo keeps changing throughout the song keeping the listener on edge. Being mostly instrumental, the guitar gets plenty of moments for epic riffing. Once again, the best part of the song (and album) is the end, I don't want to spoil it because it really is my favorite moment and want you to experience it for yourself, so pay attention around 6:45. "RIDDLE OF STEEL" is a two part epic. Most of the good stuff happens in the first part as the second primarily rehashes part one, though two is still good. This song is notable for having the most psychedelic section on the album with its atmospheric synth pads followed by a wah wah driven guitar solo. GHOST HEAD is another favorite of mine. This one starts off rather bluesy before heavy guitar riffs take over. The best part here, as per usual on this album, is at the end with one of the heaviest and most brutal moments Elder ever recorded.

This album is good, but not essential. Don't be mistaken as I love this album and personally recommend it to all fans of metal. I'd say this one is closer to 3.5 out of 5 rating but will round down to 3 just to be fair for their future releases.

 Omens by ELDER album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.60 | 63 ratings

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Omens
Elder Heavy Prog

Review by DamoXt7942
Forum & Site Admin Group 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.

 Omens by ELDER album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.60 | 63 ratings

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Omens
Elder Heavy Prog

Review by ssmarcus

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!

 Lore by ELDER album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.17 | 51 ratings

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Lore
Elder Heavy Prog

Review by ssmarcus

4 stars We've all heard the refrain before: rock n' roll, or "guitar," music is long dead and actually still dying. Cliché as it may be, the claim is backed up by the Billboard numbers. Those rock acts that do manage to top the charts, acts like Coldplay and Imagine Dragons, have grown to use the guitar and the traditional trappings of rock as an accessory to music that is increasingly electronic based. Wittingly or not, Nick DiSalvo, the front man and, on this record, sole guitarist of Elder, has stepped up to prove that the almighty riff is still King. Armed with a monster stoner rock guitar tone and a killer rhythm section, the album's 5 sprawling tracks aim to take the listener on a journey across colorful and ambitious soundscapes, a feat made all the more impressive given the core ensemble of musicians is essentially a power trio. Rock may have died in the mainstream. Independent progressive metal revived it.
 The Gold & Silver Sessions by ELDER album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2019
3.24 | 10 ratings

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The Gold & Silver Sessions
Elder Heavy Prog

Review by TCat
Forum & Site Admin Group Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team

3 stars Elder is a Heavy Prog band from Boston, Massachusetts, formed in 2005. Typically their music has some psychedelic aspects but remains on the heavy side creating a stoner rock vibe. They have released 4 full length albums since 2008. In July of 2019, the band released this EP called "The Gold and Silver Sessions". Made up of 3 tracks, the total run time is almost 32 minutes. The current line up consists of dual guitarists Nicholas DiSalvo and Mike Risberg, bassist Jack Donovan and drummer Mike Risberg. The EP is available on vinyl, CD and digitally.

The aim of the band on this EP was to create a more experimental album in the way of mostly improvised psychedelic jams in order to express their development as a band. The claim of the album is that it thus follows the band members musical style into new directions.

"Illusory Motion" starts out the EP with a 10 minute track. A drone-like layer anchors the track as shimmering guitars play over the top supported by a moderate and steady rhythm. The chilled atmosphere continues, but the guitars come to the fore more as the track goes on, thickening their strummed and jangly sounds There are heavenly vibe-like notes that twinkle like stars among the improvising lines of the guitars. A sudden increase of heaviness erupts in the 7th minute, and the stoner vibe is suddenly quite apparent in this previously psych-only jam. This is the wake up call that the track needs at this point and the guitars churn up quite an uproar before the track finishes.

"Im Morgengrauen" is the shortest of the three tracks staying below the 5 minute mark. The track begins with uncredited keys and sustained synths before the rhythm and the guitars come in. This one develops into a nice, dreamy jam kept down to earth by the keyboards, but mostly headed by dynamic guitar work.

"Weißensee" is the final track and is made up of a several bits and pieces of a solo album that DiSalvo was working on. This 18 minute track starts off with a repeating pattern that develops the rhythm section's base for the first part of the track while guitars softly shimmer along. As it continues, it is as if someone is slowly adding sounds into the mix, just like the one-eyed creature on the album cover slowly pouring and testing new ingredients to his overall mixture just to see what he can create. The jam sounds a lot like the free flowing music of Phish in a concert setting. Melodic, yet improvised guitar phrases play along with the repeating background, Then after the 6 minute mark, the backdrop becomes heavier with a solid beat. The music takes on a more space rock-like vibe as the guitars become scratchier and slowly heavier. After a long jam section, after 14 minutes, the background drops out and we are left with celestial sounding synths underlying the shimmering guitars, but those guitars even fade away and are replaced with an organ playing a stately melody. Suddenly there is a loud crash of drums and loud guitars that turn this into the heavy feeling of their past endeavors, reminding you that after all, they are a Heavy band trying out their hands in a psychedelic jam setting. This last portion of the track gives the end of the EP a huge dose of life in the form of loud guitars and wild drums.

This EP is definitely quite different from their previous full length album which had a much heavier and stoner-like vibe to it, thus living up to their Heavy Prog designation, but this EP is all instrumental and more like a space rock album, especially with the long ending track, which is definitely the central track. However, it's more free floating vibe doesn't necessarily void out the other two tracks, which are distinct and interesting enough to stand on their own. I actually like the feel of the first two tracks more as the final track becomes somewhat repetitive in its long jam structure, which eventually gets saved by it's loud ending. Those that loved the previous heaviness of the last album however can look forward to a new full length album that is slated to be dropped sometime in 2019, but this EP makes for a nice break from that, and also gives the artists a chance to throw their name into the ring as being one of the many bands venturing into the psychedelic/space rock genre this year. There is nothing really that is innovative on this album, but for some great, mostly laid back jamming, this EP is very well done.

 Reflections Of A Floating World by ELDER album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.92 | 76 ratings

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Reflections Of A Floating World
Elder Heavy Prog

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Hailing from Boston, these heavy proggers toe an almost-grungy LED ZEPPELIN line as they jam along--never less than eight minutes. The band has great ideas, great aspirations, and a great sound, however, I see room for growth: more sophistication, more diversity in singing styles (or voices), and maybe even some improvement in recording engineering (bringing things more forward in the mix.

1. "Sanctuary" (11:14) opens with a delightful chunky heaviness that is lost a little during guitar soloing--a midsection that sounds a LOT like a cross between 1970s LED ZEPPELIN and THIN LIZZY. The vocals could be a little stronger, more prominent. (8.5/10)

2. "The Falling Veil" (11:13) opens with some gentle "get to know me" front-porch guitar picking before the song leaps into full gear in a SEVEN IMPALE and LED ZEPPELIN way. The spacious, "far away" effect on the vocal is more appropriate for this heavy rocker. I LOVE the soft, down section in the eighth minute and the Mellotron-drenched section that follows. This song just keeps better the longer it plays! Reminds me a lot of the power and talent of GHOST MEDICINE's Jared Leach. (9/10)

3. "Staving Off Truth "(10:18) beautiful opening before bursting into a djenty tour de force at 1:15. By the time the vocals join in, the song has settled into a kind of ALICE IN CHAINS sound and feel. Awesome! Another awesome down tempo section begins at the end of the fifth minute and turns into a cool YES/ALLMAN BROTHERS section thanks to the pedal steel guitar. Around 6:30 things revert back to the AinC style/sound only with a less insistent vocal, but then at 7:03 things shift into a brief two-guitar picking distant drum section before amping back up into the heavier stuff (again reminding me of a heavier THIN LIZZY). Nice drumming on display on this one! (9/10)

4. "Blind" (13:24) opens with the sound so mucked up that I thought something was wrong with my headphones' connection the first time I heard it. But after about half a minute the "joke" is played out and the rockin' groove comes forth in full force and full focus. Unexpectedly, soon after all instruments save for an "distant" electric piano and organ/synth drop out while a distant voice sings in a newsy voice. Once he finishes stating his plaintive case, the grunge returns--and eventually the singer sings--in the same voice and mix using the same melody as before--over the heavy stuff. At 4:30 there is shift into a section based on an arpeggiated riff from the electric piano. The drums shift and the rest of the band gradually join in pumping out another great multi-guitar weave of heavy prog. Nice, interesting song full of unexpected shifts and turns. The final two minutes is the real highlight with a crashing meeting of passion coming from all the instrumentalists at the same time, yielding an awesome crescendo. (8.5/10)

5. "Sonntag" (8:40) I get the Krautrock references to this song but the instrumental contributions here are a little too sparse, unchanging, and the groove not as hypnotizing as many great German songs of the 1970s. Plus, there are a couple of times that the drummer seems to loose his concentration, connection, or enthusiasm for the kind of Jaki Liebezeit beat the song really requires. (8/10)

6. "Thousand Hands" (9:37) One of my favorite prog epics of the year--thanks in no small part to some great guitar weaves, great drumming, awesome Mellotron use, catchy chord progressions and melodies, and the most fitting vocals on the album! Another song in which the second half surpasses the (awesome) first half. (9.5/10)

4.5 stars; a near-masterpiece of progressive rock music and certainly a band with tremendous potential. Though I liked their previous release, Lore, better, I am not displeased with this slight shift in direction--and I can't wait to see what they do next!

 Reflections Of A Floating World by ELDER album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.92 | 76 ratings

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Reflections Of A Floating World
Elder Heavy Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars ELDER are a band out of Boston who play a heavy style of Metal on this particular album. I understand they change somewhat from record to record but I haven't heard any of their other albums yet. The Previous album "Lore" is apparently a sludgy, doom driven recording that blew a lot of people away. They are a trio and DiSalvo the guitarist also plays mellotron to my great surprise. I would describe "Reflections On A Floating World" as heavy but not doom-like and we do get lots of contrasts with the heaviness. I read one reviewer who said the vocals on "Lore" were distant, almost buried in the mix but not so here, and he almost shouts the lyrics.

DiSalvo mentioned in an interview that the title of this album comes from a Japanese term "The Floating World" which refers to a particular period in Japanese history where the arts were flourishing but also there was a self-destructive decadent lifestyle. It seemed appropriate to DiSalvo to name this album as such considering the times we live in in 2017. Interesting to me that JADE WARRIOR had an album named "The Floating World" with Japanese artwork. Oh we do get a couple of guests on here adding keys and guitar.

"Sanctuary" is a song that sort of typifies this album with the contrasts between the heavy and calm plus the amazing guitar work, especially after 4 minutes as he lights it up. Lots of feedback around 9 minutes.

"The Falling Veil" opens with atmosphere as sounds come and go. It kicks into gear around 1 1/2 minutes and vocals a minute after that. Love the way the guitar grinds away, just churning out the metal. A real shred-fest here at times. But check out the majestic mellotron 7 1/2 minutes in as it will go on and on as metal flies everywhere.

"Starving Off The Truth" is a kick-ass tune with vocals and a lot of heaviness. An interesting calm with keys starting before 4 1/2 minutes but the guitar and drums are back quickly as it slowly builds back to that heavy onslaught. Great sound when the vocals return.

"Blind" is the longest track at 13 1/2 minutes although the shortest is almost 9 minutes long. Kind of an experimental intro before it kicks in heavily. A calm before 2 minutes with vocals and piano. The heaviness explodes upon the soundscape rather quickly. Vocals will come and go the rest of the way. I like that determined rhythm around 11 minutes.

"Sonntag" might be the shortest song on here but it's also my favourite. Atmosphere, picked guitars and bass to start. How good is this when the tempo slowly starts to speed up(haha). I like this a lot. The atmosphere takes over 8 minutes in to the end. Love the groove to this one.

"Thousand Hands" is a great closer that seems to touch on all the things I like about this album. The amazing guitar early on and of course on and off throughout, the mellotron starting before 3 1/2 minutes along with the vocals and the calm sections.

It will be interesting to see how this stacks up with their earlier albums once I hear them. A solid 4 stars for sure.

Thanks to rdtprog for the artist addition. and to NotAProghead for the last updates

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