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Elder - The Gold & Silver Sessions CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

3.37 | 19 ratings

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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.

TCat | 3/5 |


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