Friday 17 April 2020

ELDER - Omens (Album Review)

Release date: April 24th 2020. Label: Stickman Records (EU) and Armageddon Label (US). Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Omens – Tracklisting

1. Sanctuary
2. The Falling Veil
3. Staving Off Truth
4. Blind
5. Sonntag
6. Thousand Hands

Band Members:

Nicholas DiSalvo – Guitar, vocals
Jack Donovan – Bass
Michael Risberg – Guitar, keyboards
Georg Edert - Drums

Omens is the new album from Psychedelic Stoner Rockers - ELDER - and is perhaps their most diverse and creative album yet. With the band focusing more on 70s Prog Rock delivery to embed their trademark Psych Doom/Stoner Rock grooves with. Since 2017’s - Reflections Of A Dying World, the band have had a change in personnel and the music feels like it has evolved compared to their previous albums.

ELDER are known for their powerful and dynamically heavy Progressive riffs and they are included on this album but maybe not how you would originally expect. The band have focused on creating a more cinematic experience for this album and it will take multiple listens to get the full effect of what ELDER are trying to achieve here.

The band rely more on Post-Rock and Progressive Rock elements unlike ever before though the band never forget their Psychedelic Doom/Stoner Rock roots and this allows Omens being a more sombre and emotional experience.

Opening song - Omens - shows the new world of ELDER whilst remaining true to their classic sound but it’s the more “new-age” sound that impresses the most. As this song is quite diverse with its many different levels of Progressive Rock. Lead vocalist - Nick - puts in a stunning vocal performance that feels like his most mature performance to date. However, the riffs are the standout here with ELDER showing a real aggressive attitude in their music towards the end of the song.

Most of the songs run between 10 to 13 minutes each and the 5 songs explore the Progressive Stoner Rock genre with rich creativity that only ELDER can deliver.. With each song containing a different spin on the Stoner Rock genre that only draws you into ELDER’s fantastical world.

Second song - In Procession - carries on the Post-Rock/Prog Rock dynamic with a more innocent outlook especially with the lyrics and Nick’s superb vocals yet again. The Psychedelic and Ambient Sounds is pure 70s Prog Rock Excess and Indulgence but it works superbly well into the overall creative aspect of ELDER’s music. There are heavy riffs included on this song and the song does become more addictive when the heavy grooves appear.

The other 3 songs on the album - Halcyon, Embers and One Light Retreating - carry on ELDER’s mission of creating a new identity for themselves with Heavy Progressive Stoner Rock riffs merged with beautiful poetic lyrics that gives Omens a more daring and dramatic feel. Halcyon and One Light Retreating are the standout songs on the album for myself personally. As I felt more emotionally connected to these songs with the intense music moving in many different directions.

How does Omens compare to ELDER’s previous albums. The album is perhaps more challenging to listen to and I believe that is the intention with Omens. ELDER wanted to show the world how they moved in a different musical direction and they have with Omens. Though, they’re not afraid to go back to what made the band so highly admired in the first place and that’s playing some of the best Psychedelic Stoner Rock sounds of the past 12 years.

Omens allows ELDER once again to prove why they’re one of most respected and highly admired bands within the current Stoner Rock/Metal scene.

You will need time to fully admire and appreciate this album. Some folks maybe disappointed by the album when you listen to it first. I was hesitant at first but it’s slowly becoming one of my favourite albums by the band. Or up there with LORE and Dead Roots Stirring.

Overall, Omens is another wonderful album from ELDER and will no doubt end up being acclaimed as one of the best albums of the year, or any year for that matter.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Mona at All Noir PR and Lisa at Hold Tight for the promo. 

Omens will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl now from Stickman Records (EU) and Armageddon Label (US).


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