Review: Elder – Lore

How do you top an excellent album like 2011’s Dead Roots Stirring? Easy. You wait four years and drop a masterpiece.

From the moment I pressed play on Lore, the latest album from Elder, I knew it was special. Different. The whirling guitars of intro track “Compendium” signaled another step in the band’s evolution. While their classic/psychedelic rock influences are present at an all-time high, this record hints at yet more stylistical cues. The songs are long and filled with different sections, like Dead Roots Stirring was. This time, however, they’re even more dynamic. Dichotomy is what defines this LP – quiet & loud, acoustic & electric, gently overdriven & heavily fuzzed, to name a few. Because of this, Lore has a progressive rock feel not found in its predecessor.

In addition, instrumental passages neatly placed throughout the album sometimes see the band reaching for post-rock territory. The effect is the “painting” of sonical landscapes. I realize this is the utmost cliché, but I’ll be doomed if these aren’t some of the most beautiful soundscapes ever painted by a metal band. By listening to the second song in this LP, “Legend”, you can see for yourself how all of the aforementioned musical elements come together seamlessly. Never contrived, nor forced.

To experience Lore in its entirety is to travel through an unknown, alien land. Not because it’s terrifying or unnerving, but rather because everything is new and fascinating. Have you ever been on a long road trip, or perhaps a long hike? The feeling of looking through the window for a while, just absorbing the surroundings in motion is exactly what Elder elicits. Thankfully, the scenery is nothing short of spectacular. Praise is due to the stellar rhythm section that commands the journey. The drumming is tight and varied, pummeling in the heaviest moments and consciously seceding in moments of introspection. The syncopated patterns on the beginning of “Spirit At Aphelion” are most definitely a highlight. The bass just seems to wrap itself around your body in a warm embrace. On quiet passages, you can feel it in your bones.

If the rhythm section is in the driver’s seat or represents the pace of your feet, the guitars are the wanderings and musings of your imagination. Leads and licks are so ubiquitous throughout the record, so perfectly crafted, that they possess a certain stream-of-consciousness characteristic that is hard to describe; the sensation provoked is that of suspension, of elevation. But flying high is not everything the guitar does. In fact, every track features at least one main riff that carries that earthy guitar tone, the one oh-so-irresistible to any stoner metal appreciator. The vocals are delightful, although not used very often. In this case, it is a good thing, for everytime Disalvo’s voice comes in it seems like it’s absolutely vital to that portion of the song.

If I was to describe Elder’s latest album in one word, it would be riveting. Every second of this LP demands your attention. Dichotomy is once again present, as you can choose to immerse yourself and listen to the entire record, or prefer to have shorter trips with the individual songs. They all work perfectly as separate pieces. Regardless of how you decide to unravel Lore‘s mysteries, you are in for a treat.

NO FLUSH

Lore was released on February 28th via Stickman Records. You can purchase a digital copy on Bandcamp, or a variety of physical formats here. Be sure to give them a like on Facebook, too. They deserve it.

Written by:

Published on: April 29, 2015

Filled Under: Metal, Reviews

Views: 2215

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  • King Shit of Fuck Mountain
  • Edward/Breegrodamus™

    Nice review.

    Only the Fish God hails the trve hails.

  • I love music that evokes strong imagery in one’s head. Where you can just see an entire setting if you close your eyes.

    This puts me on the American frontier in the late 1800s/early 1900s, or at least what my imagination thinks is that

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4E1JYP5Tgc

      • This is exactly why my imagination thinks the frontier

      • Dr. W.’s Tentacles

        I’m giving you “The Lazy Eye” from here.

        • I haven’t seen this movie in so long and all the memories are flooding back, I might have to buy this on blu-ray or something.

          • I watched American Tail a couple years back, that movie is amazing no matter what age you are

          • Dr. W.’s Tentacles

            I haven’t seen this in decades (I suspect), but I still think of it from time to time. Often in the form of “Bowee wowee bark bark. bark bark bark!”

          • Tyree
          • this was FUCKED.

          • Dr. W.’s Tentacles

            I actually never saw this.

          • You should, Robin Williams voices a crazy bat and Tim Curry voices the villain.

          • Dr. W.’s Tentacles

            Sold. I bought The Brave Little Toaster when my wife and I were first dating because she had never seen it.

          • I actually watched that very recently. Never got the overtly religious messages beforehand. Also, here’s a screencap from Fern Gully:
            https://41.media.tumblr.com/b6416bee0f061b0955f95fd498567d5e/tumblr_mkyo888gut1rtiilko2_500.png

          • Tyree

            That fucking oil man.

          • That dude was SCARY AS SHIT when I was a kid. And his weird whispering and subtle sexual tone in talking and singing freaked me out.

          • Dr. W.’s Tentacles

            Reminds me of the Chernabog demon from Fantasia. Speaking of scary things in kids’ movies, did you ever see the Little Nemo?

          • The only really scary things in my kid times (except that fictional alien encounter and the hellraiser movie) was this guy:

            https://misleyenditas09.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/el-silbon1.jpg

            El Silbón, a local legend of a ghost roaming in the Llanos of Venezuela that whistle.

          • Dr. W.’s Tentacles

            Link, we use the term llano a lot here due to our position on the southern plains of the US.

          • Yeah, we have that plains in the southwest part of the country, in the frontier with Colombia and Brasil. It’s a very very wild and weird region.

            There you will find Anacondas, weird ghost stories, capibaras and ‘llaneros’, our local cowboys!

            Also, in the Apure state the independence forces fought in the Legendary Battle of Las Queseras del Medio, in which they killed 400 of 1200 soldiers of the Spanish Empire; and the venezuelans only were 153 riders and they only got killed 2 of them.

            The venezuelans were commanded by who will become later as the first Venezuela president, the General José Antonio Páez, the “First Spear of the Llanos”.

            This is a painting of the artist Arturo Michelena, who painted a lot of other independence war facts:

            https://arescronida.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/jose-antonio-paez-2-grito-vuelvan-caras-arturo-michelena.png

            ¡VUELVAN CARAS!

          • Capibaras, you say???

          • Yeah! They are called Chigüires, and are mostly in the Apure state, it’s the most south state of the Llanos region. It’s a traditional dish in that region too.

            I give to you this photo of two capibaras kissing <3 http://www.venezuelatuya.com/natura/imagenes/047chiguire2.jpg

          • Sometimes it feels like I’m the only one who remembers this exists:
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U3NoDEu7kpg

          • I never saw this. Getting a real Salieri in Amadeus vibe from this hombre.

          • Tyree
          • This is by far my favorite Disney song, and is super fun to sing about ex-girlfriends right after you break up

          • You really are an emo/power metal amalgamation.

          • Dr. W.’s Tentacles

            The worst of both worlds!

          • Then I’m going to the trvest metal fest in the world and none of you are except Tyree, so there’s that.

            < 1 month

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UBfoMgllphs

          • Dr. W.’s Tentacles

            “Man, they’re really hammering me today. What do I do? Insult Pantera? No, Joe will just shove me in a locker again. Call people posers? That sword has lost its edge. Oh, I know, I’ll keep mentioning MDF!”

          • You’re still not going

          • Dr. W.’s Tentacles

            Light a candle for me.

          • Tyree

            If MDF even happens. Baltimore is fucked.

          • The Orioles have to play a game today with no one in the stadium. Thanks police brutality!

          • Tyree

            I heard about that. Craziness!

          • My first question upon hearing about that: Will they still play walk-up music for each batter?

          • Tyree
          • They should just play every ignorant rap song imaginable and moon walk to the plate. The game will be televised so that would make for great TV.

          • Lacertilian

            Hexxxxxxus

          • (that’s one I don’t think I’ve ever actually seen)

          • Dr. W.’s Tentacles

            Aww man. I still love it.

          • My ex and I tried to watch that, we quit after 20 minutes. Movie did not age well for me 🙁

          • Dr. W.’s Tentacles

            Boooo

          • I’m not doing so hot in the comments today

          • Lacertilian

            I got to watch it for school in yr 3 or something.
            I’m guessing James Cameron saw it too, remembered it years later and then went about making a shittier version with aliens instead of pixies and called it Avatar.

          • I was literally just thinking about this movie at the same time, haha.

    • Tyree
    • Guacamole Jim

      It feels like it’s not as frequent as it should be that music does that, but one of my absolute favourites, as far as imagery evoked, is Thrice’s Alchemy Index.

      [EDIT: this was terribly worded, but fuck you; I’m leaving it]

      • oh dude, yes. Lost Continent / The Whaler = <3 <3 <3

        • Guacamole Jim

          So good. All the feels.

      • Dagon

        That’s what made this album stand out a lot. I didn’t say it in the review but after jamming it several times, the cover now makes perfect sense. It’s like a scenery close to earth, but the colors are all alien.

        Dank

  • Guacamole Jim

    Seeing the cover art, I expected something different. More shoe-gaze-y or something. But this is rad as fuck! Great review, O Fish God.

    • They just visited Charlotte, I skipped it because I figured it’d be another typical sludge band. Bummed now

      • Guacamole Jim

        Argh – I hate it when that happens. I remember when I was younger and dumber I didn’t like Mastodon, but they were playing at a show I wanted to see (on their Crack the Skye tour), so when they went on stage I left and consumed beer. Still kicking myself for that.

      • Dagon

        This and Dead Roots Stirring are nothing but typical :/

        Elder really is one of the strongest bands in their genre.

    • Edward/Breegrodamus™
  • Not particularly into this doomy stoner stuff, but I can understand why those that are would like this. No flush

  • Hmmm, I’m liking this quite a bit.
    Hail Fvsh Gvd.

  • TrickleDownOvTacoKvltRiff

    Great pick, great album, great band, great review. I recently realized one of the reasons I like this band so much: I’m old as fuck and his guitar tone reminds me of Jimmy Page in the prime Zeppelin years. The meandering guitar and that tone in the classics like Achilles Last Stand, No Quarter is took me to the same place these tunes do…

    • Edward/Breegrodamus™

      You aren’t that old TDTR.

      • TrickleDownOvTacoKvltRiff

        thanks bro! I try to temper talking about the “old days” round here….haha.

    • Dr. W.’s Tentacles

      You keep up with us whippersnappers pretty well.

      • TrickleDownOvTacoKvltRiff

        Thanks doc..u guys keep me young. Its so weird most dudes my age (90%) all stop consuming and or listening to music. If they do listen its all pre 1990…its really weird. And of the 10% that don’t and like “metal” its always the That Metal Show Metal. I’m not knocking them, I just get bored as fuck.

        • Taylor Jong Un

          Pffffffffffffffft, you don’t know know about trve metal! I lived the 80’s, man. I remember being 8 years old back in ’89, and sang for Judas Priest, Skid Row and doing blow with David Lee Roth! It’s youngins like you that are ruining it for us who are in our early 30’s and been there!

          http://www.seabreeze.com.au/img/photos/windsurfing/4976673.jpg

          • TrickleDownOvTacoKvltRiff

            Hahaha! sounds like everyone of them…and one in particular. (LOL)

          • Taylor Jong Un

            Lol, we had a noob on the TOH Facebook page going on about how young people don’t know about metal. It was fucking hilarious to be honest. I’ve hung out with plenty of blues and jazz musicians at the locl bars back in Hyde Park, and you’d think they’d be the most stuck up about that sorta thing. Oddly enough, it’s exactly the opposite. Even though they wanted to snap my neck off when I’d play Dissection on the jukebox. :-p
            Kinda pushing it with that or playing Strapping Young Lad and Nitzer Ebb in a place where older black folks just wanted their dusties and soul? Thankfully everyone knew me. :-p

          • TrickleDownOvTacoKvltRiff

            lol saw that thread…unbelievable. I think Jazz and Blues guys are from a different mold than the 50 year old off my lawn dude stuck in the 80’s. if that makes sense..in other words I agree with you 100%.

          • Taylor Jong Un

            Blues guys are some of the rawest and coolest motherfuckers on Earth! And they have much to teach.

          • TrickleDownOvTacoKvltRiff

            word!

        • OldMetalHead

          Yeah. I used to do that too. Then I moved for my company and met this crazy ex-biker who got me excited about music again. I’ve bought more new music in the last 5 years than the previous 20.

          • TrickleDownOvTacoKvltRiff

            Right? i remember being 12 and heading to to record store on the weekend, picking one bringing it home craking it open and listening while looking at the cover. New music discovery still does the same thing to me..

    • You are only as old as you think you are. I’m still a Toys ‘R” Us kid in my late 30’s.

      • TrickleDownOvTacoKvltRiff

        amen Ron!

      • Taylor Jong Un

        Lol, all of us are! That’s part of what I love about this page!

        I came up with my own phrase about life years ago: The Absurdly Profound, And The Profoundly Absurd. The world is,to me at least, a balance between the two.

      • CT-12

        Not related, but I think you and Ann Kvlter would dig these guys and I had never heard of them before today. Dunno, just thought I’d share… https://anorak.bandcamp.com/

      • J.R.

        I plan on passing my Disqus handle down to my progeny, so J.R. can shitpost on the Toilet until the sun goes nova

    • KJM

      old as fuck >>>>>>>>

    • Taylor Jong Un

      In a weird way, some of the tones and drumming sorta remind me of And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead’s older stuff.

      • TrickleDownOvTacoKvltRiff

        ill have to check them out…

        • Source Tags and Codes is prob one of my favorite albums in any genre.

          • Taylor Jong Un

            Great album. My fave is Worlds Apart. Check out the new one? It’s definitely a top contender.

          • I checked out the new one last week, actually. It reminded me of current-era Coliseum. It’s OK but not really grooving me like the older stuff did when I was a teenager.

          • Taylor Jong Un

            Listened to Coliseum when I got their CD from the library a while back. I quickly forgot about it. Maybe I should give it another try?

          • Older Coliseum is more hc/metal-ish. The newer stuff is more in the vein of hard rock (with maybe new-wave thrown in?). I dig it all.

          • Taylor Jong Un

            *slides that over into my never ending queue*

          • TrickleDownOvTacoKvltRiff

            on it Joe!

        • Taylor Jong Un
    • Dagon

      We gon jam the new Valkyrie album when it comes out, the guitar work is also promising. Solos! Leads!

      • TrickleDownOvTacoKvltRiff

        Never heard of them..checking out new track now and thinking: COUNT ME IN BRUH!!!

        • Dagon

          I have a feeling it’s going to be a great record. That new track is amazeballs

          • TrickleDownOvTacoKvltRiff

            very kick ass…

      • TrickleDownOvTacoKvltRiff

        haha…last words into the sunset.

  • Fishgod – this is a real nice description of the band . They definitely sound like you can zone out and stare into space while listening.

    • Dagon

      It’s as rewarding for a dedicated listen as it is if you just let it wash over you while doing nothing or doing something else.

      • I think I’m going to jam this while looking for a new job so I can focus on the task at hand.

  • This is probably the best Dagonmerol review ever. I’m listening that Torche album you recommended me, when I have the time I will delve in this one too, because your descriptions here were awesomely-awesome!

    Thanks for this!

    Thanks for that!

    You know! 😀

    • Dagon

      I am 100% positive you will like this one.

      • I could listen the song you posted and it was very good! Now I want to listen the entire album 😀

        Thank youuu!

  • Celtic Frosty

    This album is the shit. I’ve come back to it so many times since it came out. One of my favorites of the year so far.

  • Pagliacci is Kvlt O)))

    This is an album I listened to when it came out, liked, and then forgot about it as I listened to a flood of other new releases since. I’m glad you reminded me about them again, Fish God. Jamming the first track right now, and it reminds me of Inter Arma, only faster and more up-beat.

  • Dr. W.’s Tentacles

    Fishgod, you have a very sensual way with words. Well done.

    • Dagon

      If only I could get it to work in my favor on that real life server…

  • Very good review for a very good album that hasn’t left my playlist since I got it.

  • Taylor Jong Un

    First time ever hearing these guys, and loving it, especially the way it ebbs and flows. And the vocals fit in perfectly without being overpowering, definitely something to be listened to as a whole. 10/10 tendies, my fine toilet paper-wearing Brazilian friend!

    http://weknowmemes.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/cranking-this-up-to-11-kangaroo-gif.png

  • Dean the P.I. Staker

    Definitely not resonating with me today. I like a fair amount of doom/sludge/stoner, but this isn’t doing it. The description and the sound both left me feeling “meh.” Post-rock meandering stoner psych pseudo-doom is certainly a popular avenue nowadays, but it seems to miss more often than it hits. Maybe I’ve been too deep in other strains of metal to jive with this. But I rocked that new-ish Dread Sovereign album and some High on Fire the other day, so maybe it’s just this band/album/song that’s coming up lame. Oh well. I dunno.

    • Dagon

      I’d say the post-rock is really more in idea than execution here, if it makes any sense.

      Maybe you would like their previous album, Dead Roots Stirring, more than this one.

  • OldMetalHead

    This is pretty good. I’ve been listening to the new Dopethrone Tyree turned me on to almost on repeat, and yesterday I got the new Acrassicauda in the mail from the kickstarter.

    • Dagon

      That new Dopethrone is sick. When the new Weedeater drops they’re going to be best buddies on my rotation.

      • OldMetalHead

        Cool. I just listened to “Bully” off of Weedeater’s upcoming. Very fun!

  • Akerskronks ov Steele

    Dat cover art doe

  • As I always comment on most things with a good album cover, I will listen to it based upon that cover alone. The review only solidifies my desire to do so.

  • J.R.

    Finally at a place where i can listen to this.
    “>>>>>>>>>>”
    That is all.

  • CyberneticOrganism

    This I dig. I dig this. Sounds like a bonfire album.

    http://www.howeenterprise.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/bonfire.jpg

    • InfinityOfThoughts

      Truth!

  • Th’load&th’road

    Thanks Dagon! Love this band, love this album and love Dead Roots Stirring as well. I tried to tell y’all North Carolinians-ahem looking at you Randall Thor 😉 – to come out to the Charlotte show! It was poorly attended but they played their hearts and asses off for us! Hung out with them before and afterwards, very cool, friendly and genuine folks – and very tolerant of my wife and I’s rare drunken night out without the kid ; / we truckered down from VA just to see them and it was a great experience. Hey Randall, Windhand is coming thru Charlotte this saturday on their way to open for Sleep in Atlanta, catch them if you can, MASSIVE thick doom with killer singing from Dorthia Cotrell. I’m gon try to see em Friday in Raleigh (closer to home). They killed it opening for High On Fire in Richmond a few months back. That is all. FTW. All tendies no flush

  • InfinityOfThoughts

    I love the mix: its spacious and wide, with lots of breathing room for all the instruments and drums. What a killer album.

  • Lacertilian

    I love when album covers give me that psych feeling without having to eat the stuff.
    Even though it doesn’t really compare, it is still nice to treat your eyes.