You know when you cut your hair short with the intention of letting it grow back out and you get to experience all of the in-between hairstyles, like raggy helmet-head and the shaggy just-below-the-ears mop? That’s basically what Massachusetts’ own Elder has been up to musically for their last few albums. They seem to have a twenty year plan to evolve, at a leisurely pace, from true-blue stoner doom to pure progressive metal. Ten years into their career and we’re experiencing the stylings of a band with roots buried firmly in Electric Wizard soil and branches reaching towards a Mastodon sky.
Their new album Reflections of a Floating World is hot off the presses this week and continues their experimental voyage into dimensions unknown. “Reflections” sails effervescent, psychedelic waters in a craft laden with dense, headbanging stoner riffs. It’s an album best enjoyed with the car windows down on a straightaway, beneath a blue sky and strange-looking clouds, or maybe laid out in tall grass with that cheap beer you drink when you’re sure no hipsters are watching you.
To win a download of Reflections Of A Floating World read the prompt below and answer the final question in the comments. The funniest answer will receive an official mp3 download, and the best serious answer will receive a sexy Bandcamp code. Three days after publication, the winners will be selected.
Finally, some time to yourself. A walk on the beach feels like the perfect succor for an aching heart and a tired mind, and you know just the place. The sand is so soft and warm here that you walk your shoes back to the car, tossing them onto the passenger seat. When you return, your feet sink into the balmy dunes with each step. They engulf your toes and brush the bottoms of your pant legs. Hitting a seashell, you recoil, expecting a sharp edge. Instead, it’s smooth. It looks old.
Heading towards the harder sand near the water, your gaze falls on a cresting wave. The water is so unusually clear, you think you see movement in it. Pausing, you wait for another swell. As the water rises, you see a school of fish riding the curl. Each one is facing forward. Are they looking at you? Do they notice you looking at them?
As your walk continues, the rhythmic crashing of the tide begins to sync up with your breathing. Anxieties retreat to the back of your mind and fade. The emotional shackles of a nonsensical social landscape, brutal politics, and the persistent and hateful specter of money slip off one by one, each lightening your load and quickening your steps. The din of the modern apocalypse is slowly smothered in a patient, aqueous pulse.
You spot something on the path ahead. It looks like a cube, and it’s definitely out of place. Time to investigate.
Meeting the strange shape, you take your time drinking it in. It’s a huge box made from some sort of crystalline material. The cut of the substance twists light into a rainbow of colors and stretches it in unexpected ways, into unexpected places. Is this light pouring into the block, or out of it? Every subtle movement of your eyes and body distorts and re-forms the shimmering maze within.
After a few moments of studying, you spot a crack. Losing track of it in the shimmer, you reach out and run your hand along the flank of the object. It’s cold. The crevice you glimpsed was part of a larger fissure. Does this thing have a lid? Pushing your fingers into the cleft, you lift. It opens, surprisingly light. The contents of the crystal cube come into view.
Contest prompt: What’s in the box? Write your answer in the comments.
Photos via the Elder Facebook page