Elder – Omens (Album Review)

What elements in music compiled together deem a band worthy of a cult-like following? Well, whatever the compilation, the music needs to transport the listener into another realm. In these cases the music offers a safe zone that surrounds the listener in a colorful, and peaceful way. That is the essence of what Stoner Metal act Elder brings to the table, specifically on their new album Omens set for release Friday, April 24th via Armageddon Shop.

Originating from Massachusetts in 2006, Elder has, with only a handful or so of studio albums, created a vast array of fluid arrangements that continually transcend new boundaries of genres. Omens fits right in with their original standard of featuring five lengthy tunes, all averaging around ten minutes or more in length.

Additionally, Omens stands out a bit in the sense that it strays away from the typical Stoner riffs with a more progressive and passionate journey while blending a bit of Doom Rock into an exploratory explosion of enhanced Rock. The team responsible for this fusion of colorful medleys begins with Vocalist/Guitarist/Keyboardist Nicholas DiSalvo, Bassist Jack Donvan, Guitarist/Keyboardist Michael Risberg, and Drummer George Edert. 

Beginning with the title-track, the adventure soars forward, sideways, and upside down through rolling hills of thunderous proportions. Progressively, this tune transcends into “In Procession” which has ravishing experimentation of grand proportions. Then comes the most epic of all the tracks, “Halcyon,” which lives up to the definition of its name for all twelve plus minutes. Possessing a primarily instrumental progressions throughout, it is perhaps the strongest contender to suck you into a vortex of otherworldly bliss. Coming out of the pleasurable escape of “Halcyon” is a daunting task. Not to fear though, because “Embers” sends out sparks of life into a newfound territory. Here DiSalvo’s vocals particular stand out as the most compatible in terms of blending with the flow of the music seamlessly.

It should be noted that on previous Elder albums the more gritty Stoner jams splashed with heavy Doom took precedence. Omens, however, really sheds new light on their unique movement. It enhances the band’s essence while diving into a softer more progressive path that creates much depth. In an odd way you could compare the result of listening Omens to that of dancing carefree at a Grateful Dead concert back in their heyday. It resonates in a powerful cult-like way without diving into ritual. Ritual always seems rooted to the ground, but Elder manage to take flight in such a peacefully exciting way. 

With this weighing heavily on mind, the last song on Omens, “One Light Retreating,” happens to sound like waves of light beams traveling through space as the name implies. It is interspersed with some confident guitar jamming, chilling vocals, and solid beats. Furthermore, it can be interpreted as a somber yet surging effort to let go of those haunting negative thoughts that could torture an already suppressed soul.

Elder has proven they have no fear, and they do not hold back emotions. This album might be a bit of a shocker for die hard fans at first listen, but they will quickly get on board with Elder’s new approach because it is highly addictive. The future is now for Elder, and that is why Cryptic Rock gives Omens 5 out of 5 stars. 

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