Elder 'Reflections of a Floating World' Album Review

Seizing a vivid correlation between the majestic and mammoth qualities both present in bands such as Baroness and Mastodon, Elder’s sound is not only of the heavy, colossal sort, but plays frequently with deeply psychedelic soundscapes. With 2015’s Lore reaching high critical acclaim, it was easy to envision that Elder’s following effort may in fact struggle to surpass its predecessor. However, Reflections of a Floating World not only exceeds, but exists inside a whole other euphonious realm. A realm which allows its listener to delve deeper into the catacombs of the momentary universe fabricated through each indulgent track, that of which that have been melded together from elements of earthly stoner metal, doom and affluent psychedelia. 

This record is as transcendental as the title which christens it, birthing a sound of a highly reflective and perhaps excessive nature, with more than half the tracks reaching well above the 10 minute mark. The extended track time gives way to large areas of headroom, leading into extravagant areas of narcotic instrumentation. 

Details of the band Pallbearer are often also called to mind, with intensely brooding, echoed vocal of a relatively unchanging pitch. This comparison is especially visible from within the first track ‘Sanctuary’. Commencing with thickly distorted guitars, shaping the slightly disconsolate melody,  they’re fettered tight against the robust drums, altogether supported by the emotive vocal, seeping out from within the vast collaboration of sound.  The track splits into bewildering sections of chaos, with pummelling drums and intricate guitar riffs, underpinned by a ghostly melody, tangled together in a way which is mind-meltingly stunning. 

‘The Falling Veil’ is introduced by slow, freckling guitar licks, played over a sleepy drone. Soon, the tranquility of the introduction flourishes into glorious technicolour, expanding triumphantly into a repetitive, swaying riff. In the second half of the track, a timid, isolated guitar is introduced, trickling delicately, joined by a melodic, pondering synth. This constant evolution of sound licenses the album with a continuously engaging quality, absorbing the listener’s consciousness into its psychedelic stream of wide instrumental fluctuation. 

From the chiffony, light sections of tender, guitar licks to the heavier, chugging Sabbath-like stretches, each track spirals craftily from one section to the next, expending a remarkable, unbridled fluidity. 

Reflections of a Floating World sets Elder with an even sturdier foundation on which to build their discography further, which in time, will in no doubt lean heavily into the heights of metal giants such as Mastodon and Opeth. 

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