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Elder - Reflections Of A Floating World album review

Psychedelic US sages add more weight to their wonder

Cover art for Elder - Reflections Of A Floating World album

Starry-eyed voyagers, rejoice! These mystical New Englanders have long transcended the sludgy, primordial ooze of Sabbath with their spiralling excursions into druggy realms of hypnotic grooving and spacey experimentalism. On 2015’s Lore, Elder joined the ranks of Pelican, Mastodon and Karma To Burn with a raft of dense, intricate songs that erupted with inventive melodic phrasings and proggy muscularity. Their fourth studio campaign builds upon Lore’s ambition with six expansive tracks that convene power riffs and kaleidoscopic fretwork into a sound that is both crushingly heavy and audaciously melodic. Talking about individual tracks here is like discussing the round part of a football. That said, Sanctuary initiates the ceremony with gorgeous, slow-rolling grooves while Staving Off Truth features a reality-tilting psych-out, accented with the eerie drizzle of a Mellotron. Although there’s a heavier sense of jamming here than with Lore, Elder wisely avoid the aimless hyper-indulgence of their 70s forebears. Trippy, heavy and thoroughly engrossing, Reflections… is an album you’ll never experience the same way twice.

Hailing from San Diego, California, Joe Daly is an award-winning music journalist with over thirty years experience. Since 2010, Joe has been a regular contributor for Metal Hammer, penning cover features, news stories, album reviews and other content. Joe also writes for Classic Rock, Bass Player, Men’s Health and Outburn magazines. He has served as Music Editor for several online outlets and he has been a contributor for SPIN, the BBC and a frequent guest on several podcasts. When he’s not serenading his neighbours with black metal, Joe enjoys playing hockey, beating on his bass and fawning over his dogs.