Elder - Reflections Of A Floating World album review

Psychedelic US sages add more weight to their wonder

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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.