Metal has always had a dedicated following but this decade has seen a rise in prog rock addicts. I’m not talking about the 70’s prog stuff, I’m talking about people craving technical and abstract guitar work as if it were a drug. New Bedford, MA shredders Elder have been the physical representation of the happy medium between those two musical tribes since the mid-2000s. Their multi-dimensional style of metal harks back to the genre’s glory days of the ‘70s while pushing it forward into the future. The band’s latest album Reflections Of A Floating World that came out on June 2 via Providence label Armageddon Records is a testament to that.
Usually, Elder’s releases are LPs that only consist of a few songs. That’s only possible due to each song being over 10 minutes long. This time around, this album has six songs with four going over the 10-minute mark. The original trio of guitarist & vocalist Nick Desalvo, bassist Jack Donovan and bassist Matt Couto find themselves being joined by guitarist Michael Riseberg and pedal steel player Michael Samos as well. Musically, the evolution of Elder is evident with multiple dimensions being incorporated into a cornucopia of amazement.
“Sanctuary” starts the album off with hypnotic shredding courtesy of Desalvo and Riseberg. Hearing another guitarist to compliment Desalvo’s talents adds to the brilliance that the band has already possessed. Another track that’s a stunner is “Staving Off Truth”. There’s a non-stop onslaught of amplification that rages on from beginning to end. Samos’ skills on pedal steel are exemplified on “Sonntag” by giving the instrumental track a distorted vibe.
Elder will be taking the stage at AS220 in Providence on Halloween night with fellow electrifiers Black Pyramid, Dirt Devil, and Rope Trick. It’s bound to be a raucous time that no one should miss out on. Get there early because it will be a packed house. While you’re there, grab a copy of Reflections Of A Floating World. Your brain will be melted but you’ll have a smile on your face.