Reflections of a Floating World is Elder‘s fourth full length album and second LP released via Stickman Records (EU) and Armageddon Label (US). Long, undulating and dense tracks float between psychedelic passages and progressive rock without missing a beat; adventurous and unpredictable songs are punctuated by hypnotic jams, all colored by the tendency toward melody and dynamism that has become the band’s hallmark. In keeping with their motto of expanding and expanding upon their repertoire, guest musicians Mike Risberg and Michael Samos joined the core three in the studio to add extra guitar, keys and pedal steel, adding vibrancy and lushness to the album. In all regards, Reflections of a Floating World shows a band with a clear vision honing their skills with every year.
Listen to the premiere of the second album track ‘The Falling Veil’ here:
Echoes and Dust’s Jamie Jones says about the track ‘The Falling Veil’: “Each record Elder have released has marked a radical departure from the last, from the fairly routine stoner/doom of their self-titled debut to the epic, murky psych of Dead Roots Stirring to Lore’s cleaner, more progressive leanings. Their 4th album Reflections of a Floating World is perhaps a smaller step forward than those, more an expansion on the sound Lore started than a redesign of it. So it makes sense that ‘The Falling Veil’ – premiered here below – should be the first song from it unleashed on the public. It directly references to a number of guitar lines and melodies from that album, most obviously a repeat of the opening guitar salvo from Lore opener ‘Compendium’ 6 minutes in. Lore fans should feel right at home.
But this is far from a rehash. Unfolding over 11 minutes it starts out quietly, sounding eerily like a Pink Floyd intro. But before you think they’ve gone full prog a familiar knotty Elder riff, complicated yet breezy, kicks in. From there a dizzying number of sections come and go, some meditating on a riff for a minute or more, some gone before you have time to even begin to digest them. On Lore Elder sacrificed some of the heft of Dead Roots Stirring in favour of a more clear eyed approach, a certain grace, but now as a four piece – with Michael Risberg (also Nick DiSalvo’s side project Gold and Silver) joining on second guitar – they’ve regained some of that grit, illustrated perfectly with a crunching riff at around the 9 minute mark. And the guitar interplay is stunning throughout, with the bass of Jack Donovan pushed a little further forward in the mix. It’s a lethally clear sound, and one with little background flourishes that will keep obsessives finding new things for a long time to come.
Elsewhere they pull some tricks out of the bag they’ve used before, like the swelling canned strings around the 8 minute mark that they deployed during Lore’s title track. But rather than overwhelm everything else as they did there here the strings are just part of the puzzle. It could easily be a grand finale, but they somehow find an even higher level soon after with an utterly sublime solo. It’s a perfect representation of the absolute confidence Elder have in themselves at this point. They sound like they believe they can conquer the world – and as the whiplash highlight reel of riffs and solos race past you might just believe they can too.
As a track there’s a lot to take in – you could write a full album length review dissecting this one alone. Lore was an incredibly tight, accomplished and ambitious record that ended up on a lot of stoner/psych/prog fans best of 2015 lists and left many wondering if they could top it. Whether they have or not is likely to be a keenly debated topic over the coming months. This may be the first Elder album to opt for evolution over revolution, but even when taking small steps forward they’re still leaving everyone else in the dust.”
Reflections of a Floating World is released on June 2nd and available for pre-order through here.