Elder - _Elder_
(Meteor City, 2008)
by: Jeremy Ulrey (9 out of 10)
Fusing Sleep's somnolent grandeur with the rollicking riffs of The Sword, Massachusetts' Elder express their inner doom with epic sweep while avoiding the pitfalls of noodling. There are no intros, no atmospheric interludes, just 42 minutes of groove oriented Sabbath worship. "Hexe" fires off with a filthy, overdriven riff which nods in familiar assent with Electric Wizard's modus operandi. _Elder_'s cover art, showing turbulent waves crashing around a king on his throne, is fairly indicative of the elemental backbone of the two part "Riddle of Steel", pounding hi-hats and pummeled snares rattling ominously around a cavernous, bass heavy sonic wallop. The emphasis is on the integrity of the riff; unlike many of their peers, Elder neither milk a catchy riff ad nauseum nor self indulge in jam room wanking. Each of their debut's five tracks are complex and lengthy, but there is always a logical progression and a brisk tempo maintained throughout. Familiar yet largely peerless in terms of quality and consistency, Elder find the sweet spot in the stoner / doom vibe and ride it to Valhalla.

(article published 15/4/2009)


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