Some evolutions are sometimes rather disconcerting, but, as long as it's positively, I don't mind at all... Is it maturity, new meetings or influences, or just life experiences that have pushed Nick DiSalvo to change so drastically his approach of Stoner ? maybe a bit of that all, but in all cases it would have been a shame not to materialize them through this stunning "Dead Roots Stirring" !
It's not that ELDER was just another Stoner/Doom band that released an honest 1st album, but it's like a kind of cosmic transfiguration touched him by the grace of a divine psychedelic wizard ! Ok, that's a bit exagerated cause their self-titled debut contained some nice pieces like "Riddle of Stell pt1" or "Ghost Head" that were already eying on psychedelic fields and shown above the average musical abilities, but the crushingness and too obvious Sleepian influences have almost disappeared here now, in favor of a more progressive style, more luminous, completely unrestrained, full of enchanting melodies and psychedelia ...
Is this really still STONER ? Yes by its warm heaviness and a delightful reminiscence of Doomed epicness in some aesthetic moods, some Sabbathian riffage here and there are also as catchy as the cover is beautiful and intriguing, but definitely Heavy-Rock and Psychedelic influences from outter-space have overrided what remain just as foundations.
Then it's not easy to compare them with others, it could be a more improvising and intricate Brant Bjork in his early works here and then Colour Haze there or a more "disciplined" and emotional Earthless in the most jamed-out parts... This is the kind of such rich and subtle stuff that you feel each listening reveal something new, but believe me after just one listening nobody can deny the fact that with this sophomore album ELDER plays in a new (higher) category, not just musically with a considerably enriched style but also in terms of production (the contribution of Clay Neeli from Black Pyramid is huge), tightness and identity.
In fact I should have had this album a few months ago when it came out, but made a mistake and ordered the first instead ! it took me a while to repair this mistake that didn't give justice to the band , cause I would have surely included "Dead Roots Stirring" in my Faves List of 2011 !!!
Now, let's hope that ELDER gets more exposure (shit, how can such a talentuous band have only about 600 likes on FB ?!!!) and carry on this stunning dynamic... After the new BLACK PYRAMID here's another monster of an album again released by Dave and Melanie from METEORCITY, thanx and keep on buddies, we need you ;)
get the album here through All That Is Heavy / Meteorcity :