Elder, Belzebong, Dreadnought
with Elder, Belzebong, Dreadnought
In the last dozen years, Elder has stepped out of the shadows of their peers in the heavy rock
underground to emerge a unique voice, delivering album after album of almost unparalleled
consistency and creativity. Omens, the bands fifth full-length record, is the newest pillar in the
construction of their own musical universe. With it, Elder further embrace experimentation in their
brand of progressive psychedelic rock in which atmosphere, melody and structure are created and
transformed again and again.
Following 2017's Reflections of a Floating World and the 2019 experimental EP The Gold & Silver
Sessions, it was anyone's guess what the band's next full-length might have in store. Having cemented
their own sound – a dense yet lucid brand of heavy rock full of unexpected flourishes and progressive
jaunts - the latter EP showcased an exact opposite side of Elder, more rooted in sparse krautrock and
even jazz-tinged jams. Omens answers this speculation with a contradiction that embodies the spirit of
Elder: somehow, theres even more everything.
In five cinematic songs, lush, intricately interwoven melodies grow and dissolve into spaced-out jams.
Massive riffs thunder down into a churning sea of psychedelic sounds and unpredictable grooves carry
away the listener. Elder paints pictures with their music, and Omens shows the band experimenting
with an even more colorful palette – with good reason. After thirteen years, this is the first full-length
recorded with a new lineup including guitarist Michael Risberg and new drummer Georg Edert, along
with guest performances by Fabio Cuomo on Rhodes piano and synthesizers.
This is music for a vacation from reality – or to lose oneself in another world. And yet Omens is not
purely an exercise in escapism, but also reflects the increasingly bleak, confusing and antagonistic
times in which it was written. Composed as a concept album spanning the lifespan of a civilization, the
album also reads as a commentary on our own society hell-bent on profitability at the expense of our
own lives and environment.