By Calen Henry. A friend recently introduced Lore, the new Elder record to me as “filling the Mastodon shaped hole in his heart”. Crack the Skye is one my favourite albums and for me Mastodon lost the magic after that album.By Calen Henry.
|Artwork by Adrian Dexter|
A friend recently introduced Lore, the new Elder record to me as “filling the Mastodon shaped hole in his heart”.
Crack the Skye is one my favourite albums and for me Mastodon lost the magic after that album. The epic song structures, searing leads, dual harmony riffs, acoustic interludes and proggy touches were Mastodon at the top of their game, but the whole record was amazingly unpretentious for its complexity and grandiose themes. Their later records never quite clicked for me.
Thankfully Elder’s brought all that back on Lore. Unlike Mastodon though, they filter all that through a stoner doom core instead of Mastodon’s Georgia-sludge-meets-Neurosis sound. The result is an album that really does fill the Mastodon shaped hole in my heart, but carves its own path, never sounding like Mastodon-worship.
There are really no down sides to Lore. Elder write and perform killer stoner doom riffs and combine them with jangly 70s prog rock inspired riffs, acoustic interludes, even an extended post-rock section complete with strings. Their adventurousness with composition shows just how good the songs really are.
Every part of every song (and they’re all over or around 10 minutes) feels meaningful. There is no filler and their willingness to change genres and styles really showcases how fantastic the riffs are, because when they come back it sounds like the heaviest thing in the world. Check out 6:19 in "Spirit at Aphelion". After an extended spacey mellotron sounding riff they bash right into one of the best riffs on the record. I dare you not to nod your head.
Elder’s choice of melodic sung vocals is also an excellent one. The gritty deliver underscored by solid melodic chops fits their instrumental sound perfectly.
It’s hard to imagine a better stoner doom record this year, and that’s with a new Monolord on the horizon.