Though Lore has been heralded as the 'magnum-opus' by Massachusetts stoner/psych/prog trio Elder since its release in 2015, most fans old & new obviously were picking up their jaws from the proverbial floor when the band unleashed Reflections of a Floating World in 2017. From the Roger Dean inspired artwork to the six lengthy tracks, this latest release from the band screams 'epic' in every way. Nick DiSalvo (guitar, vocals, keyboards), Jack Donovan (bass), and Matt Couto (drums) have concocted a wonderfully rich, majestic, and powerful album here that, years from now, is going to be heralded as a heavy music classic.
Opening cut "Sanctuary" sets the stage for what is to come, complete with lumbering Black Sabbath inspired riffs, weaving interplay between guitar, bass, and drums that wouldn't sound out of place on a Mastodon album, and a prog mentality that takes the best from King Crimson, Gentle Giant, and Pink Floyd. That proggy touch is also apparent on the melodic "The Falling Veil", DiSalvo injecting plenty of fiery, complex lines over equally intricate rhythms for a mesmerizing approach, eventually giving way to some lilting arpeggios and haunting Mellotron. Two more 10+ minute epics follow, the dreamy "Staving Off Truth", with its mix of cascading chords, keyboards, and brontosaurus stomp riffs, and the herculean psych/prog/stoner juggernaut "Blind", the latter a sprawling journey highlighted by echoed vocals, fuzz-toned riffs, nimble bass, pounding drums, scorching lead guitar, and chilling keyboard tapestries. Reflections of a Floating World's two shortest tracks (and short, meaning 8+ minutes!) close out the album, the bubbling, percolating instrumental "Sonntag" (with some guest pedal steel guitar from Michael Samos), and the textured yet bulldozingly heavy "Thousand Hand", another great vehicle for DiSalvo's excellent guitar work and a tune that once again sees the appearance of the mighty Mellotron.
With so much more to offer than many of the stoner acts out there today, Elder have created another masterpiece of heavy, progressive psychedelia here with Reflections of a Floating World. From start to finish, this is just a joy to listen to, an album that will take you on a never ending journey and uncover additional rewards with every listen. Mandatory!
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2) The Falling Veil
3) Staving Off Truth
6) Thousand Hands