Posts Tagged ‘The Obelisk’
Posted on Friday, February 20th, 2015
Lovingly pinched from The Obelisk: There are really two approaches one might take in considering Lore, the third full-length from Massachusetts trio Elder, released in the US by Armageddon Shop and in Europe on Stickman Records. The short way is to say they’ve turned from the deep-toned heavy psych style of their 2011 sophomore outing, Dead Roots Stirring, and used that as a basis for a more clear-headed, progressive approach to riffing.
The long way is to sit and map out every turn Lore‘s five included tracks make over the course of their combined 59 minutes, every change, every moment where sprawl meets crunch, every soundscape, melodic impression, rhythmic pivot, etc. Frankly, neither approach does the album justice.
The former cheats the songs — ‘Compendium’ (10:39), ‘Legend’ (12:31), ‘Lore’ (15:57), ‘Deadweight’ (9:27) and ‘Spirit at Aphelion’ (10:32) — of their due consideration on an individual level, and the latter wrongly discounts the impression of Lore as a whole, which is how, despite its 2LP length, it is best experienced.
One hopes, then, to find some middle ground, as the three-piece of guitarist / vocalist Nick DiSalvo (also keys), bassist Jack Donovan and drummer Matt Couto have done on the Justin Pizzoferrato-produced outing, which follows 2012’s two-song Spires Burn / Release EP and seems to be pushing further along those stylistic lines. That’s no surprise.
Each Elder release has built on the last — Dead Roots Stirring was a leap from the band’s stoner-riffed 2008 self-titled debut, released on MeteorCity, and Lore is likewise a leap from that second album — and it seems that if they don’t have something to say, Elder aren’t interested in putting out a record every year just for the sake of doing so. Their musical progression is that much easier to trace for the stretches between outings, and Lore, as was Spires Burn / Release, as was Dead Roots Stirring, as was Elder, is their defining work to date. A landmark.
Those who worshiped at the altar of Dead Roots Stirring might be surprised on first listen at just how clean Lore sounds, the beginning guitar taps of ‘Compendium’ a clarion both of the proggier feel that pervades and of the clarity of the production that follows suit. It’s not, however, as simple as the band jumping ship from one style to another — much of DiSalvo‘s style of riffing remains the same, and Donovan‘s basslines still circle around the guitar only to land back at the root just at the right moment, and Couto‘s swing and crash is as prevalent as ever — it’s just what they do with these signature elements that results in the impression of growth.
Continue reading: The Obelisk | Review | Elder – Lore
(Courtesy of JJ Koczan / The Obelisk)
Posted on Wednesday, February 18th, 2015
Lovingly pinched from The Obelisk: There is an almost singular groove running through Between Our Past and Future Lives, the BloodRock Records debut full-length from Finnish four-piece Abbot. Not in the sense of songs sounding the same — though tones are at least consistent — but just that the material […]
Posted on Thursday, February 12th, 2015
Lovingly pinched from The Obelisk: While the title immediately evokes connotations for the band itself, the fact remains that Torche‘s Restarter could just as easily refer to an interpersonal relationship or someone who decides to go back and beat Super Mario 3 again. The lyrics for the song itself, which closes out Torche‘s 10-track / 39-minute Relapse […]
Posted on Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015
Lovingly pinched from The Obelisk: At 81 years old, alto saxophonist Sonny Simmons has overseen a career that spans decades in forward-thinking jazz. The Dec. 2014 Svart Records release, Nomadic, is nonetheless one of two full-lengths Simmons issued last year, the other being Leaving Knowledge, Wisdom and Brilliance on Improvising Beings. For the four songs of Nomadic, Simmons partners with sitarist Michel […]
Posted on Friday, January 23rd, 2015
Lovingly pincehd from The Obelisk: Portland, Oregon’s Lord Dying deliver an efficient sludge-thrash beatdown on their second album for Relapse, Poisoned Altars. The follow-up to their 2013 debut, the Sanford Parker-recorded Summon the Faithless, the eight-track / 34-minute Poisoned Altars was recorded by Joel Grind of Toxic Holocaust and arrives as the answer to anyone’s question as to […]
Posted on Friday, January 9th, 2015
Lovingly pinched from The Obelisk: The story gets kind of complicated, so stick with me. In 2010, then-Iowa-based psych / prog five-piece Mondo Drag released their Alive Naturalsound debut, New Rituals (review here), which was full of ’70s-style lysergic serenity, open spaced guitars and heady vibes. It was, in short, […]
Posted on Friday, July 18th, 2014
Lovingly pinched from The Obelisk: Chicago death-doom outfit Novembers Doom released their first album in 1995, nearly 20 years ago now. They weren’t the first American death-doom act, and there were others who solidified around the same time, but Novembers Doom were easily among the earliest adopters of a dramatic melancholy most […]
Posted on Tuesday, July 8th, 2014
Lovingly pinched from The Obelisk: Over the last two-plus decades, John Garcia‘s voice has set the standard for the sound of the California desert. His work in genre-progenitors Kyuss speaks for itself — loudly, and with much fuzz — and subsequent outfits Unida, Slo Burn, Hermano and more guest appearances than one can count […]
Posted on Saturday, July 5th, 2014
Lovingly pinched from The Obelisk: The word “epic” gets tossed around these days for everything from Homeric poetry to late-night burritos, so one hesitates to use it for fear it might be taken with a watered-down meaning. I’m at a loss, however, for how else to describe the monumental, otherworldly […]
Posted on Thursday, July 3rd, 2014
Lovingly pinched from The Obelisk: It has been 19 years since New York City doomers Blood Farmers released their self-titled debut on Hellhound Records, and while that album and their 1991 Permanent Brain Damage demo were reissued via Japan’s Leaf Hound Records in 2008 and 2004, respectively, and trio have […]