Elder – “Legend” (Stereogum Premiere)

The psychedelic stoner-doom band Elder have been making music since 2006, and over the course of their existence, they’ve released a pair of LPs (2008’s Elder and 2011’s Dead Roots Stirring) as well as an EP (2012’s Spires Burn/Release) and a live album (2013’s Live At Roadburn). So maybe you know Elder already, and maybe you have an opinion based on that back catalog. Or maybe you don’t know Elder, but are content to ignore them, because you’ve been doing fine without them all this time. In either case, you are mistaken. Elder’s soon-to-be-released third album, Lore, is a massive leap forward for the band. That’s not to say they’ve abandoned what made them great — they still write Odyssean epics filled with aching melodies, monumental riffs, and dazzling (truly fucking dazzling) guitar leads — but they’ve brought all those elements into such sharp focus that their collective impact is heightened tenfold. Lore isn’t hazy or monolithic; it’s crystal clear, impeccably crafted, and not just impressive but thrilling. Like Sleep or Earthless — two bands who provide similar thrills using similar tools — Elder are a trio, and each member is a fucking giant. Both halves of the rhythm section, bassist Jack Donovan and drummer Matt Couto, could probably take a 10-minute solo and actually make it pay off à la John Bonham or Cliff Burton. But frontman Nick DiSalvo (who not only sings but plays some drums and keyboards, and of course — my god — those guitars) is a COLOSSUS. I sometimes like to compare metal to baseball, and for DiSalvo, Lore is the equivalent of Pedro Martinez’s 1999 season: a season in which the pitcher not only dominated, but did so with actual artistry and charm and maybe even genius; he seemed superhuman. That’s the level of DiSalvo’s guitar work on Lore. Pedro had lots of other great seasons, too, before and after, but even if he’d only had 1999, people would make a case for him to be elected into the Hall Of Fame, and that case would have merit. Elder have an impressive body of work already, and much more to come, I hope, but Lore is something to behold, something to be awed by, a new apex. The music doesn’t need me to make its case, though. We’ve got the album’s second track — the aptly titled “Legend” — for you to hear today. Listen.

Lore is out 2/27 via Armageddon Shop. Pre-order it here. Also, Elder are going on the road to support the album, and here are their tour dates:

03/06 Providence, RI @ AS220
03/07 Peterborough, NH @ Wreck Room
03/08 Rochester, NY @ Bug Jar
03/09 Pittsburgh, PA @ Gooski’s
03/10 Columbus, OH @ Ace of Cups
03/11 Indianapolis, IN @ 5th Quarter
03/12 Chicago, IL @ Reggie’s
03/13 Texarkana, TX @ Silver Dollar
03/14 Dallas, TX @ Double Wide
03/16 Austin, TX @ Beerland
03/20 Austin, TX @ The North Door
03/21 Austin, TX @ The Lost Well
03/23 Houston, TX @ Mango’s
03/24 New Orleans, LA @ Siberia
03/25 Atlanta, GA @ 529
03/26 Charlotte, NC @ Tremont Music Hall
03/27 Richmond, VA @ Strange Matter
03/28 Baltimore, MD @ Metro Gallery
03/29 Philadelphia, PA @ Kung Fu Necktie
03/30 Boston, MA @ TT the Bear’s Place
05/17 Santa Ana, CA @ The Observatory (Psycho Fest)

Tags: Elder