[Blues Funeral Recordings, 2019]
Intro: Thomas Sarakintsis, Kostas Rokas
Translation: Alexandros Mantas
25 / 08 / 2019
The last album of the Americans has already posed a crucial question that most of the bands have to deal with: how could they ever top the summit of their discography (case in point: Reflections of a Floating World – our reviews here). And top means that I can outperform the gifts of my last album without necessarily canceling its features.
After a string of successful releases, our beloved Elder returns with an EP. The Gold & Silver Sessions coincided with a live show in our neck of woods.
A new beginning or a psychedelic break?
This time the band treats us with something completely different, namely three extended songs. With a relaxed mood and a yearning for exploring different musical routes, the band displays us a braver change of their direction. Unlike the usual stoner/metal outbreaks and high speeds, this time the band attempts a different approach, closer to a modern psychedelic heavy sound, coming up with more post/psych lines. We are left with the impression that this is an experimental album which is based on psychedelic sounds and it becomes very obvious that this is the new direction the band wants to follow.
The main evident feature of this release is the relaxed, repetitive rhythms that come alive in the first two songs, Motion and the almost seven-minute long Im Morgengrauen. Heavy atmosphere does exist, but materializes in a colder form through shimmering sounds from the guitar, whereas the bass and the drums maintain slower, almost hypnotizing rhythms. The third and longest –almost twenty minutes- song, Weißensee, brings to mind the cover as well since the mixture is concocted successfully courtesy of the guitars of Risberg and Disalvo. They start their psychedelic games while the rest of the guys join in gradually reaching a heavy and out-and-out stoner explosion, recalling the sound of the group we were familiar with so far. It is definitely the best moment of this release, whereas the lack of vocals is something that doesn’t go unnoticed.
In conclusion we’d say that Elder offer us insight how things go down in the studio when they are in the mood for something different. Is it a snapshot of the things to come? We’ll know soon enough. If this turn they took is verified, then the start is indeed an interesting one.
7.5 / 10
This EP seems to use as a tracer a song which was apart from the material of their last full-length album, Sonntag, a song that indicated their larking love for krautrock. The Gold & Silver Sessions consists of a triad of compositions which stands with both legs on two geographical and aesthetical entities: firstly, Germany of the late 60s and 70s and secondly the desert American tradition as it was evolved from the 90s until today. To be specific, the three instrumental songs emanate jam-like/experimental/krautrock/ stoner rock, sometimes distortion-free and some other times recalling their heavy-riff nature. In short, this EP opens a parenthesis from the band from Massachusetts and remains to be seen if they will blend successfully these different directions in the future.
7 / 10