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Elder - Innate Passage

Innate Passage
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 27 November 2022, 9:42 AM

From Bandcamp, “Innate Passage” is the sixth full-length album from the band. It finds the mostly-Berlin-based band in the post-pandemic era as veterans at the forefront of a league of progressive and heavy groups working in large part under their influence; a stately presence as reliably forward-thinking as they are unpredictable in sound. They are among the most important acts of their mostly-still-emerging generation, and genuine leaders in style and expressive intention.” The album has five songs.

“Catastasis” is the first. Smooth, melodic tones open the song, with just a bit of clouds. Old school keyboards swirl around at first, replaced by melancholy vocals and guitars. Many of the Progressive elements are subtle but the song has a bit of a hard edge to it, especially when they hit hard accents with authority. Some psychedelic elements are also interspersed, and the harmonic vocals are sublime. This is pretty original music. “Endless Return” begins with thumping bass notes, some easy rhythms, and a bit more energy. The instruments start to explore a little after the first verse of vocals. Don’t snooze either on their musicianship…it is quite strong. The skies open up and rays of sunshine come through after the half-way mark, riding out smoothly through the end.

“Coalescence” is a calm ride on the coastal highway with the wind in your hair. The sheer number of colors you can see on the horizon are marvelous. The trip is around and through trees and forests that rise and dip along the way. All the while, your attitude is pleasant, and nothing can shake you. “Merged in Dreams – Ne Plus Ultra” is the long song on the album, at just under 15-minutes. More calm and pleasing tones open the song. If this music doesn’t make you feel good, you might want to see a doctor. More ardent tones come in with the vocals, but the melody line continues. It waxes and wanes several times, through rough tones and smooth ones, never fully committing to either. It dips into much calmer elements after the half-way mark, before a triumphant return.

“The Purpose” closes the album. It’s another mellow trip down a rabbit hole until you reach the far recesses of your mind. What will you find there? Some things are better left buried, but what you find there is nothing surprising. The harmonies meld so well together that the length of the song isn’t easily remember. This album was wonderful. Mostly smooth elements make you feel as if you were not a part of your body…meaning you are outside looking in. The trip was taken entirely without notice. You might as well have been lost in your backyard for the day, without a care in the world. Strap in and take this mellow ride with a few bumps along the way, but in the end, you come out with a smile ear to ear.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Catastasis
2. Endless Return
3. Coalescence
4. Merged in Dreams - Ne Plus Ultra
5. The Purpose
Nicholas DiSalvo – Guitar, Vocals, Keyboards
Jack Donovan – Bass
Michael Risberg – Guitar, Keyboards
Georg Edert – Drums
Record Label: Stickman Records


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Edited 01 February 2023

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