Innate Passage (Elder) – music review

When Elder’s previous album Omens was released in 2020 it was my number three album of the year for good reason. Elder constructed a muscular tower of doom metal, prog rock, and psychedelics with nods to groups such as Rush, King Crimson, Led Zeppelin, and Yes. Omens showed the group even more comfortable with their classic prog vibes. Fast-forward to today and we now have another Elder album to enchant our ears. Innate Passage shows us what Elder can create in a pandemic. It’s an album the weaves a tale of a life lived, the time we have, and the perception of time and space that an individual occupies.

It’s this ethereal mantra that adds to the hypnotic nature of Innate Passage. Where Omens felt more driven by the heavy, Innate Passage feels more driven by mesmerizing ambience and atmosphere. “Catastasis” envelops you as the epic riff chug gives way to cosmic synths. The song also features the guest vocals of Behrang Alavi (Samavayo), who only helps elevate Nick DiSalvo’s towering vocals. The album is only 5 tracks long but, Elder is all about quality over quantity. “Coalescence” starts what feels like an epic three song blend that includes “Merged in Dreams – Ne Plus Ultra” and ending the album “The Passage.” It’s here where I feel Innate Passage’s strengths lie. The album can feel like one long blend where songs fall right into other songs. “The Purpose” tunnels its  way to the end as the instrumentation works to create an epic obelisk that towers to scratch the cosmos. DiSalvo delivers his decree from on high and as the final lyrics are spoken the album erupts into a universal blaze of guitars. Then like a lullaby to a white dwarf the album fades.

In all honesty, I could continue to dump space metaphors on you, or, you could just go listen to the album. Elder’s Innate Passage takes the ides put forth by Omens and continues them with a balance. With its five song, 54 minute run time, Innate Passage is a dense journey that’s worth getting lost in. Just like Omens, it’s an album that will hold your attention every time.

Christopher Tahy
For more of Christopher Tahy’s music reviews, check out The Fire Note

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