Background information
Origin Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Genres Psychedelic Rock, Stoner Rock, Psychedelic Doom Metal, Progressive Rock
Years active 2006 - Present
Labels MeteorCity Records, Stickman Records, Armageddon Shop, Burning World Records, Blues Funeral Recordings
Associated acts Gold & Silver, Abaroth, Tor
Website Behold The Elder

Elder are a band originating from Boston, Massachusetts. Originally for their early years as a power trio the band has evolved into a quartet as of 2017. The band's sound derives from a wide range such as heavy psych, doom metal, stoner rock and heavy metal, combining several elements to attain a rather distinctive sound.

Elder have cited Colour Haze and Dungen as "the bands that have really influenced the methodology or the philosophy behind the new direction". While Elder's sound is varied, but heavily based around rock and metal, Elder's sound could also be said to have been influenced from such landmark Rock/Metal bands including Black Sabbath, Sleep and Electric Wizard.

To date Elder have released five studio albums in a career spanning nearly fifteen years, many of these albums attaining significant critical praise. Notably three of the albums would rank in the top five of the best albums of the 2010s list curated by The Obelisk.


Behold The Elder (2006 - 2010)Edit

Elder would be founded in 2006 with the initial lineup of Nick DiSalvo, Chriss Mitchell and Matt Cuoto. The band's first recordings would be released in a split with Queen Elephantine circa September 2006. Three of these songs would be released as a demo in May 2007 via Harsh Brutal Cold Productions.

Along with attaining a new bassist in Jack Donovan, Elder would then work with Trevor Vaughn at The Ritual Cave in the summer of 2007 on a debut record, releasing the eponymous Elder in early 2008 via MeteorCity Records. Along with more frequent shows,[1] the next year with more frequent shows leading up to an appearance at Stoner Hands of Doom.[2] The band would have shared the stage with the likes of Queen Elephantine, Black Pyramid and Gozu just to name a few.

2010 would see Elder supporting various touring acts in the Massachusetts area along with touring with Cough for a string of dates that Summer. By the end of the year Elder would begin recording their second studio album at Black Coffee Sound in Northampton, MA. Clay Neely would engineer this album while Justin Pizzoferrato would master it. The band would take time off shows as David DiSanto would be studying in Germany.[3]

Dead Roots Stirring and Lore (2011 - 2016)Edit

Working again with MeteorCity Records, Dead Roots Stirring would see release on 25 October 2011 to positive reviews from the likes of The Obelisk,[4] Exclaim!,[5] PopMatters[6] and SputnikMusic[7] among others. In an interview with The Obelisk, Nick DiSalvo would explain the process of recording Dead Roots Stirring:

"The first album – we were pretty happy with it when it came out. At that time I think we had sort of immature expectations of a sound. We actually also recorded that on no budget; it was self-recorded and self-produced. And the more we let it sit and listened to it, the more, at least for me, it took on a sort of metallic or artificial, very cold sound to it. I know in comparison to modern metal or rock productions or something like that, it was a warm record tonally, but it wasn’t really indicative of the sound aesthetic that we wanted for the newer material. It was very clear off the bat that we were going to go to an engineer who knew the sound we were going for and we also had more of a focused idea of how we wanted it to sound, so we were going to take those ideas and shop around, and we ended up finding Clay, the drummer of Black Pyramid. He runs a studio up here, and we played with Black Pyramid a lot before they broke up. So he was a guy we were very familiar with, and he was familiar with our work, and he seemed to be a perfect fit, actually.

We were there for three days. Three days recording, and then another two days mixing, or something. It was a real compact session. Again, we didn’t have a lot of money to do it, and we also knew the material very well, so we weren’t in there trying to make a perfect record with a thousand overdubs or something. There are errors on the album. But I guess that’s sort of charming in a way that a lot of older analog records are anyhow. We tend to look at the negatives of having little studio time in as positive a light as possible."

— Nick DiSalvo, The Obelisk [8]

Elder would begin touring and performing more frequently through 2012 (Including a return to Stoner Hands of Doom), including releasing an EP entitled Spires Burn / Release on 21 April 2012. Elder would tour Europe for the first time surrounding an appearance at Roadburn Festival (With their performance later released on 15 November 2013.). A follow-up tour of Europe would happen in the next year, including appearances at Doomed Gatherings, Desertfest London, DesertFest Berlin and Freak Valley Festival. Signing to Armageddon Shop and Stickman Records, Elder would work on a third album at Sonelab Studios.

Further expanding on the progressive rock sound established on Dead Roots Stirring, Lore would be released on 27 February 2015 to wider critical acclaim from the likes of The Obelisk,[9] Toilet Ov Hell,[10] Heavy Blog Is Heavy,[11] Echoes and Dust,[12] The Sludgelord[13] and many others. Ultimately it's make Consequence of Sound's Top Heavy Metal Albums of 2015[14] and The Obelisk's Top Reader's Picks of The Year (And later "Album of The Decade" as selected by The Obelisk.).[15][16][17]

Elder would embark on their most extensive touring to date, beginning with a North American tour surrounding an appearance at Psycho California, followed with a tour of Europe alongside Mos Generator, which would include appearances at Hellfest, Riff Ritual Fest, Stick & Stone Fest, Stoned From The Underground and Lake on Fire to name a few.[18] The band would follow with an Australian tour alongside Earthless and close out the year touring with Mos Generator and Spirit Caravan.[19]

In further support of Omens Elder would return to Europe, starting with shows in Russia and Ukraine before venturing throughout Europe for return appearances at Desertfest Berlin, Desertfest London, Doomed Gatherings, Freak Valley Festival, Psycho Las Vegas, Up In Smoke Desertfest Athens, Desertfest Belgium, Keep it Low and Into The Void to name a few.[20][21]

Reflections of a Floating World and Omens (2017 - Present)Edit

Elder would work on their next record in December 2016 by Justin Pizzoferrato at Sonelab in Easthampton, MA. Notably one Mike Risberg would appear on the album as a guest, later joining the band the next year and converting them to a quartet. Working again with Stickman Records and Armageddon Shop, Reflections of a Floating World would see release on 2 June 2017 to widespread critical acclaim along the likes of Stereogum (Album of The Week),[22] Metal Injection (9.5/10),[23] Angry Metal Guy (4.5/5),[24] Louder Sound (4 Stars)[25] and many other critics.[26][27][28][29][30][31] By the end of the year the album would maintain and "86" score via Album of The Year[32] and rank #5 on Rolling Stone's "Best Metal Albums of 2017".[33]

In an interview with Heavy Blog Is Heavy, DiSalvo would explain the process behind recording "Reflections of a Floating World" and their ongoing evolution of sound:

"With Lore, I felt that we had hit upon a sound that was somewhat unique to us and we were writing the songs that we wanted to write, but that record was sort of thrown together, and in a lot of ways I didn’t walk away completely satisfied. I just felt that the songs were not completely, you know, all there. Reflections was never a conscious followup but it was clear in the writing process that there were definitely more things that needed to be said regarding that sound. I really wanted to perfect this sound that was really progressive and really doomy, and sort of psychedelic and heavy – we don’t really know what it is, but it feels like Elder, you know? It’s sort of a Lore part 2 in that sense; we really caught some ears with that record and I figured that if we could just make that album but a little better, a little more fleshed out, it would be the record we’d been wanting to make for some years now.

Yeah, I guess “fleshing out” is a pretty vague term. Well, really, the idea was there on Lore – to be a heavy metal Yes, to borrow another person’s term – but the songs didn’t really come full circle for me there, they weren’t really as coherent as I wanted. I think that’s what got “fleshed out” – the songwriting got a lot tighter and more focused. It’s definitely not as much of a noodly record as Lore, and the focus isn’t solely on the guitar: there’s a lot of keyboard there too, and a lot more jammy parts – we had a bunch more time in the studio this time around – and it’s just a more… complete record.

It’s hard to answer this question in a straightforward way since when you’re making music it’s never completely intentional, you know? What comes out just comes out and that’s that.

[On the album's lyrical themes] I’ve been really stuck on a couple themes since Dead Roots Stirring, which have to do mostly with the meaning of life and what the hell we’re doing as human beings. As someone who’s never really lived in a religious environment, I’m fascinated by the concept of spirituality – it’s something that changes your perspective so strongly on what it means to be a human.

It seems sort of far-fetched and arrogant for rock music but the themes are always these big literary themes. Reflections of a Floating World is based in how I feel like, in the Western world at least, we’re living in a very consumerist, empty, shallow society, just kind of scratching the surface of the potential for living. A lot of it came from our personal struggles: are we gonna try to live by the book and have normal, satisfying lives, or are we going to throw it all away and play rock music? So it’s very hard to say there’s one consistent theme but it’s about, essentially, finding your path and living your life in a world that seems more and more focused on everyone doing the same thing."

— Nick DiSalvo, Heavy Blog Is Heavy [34]

Elder would tour extensively through 2017 and 2018 with the likes of King Buffalo and Serial Hawk in support of "Reflections of a Floating World". This would include returns to Stoned From The Underground, Desertfest London, Desertfest Berlin, Desertfest Belgium and Psycho Las Vegas among appearing at new major festivals such as Kristonfest, Metal Culture(s) and Sonic Masala. 2019 would see the band returning to Australia and headline the inaugural Desertfest New York. Following a tour of Europe that summer Elder would begin work on their next album.[35] Notably longtime drummer Matt Cuoto would leave the band, with Georg Edert taking over the drum role. The band would record with producer Peter Diemel at Studio Black Box, Noyant-La-Gravoyère, France.

A new single from this album "Embers" would be premiered in February 2020, announcing the new album Omens which would be released on 24 April 2020. The band intended to tour through the summer but would postpone due to The CO-VID19 Pandemic.


Studio AlbumsEdit

Other ReleasesEdit


Current MembersEdit

  • Nick DiSalvo - Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals (2006 - Present)
  • Jack Donovan - Bass (2008 - Present)
  • Mike Risberg - Guitar, Keyboards (2017 - Present)
  • Georg Edert - Drums (2019 - Present)

Past MembersEdit

  • Chris Mitchell - Bass (2006 - 2007)
  • Matt Cuoto - Drums (2006 - 2019)

List of Known ToursEdit

External LinksEdit

Official LinksEdit

Archival LinksEdit


  3. The Obelisk
  4. The Obelisk
  5. Exclaim!
  6. Pop Matters
  7. Sputnik Music
  8. The ObeliskElder Interview with Nick DiSalvo: The Living Roots, accessed 23 April 2020
  9. The Obelisk
  10. Toilet Ov Hell
  11. Heavy Blog Is Heavy
  12. Echoes and Dust
  13. The Sludgelord
  14. Consequence of Sound
  15. The Obelisk
  16. The Obelisk
  17. The Obelisk
  22. Stereogum
  23. Metal Injection
  24. Angry Metal Guy
  25. Louder Sound
  26. Post-Trash
  27. The Obelisk
  28. Echoes and Dust
  29. Paste Magazine
  30. Treble Zine
  31. The Sludgelord
  32. Album of The Year
  33. Rolling Stone
  34. Heavy Blog Is HeavyElder: The Heavy Blog Is Heavy Interview, accessed 23 April 2020
  38. Elder Facebook
  39. Elder Facebook
  41. Elder Facebook
  44. Elder Facebook
  45. Elder Facebook
  47. Elder Facebook
  50. Elder Facebook
  51. Elder Facebook
  52. Elder Facebook
  54. Elder Facebook
  55. Elder Facebook
  56. Elder Facebook
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