Swiss doomgaze trio E-L-R turn up the ponder knob on their sophomore album, Vexier.
With beginnings in Bern, E-L-R released their first album in 2019, Mænad. The musicians are listed in the press materials in an understated minimalistic way as S. M. (guitar, vocals), I. R. (bass, vocals), and M. K. (drums). They seem to want the album to speak for itself, so let’s honor that premise and give it a listen.
The five long tracks on Vexier begin with “Opiate The Sun.” It is a steady strum at first, slowly growing volume and presence. The clear feeling of Pink Floyd permeates in a Shine On You Crazy Diamond kind of way. The heavy guitars enter about three and a half minutes in – a welcome heavy herald. Listening is hypnotic. The music takes you to another place if you let it, an altered state. The cooldown is dripping water and, from that, slowly your consciousness returns to the here and now.
The next track, “Three Winds,” begins like a hurricane, pounding away at pace in percussion and riff. This one is heady, and it is the vocals that ultimately let you take flight. “Seeds” has an unsettling aspect to it that puts you a bit on edge, even with the reassuring deliberateness of the recurring riff.
“Fleurs of Decay” and “Floret” are the last two tracks, and they came together duet-like in my mind, whatever the intention might have been. A thread from the previous song is still running through, acting as a launching point. You feel the loop in your bones by now, and the doomgaze aspects have taken strongly ahold of your center. You want it to play out, and so it does. I think the experience can be different for each individual, and to some people there could very well be revelations layered into the music. For me, I felt rejuvenated at the end, reassured by the ayahuasca-like plane. Recommended.
Vexier is out on Friday, March 11th through Prophecy Productions. Links below.
Band photo by Ramon Lehmann.
E-L-R website, https://www.e-l-r.band/
Prophecy Productions, https://us.prophecy.de/
© Wayne Edwards. All rights reserved.