Some journeys are short and sweet, some are long and enlightening. Any way you spin it, we should all come away from our journeys with lessons learned.
For Boise, Idaho-based Ealdor Bealu the journey that is their third full-length record is chock-full of lessons played out in their progressive-heavy psych stoner-rock sound they’ve been establishing over the last five-plus years.
Psychic Forms is five tracks, the shortest barely over seven minutes, the longest, a hefty nine-and-a-half. It is not an undertaking for those pop-hungry fans seeking 2-to-3-minute experiences, but it is an experience nonetheless.
To state the cliché “third time is the charm” understates and discounts the first two releases from the Boise quartet of stoner-psych-prog-rock. Dark Water At The Foot Of The Mountain (2017), in retrospect revealed the vision, didn’t quite capture the promise, but certainly captured our attention. Spirit of the Lonely Places (2019) elevated the Bealu game and saw the band begin to come into their own. It is here, at the third record we find what it means and sounds like to really experience Ealdor Bealu. Unapologetically holding tightly to their 2017 origins, the band becomes less of a conduit of their sound and more of a solidified namesake in the game. An ambitious undertaking, even for Ealdor Bealu, tightly packed into five eviscerating progressive weighty psych rock tracks, that demonstrate maturity and confidence we’ve not yet seen from Ealdor Bealu. The band has taken the live experience and captured it in Psychic Forms, breaking into a balanced attention to detail such as the soaring presence of bassist and vocalist Rylie Collingwood and the punctuating guitar presence of both Carson Russell and Travis Abbott dancing along the wall of drums laid out by Michael Mulcock. The record shifts like the high-desert landscapes of southern Idaho, subtly flowing over the horizon with a captivating draw, but lays a heavy fist to the gut at precisely the right moments. Not saying it took three records to deliver a knock out, but we’ve not yet seen Ealdor Bealu like this.
Perhaps it is a sense of experience, perhaps it is the signing with Metal Assault Records in 2021, we may never know, but Ealdor Bealu takes the journey of their existence and teaches us all there is much, much more to what we’ve experienced thus far. Psychic Forms is pacing the spiraling labyrinth of meditation, slowly marching inward to ultimately exit with a different perspective. The journey that is Psychic Forms appears, superficially, short, but ascending this mountain is lasting and impressionable.