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Eldberg, Iceland

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First published on February 5, 2013 and moved forward to highlight their new album Par er Heimur Hugans.

Last activity from the band was spotted in April of 2016, so they do seem to still be going, though sparsely.

Eldberg - s/t. 2011 Mylodon (Chile CD); 2011 private (LP)
Eldberg - Par er Heimur Hugans. 2015 Mylodon (Chile CD); 2015 private (LP)

----Eldberg

Iceland had a small, but productive early 1970s underground rock scene, propelled by a few interesting bands such as Svanfridur, Odmenn, Trubrot, Manar, and Nattura (apologies to diacritic purists). Eldberg is a modern band dedicated to returning the glory of that genre. I seriously doubt, if blindfolded, anyone could place this band as from 2011. Defiantly singing in their native Icelandic, coupled along with an arsenal of old analog keyboards - predominantly Hammond organ - Eldberg successfully restores this once great scene to the modern era. Musically closer to other Scandinavian acts such as Alrune Rod (Denmark), November (Sweden), and Host (Norway), the progressive rock nature of Eldberg is held back somewhat by an overly lyrical stance (perhaps recalling the poppier Trubrot or Odmenn), that can be a bit of a drag in parts - especially towards the end of the disc. No need to fret though, as this keeps them only from Gnosis 12 (RYM 4.5+) territory, rather than something truly mediocre. If they let loose instrumentally, we're talking the next big thing in retro progressive rock circles.

----Par er Heimur Hugans

Eldberg returns 4 years later from their debut with yet another stunning retro prog album, with excellent compositions and thick analog sounds, especially in the keyboard department. And.... they continue to bring forth epic tales sung in beautiful Icelandic. For those who insist on understanding the words, then Eldberg is not likely to be for you, unless you're fortunate enough to have spent a vast amount of time in Iceland itself. Personally, as someone who enjoys hearing music sung in the native tongue, I appreciate the vocals as yet another musical instrument, and the singing provided is well done here. In many ways, Eldberg is the second generation of the obscure Norwegian band Octopus ("Thaerie Wiighen"). Fine with me. It's not like the world is filled with albums such as this. After multiple listens, I'd say Eldberg has improved upon their already excellent debut. While they grade out about the same, the band is inching closer to world class status. I already look forward to a 3rd album from them!

Last update: August 20, 2016

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