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Eldberg - Eldberg CD (album) cover

ELDBERG

Eldberg

 

Crossover Prog

3.85 | 62 ratings

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TenYearsAfter
3 stars Eldberg was formed in early December 2008 by the brothers Asmundur S. Sigurosson (bass) and Jakob G. Sigurosson (drums), they had started to jam together, playing some Focus and Procol Harum songs in the autumn. Soon the brothers were joined by guitarist Reynir Hauksson, keyboard player Atli Bjornsson and singer E Ingi Gunnlaugsson. After Atli decided to move to Glasgow in Scotland( to learn sound engineering) and Ingi Gunnlaugsson went on to do other projects, Jakob, Reynir and Asmundur Jakob started to play together again with church organist K Ingi Arnarsson. They started to write (mainly instrumental) songs and did their first recordings in the summer of 2009, but the recordings never came out. After the summer K Ingi Arnarsson quit due to lack of time for the band, then Asmundur, Reynir and Jakob focused on song writing. But K Ingi Arnarsson rejoined the band to do some test recordings in the winter. In 2010 singer (and now actor) P Birgisson joined the band with keyboardist Heimir Klemenzson, and the musicians started rehearsing. When P Birgisson left E Ingi Gunnlaugsson came back and took his place behind the microphone. Early summer 2010 the band decided to record an album in the autumn with P Hjaltested, keyboardist of the well known Seventies prog rock band Eik from Iceland. The band wrote and rehearsed for the album during the summer and began recording it in the autumn. The recordings only took four days but P Hjaltested was busy for two weeks to do the transmission from tape to the album and the mixing. When the mix was ready Asmundur had to fly to England with these tapes in order to do the cut for the vinyl in London (limited edition of 500). Finally the album was released in 2011.

The first part of the album contains five melodic rock songs with powerful and passionate native vocals, an unique combination, how many times you will listen to prog with Icelandic vocals! I enjoyed the tasteful colouring of the music with electric guitar, saxophone, Mellotron, synthesizer, electric piano and a lot of Hammond organ.

The second part of the album features two epic compositions, drenched into the Seventies Heavy Prog tradition. In Eg Er Lifsins Brauo the intro sounds like a tribute to Ken Hensley delivering majestic and bombastic Hammond layers. Then a slow and compelling atmosphere with strong vocals and sensitive electric guitar and finally an accellaration with fiery guitar and Hammond, evoking Deep Purple. The final track is their highlight entitled Hlioarlif Vor Tuma, clocking around 15 minutes. It starts dreamy with wonderful work on electric - and Spanish guitar, then gradually more heavy featuring lush Hammond and beautiful vocals. After a swirling Hammond organ solo we can enjoy jazzy guitar and swinging piano. The final part is a kind of Heavy Prog Heaven with strong, pretty emotional vocals, fiery electric guitar (in the vein of Ritchie Blackmore) and again lush and bombastic Hammond, I love it!

What a tasteful and pleasant debut album, with the native vocals as an extra dimension. It took four years for Eldberg to release a second album entitled Par Er Heimur Hugans, so a third effort in 2019?

My rating: 3,5 star.

TenYearsAfter | 3/5 |

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