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Average for its time, not essential - 80%

Drowned, December 12th, 2005

Before shifting their style to gothic doom, Elbereth were a death metal band who released this forgotten 7" on Drowned Productions. While there are some doom overtones in the songs, most of the music is standard-pace death metal with the occasional keyboards and acoustic guitars to darken the mood. The production here clearly favors the vocals, which sit extremely high in the mix and nearly drown out the rest of the instruments. The singer uses some impressive throaty growling that I would compare to the vocals on the Cenotaph (Ita) demos. The bass is nice and heavy, while the guitars have that cool Brazillian-style thrash tone to them. The drums are a bit muddy and are played in a simplistic way, with little variation in technique and tempo.

After a cool acoustic intro, "Where Oblivion Dwells" opens with a slow, Swedish-style riff that sounds like it was taken from Megaslaughter (I believe I can even name the song - "Death Remains"). Afterwards, the music speeds up slightly and gives way to a series of simple, alternating tremelo riffs for the verse and chorus. There's a very sloppy guitar solo mid-way through, and the song ends on a doomy note... "Reminiscences of a Lost Solitude" is a much slower track that begins with some chunky, American-style guitar riffs before becoming pure doom at about the half-way mark. There's one particular melody from the rhythm section that's accompanied by a very killer, abysmal lead overtop - the highlite of the EP. Afterwards, the drums continue pounding away slowly, while the guitars and bass make room for a haunting keyboard interlude that takes you on a depressive journey far beyond. The song ends with a simple Carnage-like riff that fades out to close the 7".

With stronger production and better drumming this could have been a minor classic, but it remains rather average and not really up to the standard of other Drowned releases. There's an entire army of Spanish bands of that era who overshadow Elbereth in every way imaginable. But despite this, "Reminiscences from the Past" has potential to grow on the listener and is still better than 85% of "atmospheric" death released today. If you're a fan of dark death metal bordering on doom, give this one a listen.