Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Today is ... Black Jade day!


Band: Black Jade
And why are they featured here, Nazgul?  Well, this band have appeared on split releases with Uruk Hai in the past, and as a result Nazgul has built up a collection of their work, featured below, shortly to be offered for sale...

Yes, today – the 18th April 2018 – is officially designated Black Jade day at Castle Nazgul!

As you will know Nazgul collects a variety of bands and musical projects, and once in a blue moon decides to feature one in Honour and Darkness, normally because of a connection with one of Hugin’s bands.  This is why Black Jade are featured, having been part of the 2013 split release “The Sadness of Fallen Leaves” with Uruk Hai and also on the 2014 “Guardians of the Rings” 4-way split along with Onyx and Ringbearer.   

Black Jade are from Switzerland, and play Tolkien influenced black metal though through the band’s recording career this has mellowed occasionally into more ambient territories with female vocals and lighter melodies.  Their discography has also been a fun one to collect, being comprised of many highly limited edition releases in low number editions in much the same vein as Mr Wieser’s manifold releases have been issued over the years, albeit in a much reduced quantity of actual titles.

Strangely, at least in my experience, it is the more recent releases that tend to be harder to find than the earlier ones.  Why the edition numbers were much smaller as time went on it open to speculation, though it made for an interesting band to collect.

I’ve greatly enjoyed these releases, but the time has come to set them loose upon the world (or, more accurately, upon Discogs).  Before then, however, let’s have a quick run through of the collection, before it gets split asunder:


Holocaust 666 (Limited 500 copies, 2001)
Very hard to find original band release, which is frequently called a demo rather than an official release.  The release is not without charm, though has moments of strangeness in audio terms.  As the band themselves later explained, “The whole thing sounds pretty bumpy today.  We had several difficulties at the time.  For one thing, we did not play well together musically.  For another, we did not have a real drummer.  Playing in time, for example, was not one of our strengths.  The technology in the studio also cost us some nerves back then and funny beeps, which were caused by the PC system, have repeatedly disturbed the recordings.  But they are funny memories that you will not forget…!”

This is a stock image rather than Nazgul's own copy, as the one I bought a month to complete this collection is still missing in action somewhere in the air between Russia and Castle Nazgul as I type.  Hey ho, the perils of collecting.  Onwards...


Forest Of Edoras (Limited 666 copies, 2003)
8 song second release, and musically a significant improvement to their first.


...Of Forest and Fire (1st pressing 666 copies, digipak reissue with bonus songs 1000 copies, 2005)
“... Of Forest and Fire ...” was the first CD after the original band split up.  In terms of content, it is the first 100% Tolkien-inspired album. 

There were two versions of the CD.  The original pressing was released via Ewiges Eis Records, and a limited edition digipak version on Black Tower Productions, with bonus tracks.  Thanks to the participation of high-calibre guest musicians, the CD came alive and although the whole disc is not high-end in terms of production technology, there is a great deal of passion in this publication.  There are a lot of good songs with great lyrics on this CD.


Helvetica Diabolica (Limited 666 copies, 2007)
Random trivia alert!  “Helvetica Diabolica” was originally planned as a 7” picture disc ep, but it was just a couple of songs too much for that format so an entire CD was spawned.  Additional trivia fact; it was the first CD where everything was played by Naragarth.  More of a down-to-earth black metal disc, this CD has produced a few classics that have achieved Black Jade cult status.

The very limited edition wax-sealed special edition verson

...Und Alle Pfade sind Versunken Tief Im Schatten (Limited to 100 copies in special version, 2011)
At the end of 2011 Black Jade released “... And all paths are lost deep in the shadows”, the successor to “... Of Forest and Fire ...”.  It is divided into two parts, a first quiet part that is sung entirely by Betty and a second part characterized by black and pagan metal.  For the first time Münggu (Excelsis, Minhyriath, Folkearth, Folkodia) was present with the bagpipe and on the flute.  Newcomers included Marlon Ruch from Eternal Death, who sang all Death Metal vocals, and Andreas Langer, who played a few guitar solos.  Cracking production, it's full of great songs like “Feanor's Curse Part I”, which is actually a cover version of a Lake of Tears song.

The much coveted limited edition came with a wax sealed paper envelope with number on the reverse, a patch, and a map of Middle Earth and the Undying Lands.


The Sadness Of Fallen Leaves (Limited 500 copies, 2013)
Nazgul has previously reviewed this album in Honour and Darkness of course, so let’s hear what Black Jade themselves said about this release:

“The split CD “The Sadness Of Fallen Leaves” with Uruk Hai was a project that has been planned for many years.  In 2012, however, Alexander and I decided to finally put the plans into action.  On this split CD you will find a bunch of stylistic mix.  With “Arien” and “A Homeless Shadow” there are two real black metal numbers.  “We Booze In Golden Halls” is also a tough one, even though there is no comparable Black Jade song yet, because it is a true “Mitgröhl song”.  With “Valinor's Light”, “Where The Leaves Not Fall” and “Where Eagles Fly”, there are three wonderful, quiet songs sung by Betty.


The Prophecy Of The North (Limited to 50 copies in DVD-sized case, 2013)
“The Prophecy of the North” was the band’s own album of 2013. The album begins where “... and all the paths have sunk deep in the shadows” and “... of forest and fire ...” stopped and generally only harder songs can be found on this album - Black and Pagan Metal fans get their money's worth here! 

The last 3 tracks are bonus songs from the Uruk Hai split release.


Auf Vergessenen Pfaden (Limited 500 copies, 2014)
Essentially, as far as I can make out, these songs were the physical release for tracks on the otherwise online only download “Warden of Tol Sirion”.  Notable too for being another split release outing, this time with Tolkien-influenced Germanic metal horde Carn Dûm.


Guardians Of The Rings (Limited to 99 copies in DVD-sized case, 2014)
A real treat for fans of this style of music, this four-way split features bands familiar to all long-time Honour and Darkness followers – Ringbearer, Onyx, Uruk Hai and of course Black Jade.  In terms of the latter bands input, there were three new and one old (newly recorded) song.  The three new songs are very melodic and catchy, with many epic passages and plenty of piano, and there is a good amount of electro in “Awake”.  “Ar-Pharazôn” was re-recorded from the 2005 original version with the biggest change being the German text.


The Downfall Session (Limited edition of 50 in DVD-sized box, plus a standard edition, 2015)
The band advise that this is a CD that you should not take too seriously, because the songs are ‘relatively evil’ for Black Jade!  The songs were originally intended for a split release with Numenor, which never came out.  The song “Ar-Pharazôn”, which is on the "Guardians of the Rings” was originally intended for this CD as well.  As the band are keen to stress, “Please remember, “The Downfall Session” is just a little musical outing, we will not keep this style!”

The limited edition version contains as a bonus the songs of the “Warden of Tol Sirion” but this time remixed and mastered professionally by Dösi in BWS Studio.


Ea (Limited to 30 copies, 2016)
This is where the Black Jade story currently comes to an end.  This album continues where “Warden of Tol Sirion” left off, and thematically we are again deeply immersed in the stories of Middle-Earth. 


And there you have it.

Something of a diversion from the normal entries in the blog, but Nazgul hopes that you like it.  Drop me a line if any of the releases above appeal to you, as they will shortly all be offered for sale online in a bit of a spring clear-out at Castle Nazgul.  Indeed, one or two other posts of this nature may pop up in the months ahead as other linked collections are thinned out a bit to make more room for the Castle’s monkey to swing from room to room.  Stay tuned!

Saturday, 7 April 2018

"Happy Birthday to you..."

Grrr .. dude, where's my cake?!
It's that time of the year - again!

Who can believe that 365 days have elapsed since Hugin's last birthday, but nonetheless it's true.  Another candle on the cake this year, and the journey towards the big 5-0 increases in speed.

Age affects all of us in different ways - clearly Nazgul is getting more and more demented as each year goes by (this year, for example, I found something quite nice to send to Hugin as a present only for Hugin to gently point out that I sent him the exact same gift some three years earlier...)

Happily, the advancing years do not seem to have diminished Hugin's own capacities, which is a very good thing indeed in terms of the possibility of more excellent releases in the decade ahead.

The photo here, by the way, comes from a set that are in the Castle archives and which I must put up in full some day as they are largely unpublished I'd wager, and contain many poses of this character in all of it's corpse-painted glory...!

Until then, let's all wish Hugin a very happy birthday for 2018!

Saturday, 31 March 2018

MIT STÄHLERNEM BLICK - update


Band: B-MACHINA
Title: Mit Stahlernem Blick
Reason for update: A special one-off variant of this 2016 release.

Is it really almost April already?  A significant month here in Castle Nazgul for one main reason - it's Hugin's birthday early in the month and normally we'd do a post to celebrate it.  Let's hope the gruelling work schedule currently punishing your old uncle Nazgul doesn't get in the way of putting a suitable post together for that occasion...

And just in case you are beginning to wonder if Honour and Darkness has gone into terminal decline, let's find a few minutes to dredge from the archive something a little more unusual to look at today and to get a new post up - and no, it's not an April Fool's Day joke!

No, what you see here is a bespoke one-off 3" CDr release of the B-Machina vinyl-only song 'Mit Stahlernem Blick' that we covered back in January.  The reason for it's existence is simply that anything vinyl that comes into Nazgul's clutches is immediately guaranteed to be kept pristine and in mint condition for ever and a day on the basis that I still have no turntable to play it on.

And so kindly old Hugin - no doubt rolling his eyes at his evidently tight-fisted friend over the Channel - puts together a playable CDr version for me to review.  And this is the copy that was used as the basis for that January review, as you will have deduced.

The cover is folded piece of card, and it sits in a small clear plastic wallet.  I think it's probably a trimmed B-Machina postcard or promo card actually, rather than a unique creation for this particular mini-disc, but it looks the part and I'm certainly not complaining whatever its origins - at least I got to hear this particular song!

Speaking of things vinyl, by the way, the Castle Nazgul inbox literally trembled at the receipt last night of an email (unsolicited, and totally out of the blue) from US label Beasst Promotions, who you may recall were at the centre of an apparent bit of scamming over the vinyl reissue of the Hrossharsgrani "Uruk Hai" demo.  They suggested manufacturing issues had rendered the first batch of this album as unsaleable, and effectively asked if I'd be interested in reordering.  Hmmm, not sure I've got the physical endurance to go through all of that again, but I'll keep you posted if I do...

Thursday, 22 March 2018

ORIGIN OF EVIL [V/A]


Band: URUK HAI
Title: Origin Of Evil [V/A]
Format: An online digital compilation pulled together by South Korean label Fallen Angel Productions, released for free on 13 February 2018.  
Edition: unlimited
 
Track Listing:
01. Katharos XIII (Romania) - The Chains Are So Beautiful  08:21  
02. Code Red (Japan) - Destroy  03:15  
03. Krigere Wolf (Italy) - Towards the Black Mass  05:18  
04. Winter Deluge (New Zealand) - ...Now You Reap  08:42  
05. Basilisk (Japan) - In Most Septile  05:30  
06. Draconis Infernum (Singapore) - Anathema  03:38  
07. Sabbat (Japan) - Transmigration of the Soul  05:03  
08. Malichor (Australia) - Sentinels  05:03  
09. Necromutilator (Italy) - Fuck With Darkness  02:53  
10. Iron Woods (Brazil) - Sound of War  06:00  
11. 原罪 Original Sin (China) - 衰老前死去 (Die Before Senility Sets In)  06:26  
12. Mourning Dawn (France) - When the Sky Seems to Be a Flag  12:12  
13. Hellfire (China) - Possessed by Satan  04:57  
14. Vomit of Doom (Argentina) - Woman in Eternal Darkness (Astral Witch)  02:27  
15. Kvalvaag (Norway) - Dystopia Naa  08:34  
16. AK11 (Australia) - Their Flesh our Fire  04:07  
17. Morte Negra (Brazil) - Que a Desgraça Caia Sobre a Humanidade  04:23  
18. Kyy (Finland) - The Narrow Gates of Apôleia  04:57  
19. Barbarian Swords (Spain) - Pure Demonology  03:11  
20. Spectral (Romania) - Neural Correlates of Hate  02:59  
21. Rademassaker (Germany) - Paindealer  02:22  
22. Rerthro (China) - III  04:00  
23. Descend Into Despair (Romania) - Silence In Sable Acrotism  08:24  
24. Dekapited (Chile) - Mundo Decadente  03:41  
25. Heretical (Italy) - Khrysos Anthemon  03:46  
26. Wolfenhords (Croatia) - Kozoglav  07:12  
27. Aasgard (Greece) - Ia Nyarlathotep  05:52  
28. Valgaldr (Norway) - Et slott i skogen  05:08  
29. Malediction 666 (Brazil) - Malediction  03:26  
30. Gothic (Romania) - Shadow Man  05:01  
31. De Vermis (New Zealand) - Black Wolf Pride  05:50  
32. Decay of Reality (Russia) - Illusion's Death  04:43  
33. Argus Megere (Romania) - Tronul celui ce stă de strajă 10:41  
34. 帝辛 Tyranny (China) - 金台拜将 06:10  
35. Skull (Colombia) - Infinite Horizon  04:00  
36. Bloodlust (Australia) - Shadows of the Black Sun  07:34  
37. Skuldom (New Zealand) - Kill this Fucking World  03:38  
38. Belkant (Colombia) - Mesías Satánico  02:33  
39. CodeRed (Romania) - The Sixth Sun  08:01  
40. Wendigo (Norway) - Cannibal Ritual  06:57  
41. Forbidden Shape (Russia) - The Sleepwalking Psychopath  06:18  
42. Herege (Brazil) - Cries of despair coming from Christians burning in Jerusalem  02:22  
43. Indian Fall (Romania) - Dincolo de Timp  07:34  
44. Obscure Dream (China) - Farewell To My Concubine (霸王别姬 ) 04:22  
45. Sodomic Baptism (Belarus) - Conception of Beast  07:56  
46. Claret Ash (Australia) - Devolution  05:44  
47. Uruk Hai (Austria) - In Mordor (Outro)  04:30 

Funnily enough, it was only the other evening when Nazgul was pondering whatever happened to South Korean label Fallen Angel Productions.  They released, you may recall, some startlingly good compilations in physical formats ranging from little wooden chests to lavish cardboard boxes, and from tape and CD combos to gold-CD boxed-sets, for Uruk-Hai and Hrossharsgrani plus a range of other bands besides.  And then, just as quickly as they burst onto the scene, they seemed to vanish. 

Indeed, ahead of this online-only compilation being advertised, Nazgul had been rummaging around online trying to find out if the label was still in existence and it had become apparent that they’d moved away from physical releases and into the digital world.

So it’s most timely that “Origin Of Evil” has been produced, as it allows us to keep abreast of the Fallen Angels story, celebrate the existence of free release featuring Uruk Hai, and brings this release to your attention whilst it’s relatively new and fresh.

No less than 47 bands feature here, a prodigious number for sure and a volume usually only seen in the demented releases of our old mucker Leigh Stench (and is it just me or does Uruk Hai tend to appear in last place in the running order on more than an average number of these sort of vast compilations?!) 

At first glance the countries of origin seem to span the globe and cover virtually everywhere, but on closer inspection some countries (albeit with different artists) feature significantly more times.  By way of example, from 47 entries a total of 7 are Romanian (nigh on 15%, which seems disproportionately high), 5 are Chinese, whilst 4 are from Australia and  Brazil respectively.  So that’s 43% of the album taken up, then! 

Uruk Hai fly the sole Austrian flag here (hurrah!) with their ‘In Mordor (Outro)’ track.  It's an up-tempo piece, dominated by a persistent violin and underpinned by blackened vocals and guitar.  But why are you asking me what it sounds like - click on the links and check it out for yourself, then make a suitably polite donation for the privilege.

Thursday, 8 March 2018

Shhh ... it's a secret...!

An intentionally blurred photo of the inside, to preserve the anonymity of the contents...

Bands: URUK HAI and EISMOND
Title: No, sorry, can't tell you that!
Format: 2 x CDr set released on a small European label in 2013 - there are catalogue reference details etc. but they remain a secret.  It comes in a black paper sleeve with clear round front window to display some of the artwork, and is hand-numbered in silver on the back of the envelope.  The contents are two discs with semi-pro printed white labels.  A multitude of bands feature as it is a compilation album intended for a very limited circulation.
Edition: 50 hand-numbered copies only

Track Listing:
Of the 27 bands to feature, the pertinent two for our purposes are:
CD2 track 1: Uruk Hai  *  Lucifer
CD2 track 12: Eismond  *  The Wind That Shakes The Grass (edit version)

Contrary to popular opinion Castle Nazgul hasn't exploded as a result of recent seismic events in the UK, nor has your old uncle Nazgul fallen into one the oubliettes in the Castle gardens after a rowdy night out at the One Legged Hobbit pub down the road.

No, the recent bout of inactivity (if that's not a contradiction) is solely down to the old chestnut of not having enough hours in the day to do justice to a new post.  There's been a lot going on recently, none of which you will care a hoot about I fully appreciate, but suffice to say after a few months of reorganisation in the 'real' job Nazgul is now twice as busy as he used to be, slightly more senior in the hierarchy, no better off financially, but thankfully still employed.

By way of celebration, a new post has therefore been commissioned from the Castle's own monkey, and here it is.  Well, sort of: efforts to shift any blame clearly won't work here.  Nazgul is sticking his neck out a bit here as a veil of secrecy surrounds this particular release, none of which I am prepared to discuss here, but which hopefully gives context to the edited details and intentionally blurry photo that accompanies the post.  All very mysterious I know, but needs must...

You see, very occasionally Nazgul ends up with something in his collection that Hugin has suggested (politely, as is his way) would be better kept under wraps.  Not many things in truth, though perhaps 2 or 3 other items fall into this category.  Things change over time, allegiances alter, interests are repositioned, people come and go, you know the sort of thing that can distance you from former actions.

But equally, the old golden nugget sometimes emerges that is of such interest then acknowledging its existence outweighs the shroud of secrecy.  And so, in Nazgul's judgement, it proves to be with the Uruk Hai song featured on the second disc of this limited pressing - a rare and excellent Uruk Hai song that does not exist anywhere else in the official discography of this mighty Austrian band.

So at risk of incurring the boundless wrath of W.A.R. (fingers crossed that we won't, protective armour donned just in case we do) here's a post to cover the piece in question...

'Lucifer' is the song in question, being a spoken word piece (following an instrumental opening and a short, female vocal melody to add atmosphere).  It is, in essence, a song containing lyrics from the poem 'Lucifer' written by one Ludwig Fahrenkrog.

"Who he?", I hear you all cry!

Well, he has a German writer who lived in the period 1867 to 1952, and was also a recognised playwright and artist.  Born in Rendsburg, Prussia, he attended the Berlin Royal Art Academy as a young artist before ultimately being appointed a professor there in 1913.

He was involved in founding a series of folkish religious groups in the early part of the Twentieth Century, as part of a movement to create what its adherents referred to as a 'Germanic religious community', founded in part in his belief in the religious nature and mission of art.  The religious mission in particular was the revival of the pre-Christian Germanic faith and the rejection of Christianity, hinted at in such paintings as Luficer's Renunciation of god (1898).

Fifteen years after this, Fahrenkrog published a book (Lucifer: Poetry in Word and Image) in which Lucifer speaks in tones reminiscent of the German anarchist philosopher, Max Stirner: 'We choose our own property - the right to freedom.  The empire of the spirit wants only masters, not slaves'.

Of course, the span of Fahrenkrog's lifetime crossed paths with the rise of Nazism.  When the Nazis came to power in 1933 they outlawed almost every group not affiliated with the Nazi Party though Fahrenkrog's then organisation (GGG - Germanische Glaubens Gemeinschaft) was allowed to carry on.  This was nothing to do with Nazi sympathies, but more due to Ludwig's international status as an artist.

Some of the activities of the GGG were limited though: they could no longer hold public meetings, and after 1938 they could no longer use the swastika (which they had, in it's more innocent context, since 1908).  Fahrenkrog, to his enduring credit, refused to use 'Heil Hilter' in letters, and was effectively sidelined if tolerated by the regime.

All of which sounds like Nazgul has swallowed a history book, so let's move on!

Heading back to the song, there's almost an inevitability that being spoken word there's a solemnity to it that's quasi-religious/monastic at times, and as such it stands apart from 95% of everything else recorded by that project.  Which, of course, makes it of importance and interest regardless on which compilation it has ended up on.  It's also a typically excellent piece of music, and it would be a shame if it never makes a public appearance anywhere else in the otherwise prodigious output of Uruk Hai.

Very quickly addressing the Eismond contribution, it's unique in being an edited version of the song 'The Wind That Shakes The Grass', released as you will remember on the 2013 full-length release "As We Hide The Moon".  Nothing overtly interesting to add to that bit of trivia, but it's actually rather nice to hear a bit of Eismond again: whatever happened to that side-project...?

Well, dear readers, Nazgul's allotted time for rambling and musing is just about up for today, and it's nose to the grindstone for me again (what you don't realise, as you read these words, is that most of my posts are written at around 06:45 in the office before I start the day job, rather than in the evening at the Library desk accompanied by a guttering candle and with a robust glass of red wine in hand!)

Keep the faith - Honour and Darkness lives ... assuming W.A.R. is still speaking to Castle Nazgul after today?!

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

BLIND NATION [V/A]

Band: HROSSHARSGRANI
Title: Blind Nation  [V/A]
Format: An online MP3 compilation on the Morphic Field Resonance label (Germany) released on 31st January 2009.  Compiling bands in the vein of dark ambient, power electronics and abstract sounds, this was a release to raise awareness/funds against child abuse.
Edition: unlimited

Track Listing:
01. E.I.D  *  Blind Nation   
02. 2Young2Die  *  Nightmare VS Awakening   
03. Aggressionslevel 4.0  *  Sexual Violation   
04. Flat Affect  *  As We Must Be (Revision)   
05. Embersreich  *  Dirty Bombs   
06. Narkotika_Rus  *  Raping Young Kids CPN   
07. Letzte Ausfahrt Leben  *  Die Spieluhr   
08. Tanaros  *  Lazarus Effekt   
09. Phalanx Feat. The White Rabbit  *  Es Ist An Der Zeit Aufzuwachen   
10. Xebox  *  Bolzebub / Krachbube   
11. Hrossharsgrani  *  None Of You   
12. Tourette  *  (Alp)Traumsequenz   
13. Mind Project  *  Millick Schatten   
14. Nervenlaehmung  *  Haunting Memories   
15. Storfaktor  *  Leben Oder Sterben   
16. Snoww Wwhite  *  Crows Fly   
17. Effets Secondaires  *  Iris   

Nazgul could have sworn that this digital online-only compendium had previously been covered in Honour and Darkness, but finding absolutely no trace of it whilst searching the records it would seem not.  Either that; or my eyesight is failing badly and you’ll have read all this before.

Anyway, let’s assume this is something exciting and new and press on regardless. 

Morphic Field Resonance [MFR] was a Netlabel working under a Creative Commons Licence. During the years the concept behind MFR turned more and more from a pure Netlabel to a Collective of Musicians, working together to get the music they make heard and spread to a wider audience. Their musical spectrum ranged from "classic" industrial stuff to more "modern" styles like IDM.

This is written in the past tense as MFR appear to be no more: their releases stopped around 2013 and the website in their name is now defunct.

“Blind Nation” was an early online compilation in their timeline, designed to raise awareness of issues around child abuse.  Very timely, given events in the British press at the moment ranging from recently convicted football coaches to the behaviour of Oxfam aid workers in Haiti.  Plus ca change, and all that…

From their titles, many of the tracks here appear to have been recorded specifically with this theme in mind (either that, or an awful lot of bands write songs about child abuse, so one assumes it must be the former or I’m getting worried).  The Hrossharsgrani contribution, however, looks instead to be a straight lift from the 2009 outing “Pro Liberate Dimicandum Est”, which as you may recall was something of a transitional album moving the Hross’ sound away from Viking Black Metal into more refined martial/neofolk-ish territories.

Also interesting about this release is the reappearance at track 9 of Phalanx Featuring The White Rabbit.  Long-time readers may remember that this was a band that did an online collaborative release “S.P.Q.R.” with Hrossharsgrani back in 2008, which was quite an oddity if Nazgul’s memory serves.  And looking at the Discogs page for Phalanx releases there’s a veritable treasure trove of oddities to be found, with titles far too risqué to be repeated in a family-friendly blog such as this.  Explore at your own peril…

As with most of these net releases, it’s entirely possible to download the whole thing to your computer, print off some decent quality covers from the images provided and burn yourself a physical copy if you really need such a thing in your collection.  Not that Nazgul did at the time, which is a shame as now the MFR website has gone it will probably mean a bit of hunting around those dubious Russian file-sharing sites is needed should such a plan come to fruition.

What it has prompted though, is for Nazgul to dig out his physical copy of the “S.P.Q.R.” release to give that another spin one evening, as it’s probably getting on for a decade now since that had any airtime in the Castle library.

Friday, 9 February 2018

Hexenreich sampler February 2015 [V/A]

 
Band: URUK HAI
Title: Free Sampler – February 2015 [V/A]
Format: Silver CDr in paper sleeve, released in February 2015 as a three-way collaboration between the labels Hexenreich Records (Estonia), Arhailised Helid (Estonia) and Black Devastation (Germany).  Featuring extreme metal bands from Estonia, Mexico, Austria, Nicaragua, Russia, Iran, Argentina, this was a promotional free giveaway disc from the labels concerned and thus not commercially retailed.
Edition: Unknown

Track Listing
01. Bestia  *  Tüdinud Tühjusest (Promo)   
02. Urt  *  Manala Vasar  
03. Ragnell  *  Ritual Of Blood   
04. Kabalah  *  Kabala   
05. Sõjaruun  *  Surmkülmast Mullast   
06. Urt  *  Luupaine   
07. Mass In Comatose  *  Control The Masses   
08. Bestia  *  Tasumise Päev   
09. Lucifuge Rofocale  *  Demonic Transfixion   
10. Vanad Varjud  *  Tumm Rongkäik (Cut)   
11. A Premonition  *  Despertando Al Amanecer   
12. Battle Royal  *  Land Of The Dead   
13. Sorg Innkallelse  *  Sundown, Fall Into Oblivion   
14. Urt  *  Me Kurjuse Seeme   
15. Grom  *  Reign Of Plague   
16. Uruk-Hai  *  Orc   

You have to give Hexenreich Records some credit – for years they soldiered on releasing free promotional CD’s like this one every few months, bringing together bands from their roster and occasionally – as in this case – those from other similar labels too.  Many, many of these promo releases don’t include any of Hugin’s bands hence they’ve not appeared on Honour and Darkness despite being out there, lurking in the shadows.  No, the last time we encountered such a beastie here was back in December with the Free Sampler from March 2009.  Skip forward almost exactly 6 years and here we find them at it again, with a track from Uruk Hai included at the tail end of the 16 on offer.

And the track in question is called ’Orc’, which I’m sure you recall was the self-titled song (in two parts originally) released by Hexenreich in tape format in 2012.  Don’t remember?  Check out the original review!

One assumes that the version of the song on this CD must be an edited one, as the original cassette version ran to nearly half an hour per side.  Nazgul has to presume, as this is another one of those items yet to actually find a home in the Castle collection (usual plea, therefore -  if you have a copy for sale let me know?) so the actual track running times is unknown.  I don’t even know if it’s an edit of ‘Orc (Part 1)’ or ‘Orc (Part 2)’ to be brutally honest, or some weird mash up of the two. Lack of ownership also accounts for the slightly wonky photos used for this piece, which generally manage to be of even worse quality than Nazgul’s own poor efforts.  Ah well, beggars can’t be choosers.

I dare say in the fullness of time a copy of this release will eventually float to the surface of those parts of the internet where strange music resides, so Nazgul will just have to keep his eyes open.  Until that time, consider this item catalogued for posterity at least.