Tuesday, 10 February 2009

HONOUR


Band: URUK HAI
Title:
Honour
Format:
Promotional demo tape in black and white xeroxed inlay. Hand-written tape with edition number in blue on top.
Released:
2004 by Werwolf Productions (Italy) WR017
Edition:
Hand-numbered edition of only 40

Track Listing:
Side I
01. Gondolin Falls (Part 1-3)
02. Nebelberge (Part 1 & 2)

Side II
01. Die Legende...
a) ...von Elbenwald
b) Khazad-Dum
c) Ein Licht Geboren Ward
d) Nordhimmel
e) Die Berge
f) Der Ring
02. Nazgul
03. Orkish Blut
04. Elbentod

This is where my journey began: the 2004 demo tape "Honour", an impulse purchase from eBay that has led to an adventure far beyond my expectations!
In what I now know to be 'standard' practice this was a strongly limited promotional-only release (my edition is #02 of the #40 produced) and consequently the tape now very hard to find. The inlay cover is a b&w photocopy of the illustration by Ted Nasmith of Tuor reaching the Hidden City of Gondolin, with a pro-labelled tape stating "Pagan Battle Music".

The theme of the music is influenced primarily by the works of Tolkein: 'Gondolin Falls' (Gondolin was a hidden city of Elves founded in the 'First Age'), Nebelberge (literal translation from the German 'Fog Mountain'), the legend of The One Ring ("Die Legende..."), 'Nazgul' (the most powerful servants of Sauron), and tales of Orc and Elf slaughter.

As an introduction to the ambient style of Uruk Hai this is almost perfect: soothing melody, repetitive yet relaxing harmonies and refrains, and an atmosphere created that transports your mind to another world of waterfalls, vast plains, dense forests and magic. There are no vocals on this release at all, instead a musical world is created with just synthesisers and natural sound samples.

This is not 'metal' in the recognised sense of the word, and although other Uruk Hai releases have a far more metallic edge to them this one is very much for quiet, reflective periods late in the evening. You could - and I have - pop this one into the stereo just before going to sleep and drift off in a little ambient cloud of bliss of your own....

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