Friday, 27 March 2009

VALKYRIAN ROMANCE

Band: URUK HAI
Title: Valkyrian Romance
Format: Cassette-tape only release, released 2006 by Smell The Stench (Australia), no catalogue reference
Edition: Only 30 hand-numbered tapes released

Track Listing:
01. Durch Folde Und Fenmark (rehearsal 2000)
02. Einsam In Dunklen Waeldern (new track 2006)
03. Uruk-Hai [Part 4] (new track 2006)
04. Ueber Die Nebelberge Weit (rehearsal 1999)

In many ways, the epitome of an Uruk Hai release - the 'classic' format of a cassette-tape only release with a mixture of new tracks (with contemporary sound) and older rehearsal tracks, embodying the older spirit of the band.

And what a joy too - this is the sort of release I adore: limited in numbers (mine is #26 of the series of 30), exclusive in content, short and punchy, and well worth seeking out and adding to the horde!

We kick off with "Durch Folde Und Fenmark", a long piece (over 14 minutes) commencing with the measured beat of a vast drum (surely a Viking war-drum) leading into a swirling and atmospheric synth-based track augmented by a subtle solo female vocal element within it - delivered in choral rather than lyrical fashion. To distant and fantastical realms wilt thou be transported, and lo! The Gods sayeth that this is good....

Next up, the short and rather cool "Einsam In Dunklen Waeldern". When I first heard this the almost 'bubbling' and bouncy synth parts put in my mind an underwater theme, which given the translation of the title (approximates to 'Alone in Dark Forests') shows what I know about interpreting musical atmospheres! A catchy little track though, and thoroughly enjoyable.

Song three is "Uruk Hai (part 4)" and a dramatic number is is too - you could imagine this, with its bursts of keyboards at key moments, being a score to a film quite easily.

"Ueber Die Nebelberge Weit" (which one free internet translation site 'helpfully' told me meant 'Over That Fog Would Rescue Far' - help, my brain hurts) is another long song to bookend the tape, and is packed with some atmospheric storm samples, provocative and thoughtful synths that create a dark and foreboding mood, and a nice wolf howl to end things!

Often I end my Blog with the lament that good as this release is you'll do well to find one....and yes, once again, I can confidently proclaim that as good as this release is you'll do well to find one! There used to be a few floating around on eBay but they seem to have been snapped up now (I've not seen one for sale for quite a while) but if you're into the essence of 'classic' Uruk-Hai you really should seek this one out....

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