Saturday, 11 April 2009

IRA DEORUM OBLIVIORUM [V/A]

Band: Various Artists [Uruk Hai]
Title: Ira Deorum Obliviorum
Format: CDr release by Polish label Old Temple (OLD8) in 2006. Released in a non-standard way in that it the inner pages are printed on a special translucent carbon paper with both gray sides of booklet connected by hemp rope.
Edition: Hand-numbered edition of only 100 pieces

Track Listing:
Vinterriket
01. Stille 1
02. Stille 2

Uruk Hai
03. Mount Doom 20.45

Nak'Kiga
04. Swit Stowianskiego Stonca

A really beautifully created item from the Polish Old Temple label, with semi-transparent inner pages showing unique and atmospheric artwork alongside lyrics and poetry associated with the tracks. This split album features well-known German ambient Black Metal band Vinterriket and little-known Polish band Nak'Kiga, and jolly good they are too, but of course our primary focus is on the Hugin contribution, namely Uruk Hai and their lengthy "Mount Doom" track.

Mount Doom itself, of course, was the volcano Tolkien's Middle-Earth universe, located in the heart of the black land of Mordor and approximately 4,500 feet high. Alternative names - and ones that may be familiar to metal-lovers - include Orodruin ("fiery mountain") and Amon Amarth ("mountain of fate").

Given the nature of the venue you might expect this track to be utterly black and depressive, reflecting the evil nature of both Sauron (who dwelt there) and the foul deeds committed on its slopes. In fact, whilst there are dark and brooding moments for sure, there are quite a few upbeat moments too musically speaking, so perhaps this song is to be viewed from the perspective of an Uruk Hai returning 'home' from war rather than from the perspective of a member of the Fellowship...?

Possibly due to (i) the lush packaging and (ii) the presence of Vinterriket this release has received a number of reviews online. With the interests of balance in mind, here are a few to give you a fair impression of this release:

"Vinterriket (literally translated ‘The Winter Realm‘) is dark and ambient metal band hailing from neighbouring Germany. Their music is most about nature, landscapes, seasons etc. and much in a black metal style. 'Ira Deorum Obliviorum' is a Latin title for this release containing not just those aforementioned German giants, but also Uruk Hai from Austria, whom I have never heard of before prior to the listening of this material. Third band featured here are Poland’s dark ambient black combo called Nak’Kiga.This music reminds me most of a tribal/war anthems creating this special chilly and deadly atmosphere filled with excitement and fear of dead. The sound is great [and] mind that this CDR is released in ... only 100 hand numbered copies. Sound and whole production part is professional and sounding fresh, so there’s absolutely no reason why you should not try to obtain your own copy of this rather unique and until now unheard material."

"This record is completely addictive and gives you the same type of guilty pleasure you feel while trying to walk through a real haunted house. you know its so bad but you just cant stop. Uruk Hai, plays music that should have been matched as the soundtrack to the movies these mythical beasts emerge from "The Lord Of The Rings". Uruk Hai places you in the middle of a land filled with magic, chaos, and beyond belief imagination. You will be catapulted right into the fight for middle earth! Nak'Kigai is the musical equivalent of a medieval fight to the finish. The soundtrack for the soul of a Knights Life. Spellbinding split, you will not be able to turn this off."

www.brutalism.com

"Uruk-hai is next with his unique ambient mixture based off of the novels by J.R.R. Tolkien. Here we find ourselves on Mount Doom where we are no doubt hearing the whispers of Sauron himself. This is a beautiful example of extremely minimal ambient that can still manage to tell a story without dialogue. Hugin has always been a master of this ever since the early demo days in 2000, and has come a long, long way since the cheesey casio recordings. Around 12 minutes into the track we get to begin hearing what I believe is Hugin's strongest attribute as a musician: His ability to create realistic styled chanting. I am not sure who would be taking over this roll in the literary since, certainly not the orcs, but it creates quite the atmosphere regardless. Beautifully done."

www.heathenharvest.com

Well, that probably says it all very succinctly - far better than my fevered scribblings I'm sure.

Uruk Hai fans will be well aware of the track 'Mount Doom' as it's popped up a couple of times elsewhere, both oddly enough in 2005: on the "War Poems" release, and subsequently on the "Northern Lights" album. This release in 2006 was the third time in two years that the song found its way onto a unique release, but hey - if it's a good 'un, why not?!

A great track for running late at night, either as background music whilst working on something (a Blog, perhaps....?) or simply for lying in bed in the dark to enjoy. There are plenty of moments to savour, from the mysterious distant snarled vocals at about 11:30 in, to the chanting phase (in fact, an amalgamation/reprise of the song "Ancient Pride" from 'War Poems'), with all the swirling and gorgeous synths that you should expect from a quality release from this project.

My copy of this release is #6 of the 100 made, and I notice that it is sold out at the label (http://www.oldtemple.com/) which is a shame, as few seem to come onto the market elsewhere. Although you can probably find the song elsewhere (as you will be able to find Vinterriket's "Stille" tracks, which seem to be his primary contribution to many compilations) the packaging is really, really nice and well worth a home in your collection for that reason alone. Keep on looking....

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