Wednesday, 27 May 2009

VALHALL

Band: URUK HAI
Title: Valhall
Format: Split cassette tape release with Bulgarian ambient band Abandoned (their side being titled "Assuage My Tristful Soul") released on the AMF Productions label (Bulgaria) in 2005, catalogue reference AMF017.
Edition: unknown

Track Listing:

Uruk Hai
1. Return To The Great Halls 17:32

Abandoned
2. Beznadezhnost 01:37
3. Krvavi Ogledala 06:38
4. Smrtta E Zanimanie Samotno 04:29
5. Zaguben Ishod 04:22
6. Po Techenieto Na Svoite Slzi 03:17


Evidently something of a personal release for Hugin this one, being dedicated as it is "to my eternal friend Geri (R.I.P.) I see you in Valhall"

The Uruk Hai side of this split tape contains but the one, long track "Return To The Great Halls" and without much required in the way of pondering it's clear that the passage to Valhalla for Alex's friend is the theme of this release.

As such it's probably not the most suitable release to dwell on in terms of critique and analysis, as the sentiment behind it overrides the nature of the music on offer in many respects. It is, however, an official Uruk Hai release via the respected AMF label, so it would be remiss of Nazgul not to pass some commentary on the music at hand, so here goes.

Following a clap and subsequent rolling peal of thunder the music commences, and there are two distinct 'movements' at work here in two halves of the piece: the first developing an atmosphere of a vast, grandiose nature which really does bring to mind a peaceful journey of unimaginable length to the echo-haunted halls on high. A second phase, more keyboard oriented, takes one on a more uplifting journey before the vast space of the former refrains come to bear once again, before a distant rumble of thunder once again takes us into the silence....

It's a sombre piece, both a cause for uplifting celebration and quiet reflection too (in the way that you might find the vastness of a cathedral interior subdues the noise and bustle of the outside world) and as a piece of ambient art is very pleasant to listen to indeed.

The photo above shows the full inlay plus the hand-dedicated cassette case that Alex was kind enough to take the time to make out for me. This release is still fairly readily available across distros in Europe (at an affordable €4.00 or so, on average) so I'd suggest it might be a good starting place to building up your own collection.

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