Thursday, 11 June 2009


Title: Wolf
Format: CDr from W.A.R. Productions (Austria), catalogue reference WAR012, released in 2001. Full colour inlays and picture disc CDr.
Edition: Hand-numbered edition of only 66 pieces

Track Listing:

1. Epilogue (Hrefnesholt Pt. 3) 00:39
2. Wolfsnacht 19:34
3. Metamophose 06:04
4. Das Tier 10:16
5. Prologue (Hrefnesholt Pt. 4) 00:47

Back on 27th February Nazgul reviewed the Smell The Stench cassette release of 'Wolfsnacht' in its limited run of 30 copies, and alluded to the fact that it originated on the Hrefnesholt release 'Wolf' from 2001. Truth be told, I had intended reviewing the 'Wolf' CDr in February but as chance would have it my original CDr just refused to play any longer, meaning a plea to Alex was required for an emergency back-up copy! A word of caution therefore, dear readers - always make sure you have at least one back-up copy of all of your favourite items, be they vinyl, tape or CD....

This release is a pretty rare one now - only 66 were made originally way back in 2001, and my copy is a later one from that run (#62). Great cover art on this demo, and a wolf/werewolf theme running throughout makes it a rather chilling yet compulsive listen.

In the style of Uruk Hai's short musical intros and outros, this demo is bookended by two short keyboard pieces named Hrefnesholt Pts. 3 and 4 (Epilogue & Prologue respectively), being fairly upbeat and bouncy little ditties in nature too. The 'meat and potatoes' of the album (or more likely the raw, bloody meat of unwary strangers sans vegetables) are the three tracks sandwiched between them, and that is where we shall place our attention for the moment.

Track 2 is the 'Wolfsnacht' track in full, and again as you may have read previously this is the story of the Red Riding Hood saga (in German) and a mighty fine piece of music it is too. Blending black metal vocals with classy violin moments and ambient keyboards is not the work of 5 minutes, and on this track it is done to perfection. If ever you wanted to learn how to make a memorable musical moment by segueing the howl of a wolf with a classically influenced string melody then this is your basis of learning! 19 minutes has never passed so quickly....

'Metamorphose' is - as you have guessed already - a grim tale of transformation into lupine form, framed within an almost baroque style stringed musical narrative, punctuated by the tortured howls, snarls and half-human cries of the unfortunate changeling. Pity the fool who interrupts his dinner!

Fourth track 'Das Tier' ('The Animal') begins with a very mellow pseudo-classical passage, lulling you into a false sense of security before the vocals being and bite your head clean off! Again, a well thought through amalgam of catchy yet subdued strings and keyboards, studded with harsh vocals and a chilling atmosphere.

One intrepid reviewer online at noted that this release was a "fascinating heathen document of dark devoted passions of the powers of ill-fated darkness" and was akin to "a compulsive Ambient radio play." There is a certain element of that in this release for sure (perhaps not surprising given that this is the man behind the radio plays created by Elisabetha based on the Dracula legends) and it comes across as both a very thoughtful and creative piece of work.

It has Nazgul's seal of approval - all you need to do is find a copy......

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