Nazgul had to smile the other day - a catalogue from Nuclear Blast in Germany had come through the post and within the glossy pages were many albums for sale being pushed as extreme limited editions in numbered quantities of 1,000 or more (in one case, limited meant 10,000 copies only). Now take this release from the Beverina & WAR label - only 5 of these were ever produced, each with it's own hand-numbered cardboard box housing the credit-card style disc, cover, lyric sheet and poster.
Even for a project (and artist) that regularly dazzles with super-limited runs of items, just 5 is a tad boggling to the mind. Assuming both Alex and Max of B-Machina have one, and guest performer Flo has another, that would mean only 2 others probably ever made it out onto the open market. Take into account Juris at Beverina maybe having an interest in one, that brings down the numbers around to, well, just 1 perhaps. And given that Nazgul's edition is #5/5 then I rather suspect there may be more to the speculation preceding than mere hot air...!
So what does one find on this most scarce of releases? The first thing to strike you is the music, with a much more dominant strumming acoustic guitar in the mix (this would be Max, of course) which overlays the more ritual drumming present from the start and helps to lend the whole song an atmosphere of neo-folk elementalism. Then you'll come across the vocals - contributed by Flo (and yes, that's Flo in the second photo above, which Nazgul has appropriated from her MySpace pages) of experimental band Herz Tod, based out of Lorraine in France.
The vocals are startling, to say the least - not for Flo the operatic delivery of, say, a Nightwish nor the ethereal whispers of an Enya. No, this is effect-heavy (at least, I assume they are, otherwise it's a voice tempered by a steady daily diet of 100 cigarettes and a bottle or two of Jack) sometimes croaky, sometimes gargley (is that a word?), almost impossible to define in nature. It works well though, although the French lyric sheet accompanying the box-set is a handy reference point.
One wonders about the economics of producing such a set given the cost of material and time of the artists involved, as up until recently there would have been scant chance of many people having any chance at all to hear this track. However, Nazgul notices that a recent B-Machina release "Rotation Zwei" compiles many tracks from previously impossible-to-find CDr releases into one handy release and includes this one in its ranks thus making the music more accessible whilst not detracting from the scarcity of the original release.
It's a 'grower' this song - put it on repeat play and you'll soon be humming along and have it fixed in your mind. Perhaps more collaborations in the future will feature a guest vocalist - Kenjo Siratori, the massed ranks within the 'Little Boy' release, and Flo....who next?!