Wednesday, 2 September 2009

LAND OF THE SHADOW



Band: URUK HAI
Title: Land Of The Shadow
Format: Split CDr from 2004 with Woodland's Edge, on the Subterranean Surreal Records label (cat ref SSR009), Woodland's Edge side called "Beauty Of The Beast (Walking Amongst Weeping Giants)". Two double-sided colour covers inlays included, one for each band (Uruk Hai cover showing in the photo) plus band logos on CDr.
Edition: Limited to only 100 unnumbered copies

Track Listing:

Uruk Hai
01. Misty Mountains (Chapter 4-6) 18.52
02. Covered In Black Fog 7.07

Woodland's Edge

03. Cauldron Of Dissolution
04. Where Prairies Once Stood
05. ...And Life Flashed On By
06. The Climb & The Summit
07. No Heaven Of Glory Bright, No Hell Where Sinners Roast
08. Deep End Of The Abyss
09. By Baphomet Beloved

Sons of the hammer and the feather, in unity against the false god

You might imagine, given the number of past posts, that there are relatively few items left uncollected by Nazgul over the years relating to Alex's projects. To a point you'd be right, but there are still some prize items out there that have proven elusive over time and like all true collectors until they are located and snared Nazgul's quest will continue.

The CDr you are looking at here arrived in the post this morning from Fairfax, Virginia, USA. Nazgul has been looking for "Land of the Shadow" for years, never coming across even an image of the cover online to fuel his search. Alex didn't have a spare, emails to Woodland's Edge via MySpace proved fruitless. Distros the world over shrugged their metaphorical shoulders and went about their business. And then - quite out of the blue - this little gem surfaced on eBay with a buy-it-now price of $3.99! Suffice to say, Nazgul's pace of bidding almost broke his keyboard, and within 11 days the item had safely crossed the Atlantic to take up residence in Nazgul's horde.

In honour of this spirit of endeavour Nazgul dedicates this particular post to a friend and reader of this Blog - hails, Uglur - who has done sterling work updating the Metal Archive site with new items unearthed on HonourAndDarkness. These photos will doubtless be gracing the relevant entry in Uruk Hai's discography before the night is out, I'd wager! Many thanks, my friend...

Seven tracks by Woodland's Edge and just two from Uruk Hai may seem unbalanced, but the Uruk Hai ones are pretty lengthy and - to be fair - Subterranean Surreal Records is the label owned by Woodland's Edge anyway, based in Illinois, so you can't blame this one-man project for giving his own material a bit of an airing! Yes - both bands are one-man projects, although Woodland's Edge specialise in very guitar-heavy compositions rather than keyboard ambiance. In a rather nice gesture, both bands pay tribute to each other on the two separate inlays - "Uruk Hai like to hail the mighty Woodland's Edge" versus "In keeping with the spirit of this split with ambient war brother Hugin, I chose the more scenic and enchanting aspects of the metal toothed beast, Woodland's Edge".

The two Uruk Hai tracks are not entirely new: 'Misty Mountains (Part 4-6)' is a reworked version of older material with a new percussive introduction, whilst 'Covered In Black Fog' is the same song as found on the "Across The Misty Mountains" release on Stuka Sound (see past postings). The new version of the former is an excellent track and defines what the ambient sound for this project is all about, whilst the latter was originally a most enjoyable track and remains so, with its wet and murky atmosphere remaining intact.

Nazgul is delighted that this album has finally come his way, and has therefore decided to disrupt his own posting schedule to share it with you today. Indeed, September is being earmarked as the month of some very special posts, as recent items received from Alex via the former mastermind behind Chanteloup Creations (hails, Skogen) have brought some really rare stuff into the collection, including two bands pre-dating many of Alex's other projects and unknown to the Metal Archives website.

Uglur - you're going to be kept busy, my friend....

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