Wednesday, 21 October 2009


Title: Demo Compilation Volume 1
Format: Very limited edition tape-only compilation released between Chanteloup Creations and W.A.R. Productions in 2001, compiling tracks from most of Hrossharsgrani's main releases between 1999 and 2001. Red xeroxed cover.
Edition: Hand-numbered edition of 10 copies only

Track Listing:

Side A
01. Aufstieg Verlorener Seelen (track 9 of "Blut", 1999)
02. Bußfertigkeit (track 6 of "Der Pfad Zum Tor Der Toten", 1999)
03. Körperteile (track 1 of "Sagan & Gedichte", 1999)
04. Luthien Tinuviel (track 2 of "Lieder Aus Mittelerde", 1999)
05. Gil-Galad (taken from "Promo '99", 1999)
06. Durch Folde Und Fenmark (track 1 of "Der Ring der Macht", 2000)
Side B
07. Der Ring Der Macht (unreleased track, 1999)
08. Fire And Ice (track 3 of "Ancient Tales", 2000)
09. When The Gods Come To Earth (said to be from "Kampf", 1999, but not on my copy!)
10. You And Me (track 3 of "In The Mystic Forest", 2000)
11. ...Still Fighting (unreleased track, 2000)

There's nothing quite like a compilation album - as long as it's properly done. This, Nazgul is pleased to say, hits the spot nicely as there are a multitude of tracks featured from many of the early Hross' demos, plus one or two additional nuggets of new material for fans to get their teeth into.

Just to clarifty the track listing details from the inlay, it definitely notes that 'When The Gods Come to Earth' is from the "Kampf" demo tape, but unless Nazgul's eyes deceive him there's no sign of it on the copy I have. Also, 'Gil-Galad' makes an appearance (apparently) on a 2001 demo called "Nachricht Aus Mittelerde", which has recently appeared as an entry on Metal Archives! Nazgul confesses to not knowing anything about this release whatsoever, so investigations will be put in place to find out more!

[Edit: A few words from Alex - "Nachricht aus Mittelerde" was planned but never released, it is a sequel to "Lieder Aus Mittelerder" but before that release was finished HROSSHARSGRANI splited up into HROSSHARSGRANI and URUK-HAI.... "When The Gods Come To Earth" was not on "Kampf", correct! It was planned to go on that tape but later I didn't add it!]

It goes without saying that with only 10 copies originally produced back in 2001 you have a snowball in hells chance of finding one now. Nazgul is eternally grateful to Skogen at Chanteloup Creations, who sent his copy to Alex to forward to Nazgul, suitably embellished and dedicated as shown. This copy, incidentally, is #7 of the 10 made.

The intention is to cover all of the individual tracks within their respective albums, save of course for the bonus tracks on this release, namely 'Der Ring Der Macht' - which in Zeppelin-esque fashion manages not to appear on the album bearing its name - and '...Still Fighting", which may well be unique to this compilation. Starting with the latter first, it's a unexpected mix of traditional Hross' battle-metal combined with a lengthy outro of classical themes, and it works like a charm! The former track starts off with a nice synth melody over gently beating drums, followed by a howling maelstrom of battle-metal, then a spoken word sample in German from (I would think) some of Tolkien's work - Nazgul is sure he heard reference to "Mittelerde" and a ring in there somewhere! And to finish, an unexpected piece of well known classical music, so well known in fact that Nazgul can't actually remember what it is, but I'm sure it's something like 'The March of the Sugar Plum Fairy' or an equally improbable title, followed by pure pagan mayhem!

The nice thing about a well thought through compilation is that you hear the tracks in a different way: both in a different context from the original album or demo, and also in a different running order, which somehow manages to freshen up the material and forces the listener to reappraise it accordingly. And, like any good compilation, it does rather tend to make you want to pull all of the original albums from the shelves and give them a spin, which if you'll excuse him Nazgul intends to do right now!

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