Wednesday, 21 October 2009


Release: Ea
Format: CDr in slimline case released by Werwolf Productions (Italy) in 2004, catalogue reference WP019. Came with black and white xeroxed inlay with track listing written in runic script.
Edition: Only 100 hand-numbered copies

Track Listing:

01. Ea 12.13
02. Dragon War 08:22
03. Beflag 7.11

Another rather difficult to find release from Uruk Hai on Werwolf Productions, coming as it did in a pressing of only 100 copies and released back in 2004. The window of opportunity to buy this CDr was very short, or so it seemed to Nazgul, as no sooner did it suddenly appear one day online then it was gone, presumably sold out to those in the know almost instantaneously. To heap salt into the wound for those unlucky enough not to find it when it first came out the three tracks here are unique to this release, so you either have them...or you don't!

Happily (well, for Nazgul at least) the demo fell into his possession through the marvel that is eBay, and this Blog update will attempt to redress the fact that once again there is virtually no other coverage of the recording online, save for being registered at the seemingly ubiquitous Metal Archives pages. This particular copy is #22 of the 100 produced.

The demo came at a particularly productive period for Uruk Hai as around 14 different split, demo or full-length releases come out in that year from this project alone, which included the delicate "A Night In The Forest" release, the reverb-heavy ambient sounds of "Barbarians" and the rather wonderful but scarcely heard "Melancholie Eines Herbstes In Drei Akten" split demo. How ever does the man find the time, energy and inspiration?! What's interesting about these 3 tracks is that they commit to disc a distinctly heavier side of the band that most of the remaining output for the year didn't convey.

The reason for this can be found buried on the rear inlay, where the runes reveal that these 3 songs are rehearsal tracks dating back to 1999. This was a significant year for Uruk Hai, as it was the year the project came into being - the debut "In Durin's Halls" demo was released that year, and the transitional "Uruk Hai" demo from Hrossharsgrani was also produced, and led to the formation of the Uruk Hai project. What isn't clear from the chronology - and I'm sure Alex will be able to shed some light on this in due course - is where the "Ea" tracks fit in with these earlier works.

What is clear, however, is that there are some rollicking black metal-esque parts on both "Beflag" and on title-track "Ea", with deep, echoing guttural vocal parts and thunderous drums, that are as raucous as anything this project has ever recorded. There's certainly a Hross' influence at work with some of the percussion on these tracks, yet at the same time there is a pervading undercurrent of synthesizer which was developing more with the Uruk Hai style of music. Taking a marginally more gentle approach is middle track "Dragon War", which is ironic given it bears the most aggressive sounding title of the three tracks.

Incidentally, the word "Ea" is itself subject to a tremendous amount of debate on some parts of the Tolkien forums online as to how it should be defined - whether it be the world of the Elves, the Universe in which Middle Earth is contained, or some other cosmological distinction is up for debate at the moment it seems...but not in the pages of this Blog, where Nazgul likes to keep it as straightforward as possible.

Despite not possessing the most lavish of packaging standards from Werwolf Productions this is a very interesting and intriguing release that shows the both the barbaric side and the ambient side of this heathen project in its formative stages.

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