Saturday, 10 October 2009


Title: Rabentanz
Format: CDr pressing from Smell The Stench (Australia) released in 2005 in DVD-sized case with black and white inlay.
Edition: unknown

Track Listing:

1. Hrefnesvinter (remastered version) 36:00
Chapter 1 : Hrefnesholt pt.1
Chapter 2: Glorie Draconis
Chapter 3: Hrefnesvinter
Chapter 4: Marsch zu neuen Zeitaltern
Chapter 5: Hrefnesholt pt.2
2. Trollsturm (remastered version) 03:22
3. Zwei Raben (rehearsal track) 04:41
4. Erinnerung (new track) 15:29

I think the last time Nazgul posted a Hrefnesholt item it was caveatted with the comment "It's been a while since we've seen a Hrefnesholt item..." and sure enough, here's another pretty lengthy gap between the last one and this latest addition!

It's not through any reluctance to commit words to virtual paper on the subject, however, as Hrefnesholt have long been a particular favourite project of Nazgul's (well, in my defence I'm a strange being) so it's been more of a case for delaying this entry as it would have been the last item in my Hrefnesholt collection to comment upon.....except there's some exciting news brewing on that front in the W.A.R. studios in deepest Austria, more of which anon.

So - here we are with "Rabentanz", frequently described as a best of/compilation online. Happily, this release still seems to be relatively accessible through specialised sources (you could try both Smell The Stench directly, and also the Evil Distribution distro, both of whom seem to have copies available) and it's well worth picking up for the notional price you'll be asked for it.

The main feature track is of course 'Hrefnesvinter' in all its glory, which is the remastered version referred to in Nazgul's post on the original 2001 demo (HonourAndDarkness 02/04/09). In remastered form on CD it has two obvious benefits - it sounds better, and Nazgul can play it in his car! As noted in that earlier posting, in the quoted piece from the Resenas web-pages, but worth repeating:

"It is almost impossible to describe this, this project created by Hugin of Hrossharsgrani and Uruk Hai is very similar to that he makes in Hross'... music based on epic fantasies, using samples of movies, of battles, and ... sounds and atmospheres that recreate in your mind those visions of dead and fantastic worlds, a trip toward the magic side of the old Europe, indescribable but interesting!!!"

The three remaining tracks on this outing are all very keyboard driven and generate the sort of floating atmosphere that makes Hrefnesholt output so very nebulous - generically it's usually termed Pagan/Heathen ambient, and as a label that's probably as good as any. Whistling winds, gossamer-thin synth parts and distant vocals. It always reminds Nazgul of misty forests or distant mountain ranges, with occasional stronger melodies (as in the beginning of 'Zwei Raben' for example, with the eerily blowing winds being complemented with some rhythmic percussion). This track, for reference, also appears on the very hard to find "Heidensturm" demo tape.

Also befitting of the atmosphere being created on this release is the grainy twilight cover image of stone columns in shadow. You can just imagine the swirling winds - present on virtually all of these tracks - whistling their way through the crumbling monolithic stonework. And do Nazgul's eyes deceive him, or are the columns here spookily familiar: perhaps the cover of the Hrossharsgrani "Krieg" demo tape also has its origins here...?

Nazgul plays this release frequently, and in a strange way it's comforting to know whenever its on the death deck that there are probably only, ooooh, let's say a handful of other people in the world at most listening to the same music at that given moment, if that many. For this is music for the fans and not for commercial enterprise, and is well worth celebrating for that reason alone.

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