Tuesday, 6 October 2009

WAR POEMS


Band: URUK HAI
Title: War Poems (Orcish Battle Hymns Part III)
Format: CD release on Dragon's Breath Records (USA), catalogue reference DBR004. Released in 2005 in DVD case with picture-CD.
Edition: Only 100 copies

Track Listing:

1. Ancient Pride 21:36
2. Black Mountains River (Midgard Warriors Part II) 20:29
3. Mount Doom 20:53
4. Mettaynë (Rehearsal 1999) 06:49

Also known to Nazgul as the "Now, where have I heard that song before?" release, War Poems is a nicely presented release on Padre Adamo's Dragonsbreath Records from 2005 that brings to the table 4 tracks (with a total running order of around 70 minutes) that may just ring some distant bells in the minds of fans of this most prolific of Austrian musicians.

Well, let's keep things nice and simple for starters. 'Mount Doom' (which incorporates elements of 'Ancient Pride' within it) we came across in this Blog on the 22nd August of this year, within the "Northern Lights" album. You may also recall it was part of the three-way split "Ira Deorum Obliviorum" from the Polish Old Temple label, previously reviewed on 11th April. And yes, you did read that correctly the first time, 'Ancient Pride' (also on "Northern Lights") is inextricably linked with Mount-Doom in sharing the same musical elements. So then, there's two of the four songs that will be familiar to Uruk Hai fans generally, not least because both "Northern Lights" and "War Poems" were both 2005 releases.

Still with me? Good. Now, second track 'Black Mountains River (Midgard Warriors Part II)' was also featured in this very Blog some while ago (5th March to be exact), as it's the fifth track on the split CDr between Uruk Hai and Arkillery. It appears there in its original title 'Midgard Warriors (Chapter II)' and if you were to follow the menu at the side of this piece you can re-read Nazgul's previous words of wisdom and learn all about Midgard at the same time. Educational and entertaining, I should be charging you for this stuff you know...

So that leads us to the final track, 'Mettanye'. And interestingly, it's the source of much online confusion. You see, there was a Hrossharsgrani track on the 2000 "Der Ring Der Macht" demo called "Mettanye" and which seems to be confused with this different version. Indeed, if you search on Google for the track you'll likely as not find a link to YouTube where a soundtrack of the Hross' version is played over an image of the "War Poems" cover. Close, but no cigar, as the two tracks are different - the Uruk Hai version maintaining the pummelling war-drums but adding a sprightly bell-like keyboard overlay, some additional melody and dark ambience, and relegating the vocals to the background more.

Also causing confusion is the name itself. On the Metal Archives site you'll see it recorded as 'Mettayne' rather than 'Mettanye', and this error seems to have spread across the web thereafter. There is a poem by J.R.R. Tolkein called "Mettanye" that reads:

"I would not find the burning domes and sands
Where reigns the sun, nor dare the deadly snows,
Nor seek in mountains dark the hidden lands
Of men long lost to whome no pathway goes;
I heed no call of clamant bell that rings
Iron-tongued in the towers of earthly kings.
Here on the stones and trees there lies a spell
Of unforgotten loss, of memory more blest
Than mortal wealth. Here undefeated dwell
The folk immortal under withered elms,
Alalminore once in ancient realms."

So all in all much of this release you may already be familiar with, keen and bright fans of Uruk Hai as you are. Yet it's still a release well worth picking up, for the reworked 'Mettanye" track and the harder-to-find 'Black Mountains River' song. And like Nazgul you can throw around your shoulders the 'cloak of know-it-all' for a short while, and bask in imagined knowledge and wisdom....

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