Wednesday, 6 January 2010

KHVOROST


Band: URUK HAI
Title: Khvorost
Format: Four-way split cassette-tape only release on the W.A.R. Productions label from 2007, no catalogue reference. Glossy colour inlay with fold-down tab showing edition number.
Edition: Only 50 hand-numbered copies

Track Listing:

Luten' (6:12)
01. Retribution
02. Penetration
03. Break of Soul
Moloch (18:13)
04. Berkana
05. By the Wind the Pain Give Born on the Way
06. On Overgroved Paths...
Ad Noctum (5:17)
07. Unity in Various of Lonely Souls
08. When Peoples Go Away from Yourself
Uruk Hai (12:33)
09. Untitled demo track l
10. Untitled demo track ll

Another limited edition cassette tape release to escape the W.A.R. Productions studios of Linz, this time in 2007. Unusually this is a four-way split release, with three songs per hand and around 45 minutes of music in total. The inlay itself doesn't name individual track listings - the songs detailed above Nazgul has poached from the Metal Archives web-site, so if they are incorrect he will hang his head in shame and edit accordingly later on.

All tracks have been recorded back-to-back, effectively forming one long piece (in a similar vein to the "Tawantinsuyu" album from 2006) although as the music progresses the different moods captured by the various bands becomes clearer. It's an interesting mix of bands too, all bar Uruk Hai hailing from Russia or the Ukraine.

Luten' are most commonly described as a NSBM band from the Ukraine, although on their offering the peaceful refrains of keyboards overlaying the sounds of natural birdsong in the woods rather belies this aggressive-sounding description. Moloch wade in with the longest collective offerings on the album, with some particularly mournful organ/synthesiser tunes that are both epically depressing and hypnotic at one and the same time. Nazgul finds he has to be in the right mood to be receptive to Moloch, otherwise it can touch too much on the repetitive. Not at all in that vein is Ad Noctum, a band I know nothing whatever about but who turn out two beautiful and memorable piano based pieces. Both songs positively shimmer, and in truth are the highlight of this particular collection.

Uruk Hai's offering is a eclectic combination of atmospheric wind/synthesiser effects combined with the gentle ringing of what sound like wind-chimes. Soothing and ambient certainly, but not always the sort of music that will stick in your memory unless you're prepared to work at it and give the tape a good few spins. Imagine zephyrs of mountain air blowing down from Mount Gundabad at the extremity of the Misty Mountains, catching on spider-webs beaded with dew, causing a musical resonance in the air....

The title of this album is "Khvorost" which, according to online sources, actually translates literally to mean Russian twig cookies! This seems improbable, although I gather that the original Russian title of the piece may in fact have been "Хворост" - literally "brushwood" - which seems more suited to the forest theme of the excellent glossy inlay. Once more a numbered piece, Nazgul's copy is #46 of the 50 produced.

Recommended to all seekers of a prolonged ambient journey...

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