Thursday, 11 March 2010

THE URUK-HAI


Band: URUK HAI
Title: Nachtschwarze Momente / The Uruk Hai
Format: Split tape release between Vinterriket and Uruk Hai, released on Wulfrune Worxx (France) in 2010, catalogue reference WW114. Part of the Split Series of releases.
Edition: Hand numbered edition of 66 copies

Track Listing:
Vinterriket
1. Durch die Leere der Nacht
2. Leblose Sphären
Uruk Hai
3. Uruk Hai Pt.1
4. Uruk Hai Pt.2
5. Uruk Hai Pt.3
6. Uruk Hai Pt.4
7. Uruk Hai Pt.5

The third official split release between Vinterriket and Uruk Hai, following on from the "Nazgul / Landschaften Ewiger Einsamkeit" (2004) and "~2~" (2005), and the fourth if you include the "Ira Deorum Obliviorum" three-way split (2006) which also featured Nak'Kiga. Two of these splits have been covered in this Blog so far, and one is yet to feature....

So to this - which I presume both Alex and cz (Vinterriket) see as the third formal release, hence to the large number '3' that appears on the inlay! A-ha, eyes like a hawk, that's Nazgul. The Vinterriket tracks appeared initially on the 2009 "Nachtschwarze Momente" EP (limited to 500 copies), and follow in the more mellow folk-ish approach adopted in the past year or so, as opposed to the cold, raw black metal of old. Nazgul likes it, and is happy to play either side of this tape as both are well worth your time and attention.

You, of course, may be more interested in the Uruk Hai tracks, so let Nazgul give you a little more detail. Much like certain series of films retain a title track that is instantly recognisable by music or by name (for example - the creepy piano score from 'Halloween'), there has been a series of tracks by the name of "Uruk Hai' spread across a number of Uruk Hai releases stretching back to the band's original demo. Whilst being musically different to one another, the part-work series has led to a nod of familiarity whenever the next part has appeared on demos and albums.

Nazgul has saved you the task of tracing the history of these tracks by identifying the source recordings:

Part I 'In Durin's Halls' (1999) / 'Elbenwald' (2000) / 'Uber die Nebelberge Weit (2000)

Part II unreleased rehearsal track (2000)

Part III 'Elbenmacht' (2004)

Part IV 'Valkyrian Romance' (2006)

Part V 'Black Blood, White Hand' (2009)

To add a slight sense of mystery to this chronology, there seem to be two different versions of Part I, as the "Elbenwald" version is a sub-two minute affair, whilst the "Uber..." version tops 7 minutes. This of course presumes that the "Uber..." version isn't a fledgling Part II rehearsal in it's own right...? Nazgul shall investigate further for the benefit of posterity!

It's rather nice to have all of the series together in one place, as you can hear a massive change in the production standards and in the maturity of the music between tracks that effectively span a decade. However, in a bizarre twist, the 2010 "Elbentraum" release - literally released last week by Depressive Illusion Records - contains as one of it's 8 tracks...'Uruk Hai Part VI' ! So not quite the full set of tracks as you might have supposed.

With only 66 copies in circulation (Nazgul's is #5, kindly dedicated and signed in gold on the case by Alex) you still have a chance to grab one of these if you're quick. For the quality of Vinterriket material on offer, and the chance to collect Uruk Hai songs that in more than a few cases are very hard to find in original demo form, that's an investment well worth your time.

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