Wednesday, 7 July 2010


Title: Rehearsal 1999
Format: Cassette only, released on the Smell The Stench (Australia) label in 2006 (no cat ref). Colour inlay, standard C60 style tape.
Edition: Presumed unlimited

Track Listing:

Side A
1. Der Pfad Zum Tor der Toten (Extended Version)
2. Aufmarsch Der Todeskrieger
Side B
3. Von Blinkenden Schwerten Im Reiche Des Nordens
4. So Finster Wie Es Niemals War

"What's that coming over the hill - is it a monster, is it a monster....?" No, it may sound like one but look a little closer and you'll see from the flailing axes and droplets of blood in the air that it's a savage barbarian horde clanking and rumbling over the distant mountains, war-drums pounding, guitars set to fuzzy-stun, and vokills set to, errrr, kill. Yes, Hrossharsgrani has returned to Honour & Darkness in the shape this tape release from our crazy Antipodean cousin Leigh Stench!

One of the relatively few releases of Hugin's bands that isn't a limited edition (most of the STS releases of Hugin's material tend to be unlimited, which does have the advantage of making them accessible to a wider audience), this is a nicely presented tape with full colour cover - suitably Valkyrian in nature - and an overall quality feel to it.

The four songs on this tape would - if recorded at a 1999 rehearsal session - pre-date the "Die Rückkehr zum Pfade" demo of 2000, which contained either 3 or 1 additional tracks (depending upon whether you have the second pressing 7 track Chanteloup Creations release or the first pressing 5 track version - see the post for 6 February 2010 for more detail). 'Der Pfad Zum Tor der Toten' is here in extended version, but all four tracks will be familiar to listeners of early Hross' as a blasting tirade of Viking anger set to the soundtrack to the Armageddon.

Approximate translations of the songs titles would lead Nazgul to believe that we are listening to - in order - 'The path to the gate of the dead' and 'Unleashing the death war' on Side A, followed by 'Of gleaming swords in the land of the north' and 'As dark as it never was' on Side B. The third track shares its title with the 2004 split release between Uruk Hai and Arkillery, you may recall.

Searching for this tape on Google usually brings up a few distros with one in their inventory, and perusing the Smell The Stench distro list is another fairly sure-fire way of finding one for yourself. It's always been a pretty reasonable price too in Nazgul's researches, rarely being more than €3.50 or so. A sound investment in these fiscally troubled times, especially if you like your metal horned, epic and trve!

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