Saturday, 25 September 2010

DIFFERENCES

Band: HUGIN
Title: Differences
Format: Cassette release as a part of the Split Series from Wulfrune Worxx (France) in 2010, catalogue reference WW110. The reverse side of this split is Hrossharsgrani's "...Of Battles, Ravens & Fire" in previously unreleased extended version. black and white photocopied inlays, standard C60 style tape.
Edition: Hand-numbered edition of 66 copies

Track Listing:

01. Untitled track 1 2.35
02. Untitled track 2 5.01
03. Untitled track 3 1.53
04. Untitled track 4 2.07
05. Untitled track 5 1.48
06. Untitled track 6 5.33
07. Untitled track 7 6.04

Anyone who has listened to Hugin's music over the years will be able to relate to the fact that he is far from a one-dimensional artist, and always likely to spring something unexpected on his audience at any given moment. A quick look back across some of his past releases shows ample evidence for this - take, for example, the improbable recording (albeit as a very limited promo release) of the old 1960's standard 'House Of The Rising Sun' by Hrossharsgrani, or the cover of Kiss' 'Beth' by B-Machina. Alternatively, consider the entire 80's synth-pop influence shown in Ceremony of Innocence (and the goth-rock influences in forthcoming project Solid Grey), or the innovative concept of 'radio-play' style recordings shown in the early Elisabetha demos.

The point is, one should expect - and positively embrace - the unexpected, particularly from this most adaptable and talented musician.

Here we have a fine example of another facet to Hugin's musical character, and one that is a very pleasant way to spend half an hour of one's life enjoying. The 7 untitled tracks on this eponymous project release are solo-piano recordings, with no other instrumentation or vocals imposing on the gentle melodies and classical overtones evoked.

The use of piano in rock and metal is not a new concept of course: any number of classic rock bands have gone for the honky-tonk rhythm of the keyboards from The Rolling Stones through to Guns N Roses. Even in the more extreme metal genres, piano is far from being uncommon, with luminaries such as Dimmu Borgir and Behemoth (amongst many) having dabbled in their use.

The tracks recorded here are a mixture of the rousing and the gentle, the ethereal and the classical. Some bring to mind the piano excerpts on recent Uruk Hai recordings, others are in a little world of their own and bring their own sense of place and atmosphere to bear. It's not a release that will be likely have the masses rushing to hear it, which is something of a pity really as those with an ear for a melody and a place in their life for engaging and peaceful music would surely benefit from the compositions offered here.

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