Thursday, 25 November 2010

LORD OF THE RINGS

Band: URUK HAI
Title: Lord Of The Rings
Format: Cassette-only pressing on the Wulfrune Worxx label (France) in 2010, cat ref WW162. The tape is presented with a black and white single-sided inlay.
Edition: Only 111 copies

Track Listing:

Side A: Lord Of The Rings
Side B: Lord Of The Rings

Doubtless you've experienced the moment before - perhaps listening to the sort of majestic soundtrack that accompanies one of those magnificent natural history programmes? You know the sort of thing, where a blue whale will come crashing through the surface of the ocean in slow-motion, surrounded by leaping dolphins, a vast spray of water hanging in the air, all accompanied by music which leaves you with gooseflesh on your arm and your senses heightened. Or the bittersweet moment in a fantasy film, where one of the good guys has to sacrifice themselves to save the others and the dawning horror of the situation unfolds to a soundtrack that raises the hair on the nape of your neck. Afterwards, you'll remember the visual scene and you'll remember the effect that the music had on you, but when it comes to describing said music...well, that's a bit hard isn't it? Hmmm, you ponder, there was that bit with the violins, and some really good bits with keyboards, and definitely something clever with the drums near the beginning....

So it is with Uruk Hai's "Lord Of The Rings" - music that is epic stuff but that almost defies description. Nazgul is almost left lost for words, and it's not the first time this phenomenon has occurred: "Morgoth" was another such release (02/07/2010) and the yet to be covered "Balrog" may well prove to be another. "After The War (Orcish Battle Hymns Part IV)" also had it's moments. It's just not a release you can analyse in the way that an album full of individual songs can be pulled apart, so Nazgul won't even attempt the task! What is fair to say, however, is that there are plenty of layers to this recording, which only repeated listens will unpick and allow you to appreciate.

What you'll hear on this tape - limited to only 111 copies, of which Nazgul's is a nice and low numbered #3, and only just released in 2010 - is nigh on one hour of instrumental musing from Hugin with plenty of hummable bits, plenty of great melodies, and an overall knack for transporting you out of your humdrum existence into another world, a Middle Earth perhaps, full of magic and charm. It's an excellent backdrop for a quiet night in, and as such is the perfect antidote to the lengthening shadows and cold winds that are signalling winter encroaching on Castle Nazgul once again. "The Lord Of The Rings" is a brilliant experience if you're prepared to lay back, close your eyes, and let your mind wander to otherworldly landscapes. If you like Uruk Hai's other ambient recordings, you already know that you're getting top-notch meditative material.

The cover of this tape was been signed and dedicated by Hugin as you'll have seen from the photo, whilst the inside of the inlay makes the point that "This track is available only on this Wulfrune Worxx tape - nowhere else". Presumably whilst an alternative edit or version may well appear on CD in time, this particular version will be unique to the Wulfrune Worxx release. Given the recent proliferation of the same tracks across a number of different releases Nazgul thinks that this development is a decidedly good thing!

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