'Bring forth the dark sky and choke the life from this ball of rock' (Philip Knight)
Depravity: "A state of corruption; viciousness, profilgacy, perversion or degeneracy"
With a definition like that, it could surely only be the work of the inestimable Mr P. Knight: pevert supreme, and owner of Odium Records. This rather splendid CDr came with the second issue of underground 'zine Depravity circa 2005/06, cunningly titled "Depravity the Second", and promising '13 pages of diabolical filth'!
As with all compilation discs, you get a variety of music that in most cases you'd never have come across anywhere else and which, in some cases, that you could quite happily live without hearing ever again. This particular collection boasts more hits than misses, however, and spans a variety of UK and Australian bands with the occasional inclusion from Austria, Sweden and Greece.
Hidden within its depths is rather a rare gem featuring Uruk Hai, so it's an item well worth covering in Honour and Darkness. It wouldn't have been possible to even begin this post without a copy of the CDr, so Nazgul thanks the renowned midget-fondler himself, and also Hugin, for the receipt of an original copy of both the zine and disc.
Things start out promisingly with a old Elisabetha track, 'Sanguis Vobiscum' from the band's 2003 release "Vampyr". Plenty of spooky organ work on this one, and a good introduction to the project for any Depravity listener previously uninitiated. As valued readers of Honour and Darkness, you will already know of the excellent nature of this band of course. The next 13 or so tracks come and go in various forms of assault and battery to the senses. Some notable inclusions are the olde worlde English horde Ethereal Woods, and the presence of the beast himself (La Bete), another vehicle for Phil Knight's totured soul to scream unto the world. Named after the French film of the same name, so Nazgul is informed, and less of an organic project than Odium with programmed drums. All good raucous fun which rollocks along with very little let up and frankly would put the fear of god into any innocent soul passing by. All, one presumes, part of the overall Odium (the label) masterplan.
It is the final few tracks that pique the interest for Nazgul though. Firstly, there is a really excellent untitled track from Uruk Hai at track 14. It comes in two parts, in effect, with both elements being keyboard-based and with no vocals being present at all. The first element is very similar to the introduction to another Uruk Hai song that Nazgul can't quite put his finger on at the moment (cue lots of replaying of old demos to find it!), but overall the track delivers all the majestical elegance that one would expect from an Uruk Hai song of this period (2004-05).
Following a brief interlude from Odium - fuzzy, distorted, simple yet actually rather good - there is a very rare song to complete the compilation; another untitled piece but featuring the combined talents of Odium and Uruk Hai in a diabolical split track. It's only a whisker over three and a half minutes long, but it delivers as you might expect - Uruk Hai providing the backbone of the song with a martial persussive beat along with keyboard melodies, whilst Odium chips in with a distorted guitar tone. Great stuff, and wholly deserving of a place on a future rarities collection of Hugin's work. The song is perfectly concluded (or ended, at least!) with what sounds suspiciously like broken guitar strings as Mr Knight falls - doubtlessly drunk - onto his instrument...!
On the construction of this piece, Phil notes that, "the bones and most of the flesh were presented to me by Hugin, I then added my bit to the track. There were three more tracks after this one, but four years later and after numerous attempts I have yet to make good on them."
Anyway, to conclude, here is a photo of the elegant cover of Depravity Issue 2 for you to enjoy....