Tuesday, 18 January 2011

SONGS FROM THE WOODS (Edition 2011)


Band: URUK HAI
Title: Songs From The Woods (Edition 2011)
Format: Cassette release on the Depressive Illusions (Ukraine) label in January 2011, cat ref cut181, with full colour cover on a glossy inlay. This tape contains a remastered version of the original 2005 demo release.
Edition: Limited to 99 hand-numbered copies

Track listing:

01. Songs from the Woods 24:20

Ladies and gentlemen, we are officially back in the woods!

This brand new release - literally only a few weeks old, out on the Depressive Illusions label, ink still glistening on the inlay - is a re-release of the 2005 demo tape "Songs From The Woods" that was originally published by the Eclipse Of Live Promulgation label (Germany) in an edition of 88 copies. This re-issue is a welcome return for a classic Uruk Hai composition, and as ever the Depressive Illusions standards are high when it comes to providing a quality colour cover to admire. Indeed, this is something of a rarity for an Uruk Hai reissue in as far as both the original demo and the second release have colour covers - this has happened very occasionally before ("In Durins Halls" being the notable example) but it's not common, as most of the early demos had black and white inlays.

The great thing about this song is that you really do get a sense of being in immersed in nature as it plays. Much like the "A Night In The Forest" album, this song cleverly and subtly uses background noises of woodland fauna to complement the synthesised melodies, and the whole piece comes together beautifully. This song is wonderfully composed despite being nearly half and hour in length, in that it always seems to be far shorter than it actually is (and thus never outstays its welcome) and it creates some suitably evocative and romantic melodies as the keyboards swirl around you. There are no vocals on this song, nor do there need to be any to create the imagery of 'the woods'. Where these woods we don't know - it could be Fangorn, elsewhere on Middle Earth, or even the wooded areas around Pöstlingberg mountain in Linz - but the effect is much the same - captivating musical enchantment.

This song is unique to tape format, which is a shame as it would be a great track for inclusion on a fully representative Uruk Hai CD compilation album. There is, in actual fact, a third tape bearing this song in remastered format as it appears as a special bonus song on the b-side of "Spirits (From Ancient Worlds)" released in 2010 by Wulfrune Worxx, and which Honour and Darkness will review soon.

The Depressive Illusions version is certainly a good one to go for if you revel in the traditional majestic nature of Uruk Hai compositions of this period. The new cover is perfectly mysterious, the re-mastering helps to give the song added oomph and freshness, and as the original demo is now almost impossible to find one can only imagine that this particular version will soon follow in its footsteps and be sold out soon.

Nazgul's copy of this tape is #1 of the 99 produced, and he offers the label this gratitude and thanks for this privilege.

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