Saturday, 19 February 2011

Followers of Honour and Darkness ... #3

Morax Draug


It's been over 7 months since Nazgul last ran with a 'Followers...' post, so it's high time to introduce another fellow Huginophile to you all. Please welcome to Castle Nazgul Morax Draug, an enigmatically named fan of Alex Wieser and all round good chap.

Now, Nazgul and Morax have been corresponding for quite a while now and I can honestly say that a nicer and more interesting chap you could not wish to find. Passionate about his interests, Hugin's music being merely one, the Castle Library has on occasion positively lit up with laughter after some of Morax's emails, and many interesting discussions have been had. Long may that continue.

Nazgul entreats you to read the following small interview with one of our growing community, and offers you the chance to feature here too should you wish - see the end of this interview for more details.

Q1. Hello Morax, welcome to Honour and Darkness! How long have you been following this blog now, and how did you come across it?
A1. Hello Nazgul. Thanks for hosting me. I have been following the blog since April 2009. I found it via Google when scouring for information on the Uruk-Hai and Symbiosis split cassette "United". I have been a regular ever since.

Q2. Tell us, where do you live?
A2. I live in a very small town in the South-Eastern United States. I enjoy the solitude of the South, yet I am never too far away from a bigger city (Atlanta) for concerts and that kind of thing. I like to have my own space.

Q3. And your age?
A3. I am 27, waning on 28.

Q4. What do you do for a living?
A4. I am an art director for a graphic design company. It's not as prestigious as it may sound, but I enjoy it. I occasionally get to work with bands I like, and I have all of the tools at my disposal to pursue my own interests and projects.

Q5. If put on the spot, what would you say was your favourite genre of music?
A5. That's hard to say, honestly. My interests really vary and span a lot of genres, from Black Metal to Depeche Mode. For the sake of the interview, I will say that my favorite kind of music is Scandinavian Rock/Metal.

Q6. Who would you say are your favourite bands - pick 5 you couldn't live without?
A6. I would say .... (in no particular order):
* Devil Doll: A Slovenian band fronted by an Italian vocalist, they are best described as classical music meets experimental rock. They split in 1996. I highly recommend checking them out if you can track down the releases.
* The 69 Eyes: Finnish rock band. Their music is kind of a blend of Motley Crue meets Sisters of Mercy. The vocalist is a Goodwill Ambassador for Finland, which I find extraordinary.
* Dimmu Borgir: I enjoy their style of symphonic metal and I am very interested in bands that collaborate with actual orchestra/choir. The Black Metal community opinion of the band is pretty divided, and as for me, I will say that I wish that more bands had the chance (and budget) to work with big orchestras.
* Uruk-Hai: What can I say that hasn't been said 100 times by Nazgul with better vocabulary! Tranquil. Dark. Alluring. Hypnagogic. Brutal. Surreal. I have found that the music never leaves my playlist, which is more than I can say for almost any other band.
* Les Discrets: French ethereal-rock band in the same vein as Alcest. Their first album is great. Members of Les Discrets and Alcest had a now defunct project called Amesoeurs which I also highly recommend. Those bands also would have to keep releasing new material!

Q7. The first album you bought?
A7. Well, I grew up around music, mostly 70-80's rock (thanks, mom & dad) so I had audio and video exposure to bands like Black Sabbath, KISS, Alice Cooper, etc. really early on. The first album I remember purchasing was "The Number of the Beast" by Iron Maiden. It made a big impression on me, and still does.

Q8. And the last album you bought?
Viikate "Kuu Kaakon Yllä" (Finnish heavy metal). Also recently purchased some Uruk-Hai tapes from the castle archives!

Q9. The most bizarre things you've ever eaten and drunk?
A9.Probably the most bizarre food would be Durian fruit. It's rated as one of the foulest foods in the world, but I actually enjoyed it so much that I have eaten it three times. People freak out about that. Just google it.As far as strange drink goes ... I can say that I have consumed Absinthe (quite regularly in my college years), which is illegal and a big deal here in the states, but I doubt that's considered a huge triumph in Europe. I have tried homemade backwoods moonshine as well, which is questionable.

Generally the USA is kind of prudish compared to the rest of the world when it comes to alcohol. For non-alcoholic drink, probably the weirdest thing would be Irish Moss, which is a thick, peanut flavored drink (sold in cans) from Jamaica. It is bad.Once again, those interested, please Google it.

Q10. Your favourite film?
A10. I have a serious appreciation for good movies (aka film nerd) and my favorite of all time would be Ridley Scott's "Legend". The silent epic "Die Nibelungen" would be a close second. I try to watch at least 2 movies every week. I'm a real hikikomori sometimes.

Q11. Your favourite book?
A11. Without a doubt my favorite since childhood would be The Lord of the Rings. I am enthralled with Tolkien's world, from the Silmarillion to The History of Middle Earth series. I am a fan of all the film adaptations that have been made as well. I'm looking forward to The Hobbit films in 2012. Lately I have been reading mostly musician autobiographies and Lovecraft. I have a decent collection of comic books, of which Poison Elves is my favorite.

Q12. So....how did you first come across Hugin's music?
A12. Well, in 2009 I was in contact with a member of the band Za Frûmi whom readers may be familiar with for their "orc saga" albums. They have created their own mythos within the Tolkien world via their music, with Black Speech "lyrics" no less. Anyway, aforementioned person was a fan of Hugin's work and recommended Uruk-Hai to me. I researched Uruk-Hai (and Hugin's other projects) via Metal Archives, and had to know more. This thirst for knowledge inevitably brought me to the gates of castle Nazgul!

Q13. Which of Hugin's projects do you follow most closely?
A13. I would say it is Uruk-Hai without a doubt, though I keep tabs on Manwe too. I have interest in the other projects for sure, but this one appeals to me the most. I enjoy quite a few of the more epic releases Hrossharsgrani and Hrefnesholt. I do not know much about Elisabetha, but that project interests me, and I like what I have heard so far. I am interested in anything that Hugin creates but some of it is not my taste. Luckily, Hugin is a musically prolific person.

Q14. What was the first and last items you bought that Hugin composed?
A14. My first full-on experience with Hugin was via the "Dragons of War" CD that I found at a local underground music shop. However, oddly enough the first item I purchased that Hugin contributed to was "By the Sword of My Father" from Folkearth some years earlier. The latest addition to my collection is the Depressive Illusions release of "Gil-Galad" tape.

Q15. What are your favourite releases from across Hugin's discography so far?
A15. My top 3 Uruk-Hai releases would be: "A Night in the Forest", "Lothlórien" and "Black Blood White Hand". I listen to some portion of "Lothlórien" every day at work. I would have to say Elisabetha's "Über das Prinzip der Unschuld" really impressed me. I thought Hrossharsgrani's "...Of Battles, Ravens & Fire" was great. I like the Manwe tracks I have heard online, and hope to see more releases from them soon. Unfortunately, I am not familiar enough with the other projects to pick favorites.

Q16. What items/release(s) do you most treasure in your collection of Hugin's stuff?
A16. I treasure all of the releases I own so far, I would not trade any of them. In my years as a music collector, I have unfortunately lost a few irreplaceable things due to fire or theft. When you go through that kind of thing, it's hard to want to get back into the archivist niche, but it is where I belong. Most of the items that I consider to be "holy grail" of Hugin's releases, I do not own yet... "Yet" being the key word.

Q17. Are there any of his items/release(s) that you are particularly you looking for?
A17. I'm always on the lookout for anything I don't have that I can afford at the time. At the moment, I am searching for:
* Elisabetha: Durst Nach Unsterblichkeit tape, & Isten Szek! tape
* Hrefnesholt: Heidensturm tape (WP015, 2004)
* Manwe: First Battle CD and/or tape
* The First Ring vol. 1 CD
* Uruk Hai: War Anthems box; Darkness box; Black Blood, White Hand box (XL); Angband box; Ea CD; Quenta Silmarillion CD; and any of the Wulfrune Worxx tapes.

Q18. What message would you like to convey to Hugin?
A18. Hugin, you're a very talented guy with dedicated fans. We all look forward to your coming releases. Please continue the excellent work. I wish you continued success.

Q19. Do you have a message for your fellow readers of Honour & Darkness?
A19. I do! Keep supporting good music and this blog, buy what you download, and always trust the Nazgul!

Q20. And a tester to finish - what has been your favourite post on this blog, and why?! [not including this one!]
A21. I love everything that you post, but I'm not "in love" with some of the material covered, savvy? I enjoy your honest reviews and wit, and I'm still holding out for an epic, three week long immersion into the Guts for Dinner demo (I joke). Honestly, I enjoy the "Top 10" posts the most because they showcase some truly rare items, and as a collector myself, I sit back, read, and become respectfully jealous, haha.


With thanks to Morax for his time in helping make this post happen

Ever wanted to appear on Honour and Darkness? Have something to say about Hugin's music, the decor in Castle Nazgul, or other aspects of Huginology? Have an unrivalled collection in your possession? Drop Nazgul a line to see if you too could be a Follower of Honour and Darkness: tall_dai@ntlworld.com

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