Saturday, 12 February 2011

THE NAZGUL

Band: URUK HAI
Title: The Nazgul (40 years in Honour and Darkness)
Format: Unique tape edition in blue case and surmounted with a hand-crafted paper sash, released from W.A.R. Productions (Austria) in June 2010. Artwork is derived from Ted Nasmith's Tolkien illustrations. There is no catalogue reference on this one-off piece, and the epic single track is recorded on both sides of the tape.
Edition: 1 copy only

Track Listing:

01. The Nazgul 60.00

Within the collection that sits in the library at Castle Nazgul, there are few more splendid items than this.

Back in June 2010 Nazgul hit one of life's more significant milestones and attained 40 years as lord and master of his domain. Mrs Nazgul determined that the only treatment possible for such advanced years was a trip to the western United States, which proved to be one of the highlights of Nazgul's fourth decade. A second highlight, however, came in the receipt of this wonderful gift from Alex, quite out of the blue and hidden away in a parcel of goodies received at the Castle in May.

This unique tape is not to be confused with the similarly titled and illustrated "Nazgul" split release with Vinterriket, which was reviewed in the Blog back on 30 June 2010. The cover differs in a number of ways, not least with the new Uruk Hai logo being used in replacement of the angular typeface used circa 2004, and the presence of the W.A.R. Productions crest on the spine. The Ted Nasmith illustration, so admired by Nazgul, is cropped and tightened to emphasise the Nazgul in the foreground and to allow for the legend "The Nazgul: Honour and Darkness" to fit.

But of course the principal difference to the "Nazgul" split tape is that this version contains a unique composition from Hugin, and not just a quick two-minute bit of noodling about but an extraordinary one hour epic! Where the man finds the time remains a mystery....

Now, any self-respecting Dark Lord has to maintain some secrets. As such, the musical content of this tape is to remain an illicit thrill for Nazgul's ears only, to be shared only infrequently with other visitors to the Castle. Suffice to say, the bagpipes are appropriately high in the mix, the fusion of reggae and black metal is both ground-breaking and bowel-loosening, the use of oboe is muted but still significant, and who would have thought that Hugin was such a good yodeller?!

It was a gift both unexpected and marvellous, and one for which Nazgul is still immensely grateful and proud to have received. Thank you, Alex.

But wait - that was not all! Also inside the larger parcel was an anonymous white box, which once opened revealed part two of Hugin's cunning plan! Here was another unique item - a coffee mug to match the tape, shown below in full glory for the first time online. Nazgul is sure that you'll also agree that this is a thing of beauty!


So now you can see what Nazgul was alluding to at the end of the 30 June 2010 post, when he wrote, "Incidentally, there was an interesting and exciting development around the "Nazgul" release that your old uncle Nazgul will bring to you in a future Blog - another of Hugin's legendary one-off specials for your delight!"

Legendary is barely the half of it....

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