Sunday, 13 March 2011

KAMPF (PART 2 - DEAD:MEAT)

Band: HROSSHARSGRANI
Title: Kampf (Part 2 - Dead:Meat)
Format: Cassette tape release on the Wulfrune Worxx label (France) in 2010, cat ref WW175 / AWE 52-2. The tape comes with a black and white copied inlay.
Edition: 100 hand-numbered copies

Track Listing:

Side A
01. Come My Phoenix 4.06
02. Znischy Jih 1.06
03. Countess Bathory (Venom cover) 4.22
04. Warriors Of The Wasteland 11.32
Side B
05. Down There (Beherit cover) 7.19
Bonus Track
06. Down There (Beherit cover - different version) 7.04

The clue, as they say, is in the title. "Dead:Meat" was a CD split release between Hrossharsgrani and Belgium's Dead Man's Hill in 2010, which featured in Honour and Darkness on 29 July 2010. The release was positively reviewed by Nazgul, with the cover versions on the Hrossharsgrani side of that album offering a different and interesting perspective on the evolution of the band's sound.

This tape release is a more curious proposition. Released on the ever-supportive Wulfrune Worxx label, it takes just the Hrossharsgrani songs and re-packages them in old-school tape format under the banner of "Kampf - Part 2". Now the original "Kampf" demo was a rutting rhino of a demo release from 2000, brimming with viking brawn and positively oozing blood and severed limbs. Does the newer tape release really have a lineage back to that early demo tape?

Well, the honest answer is no and hence the 'Dead:Meat' suffix to make sure there's no doubt in the listeners mind before they press the play button. Tenuous links can be seen - both albums have riders on horseback adorning the black and white covers, albeit in the form of skeletons rather than mythical figures in the newest release. Another nice touch is that the old Chanteloup Creations catalogue reference number AWE52 from the original "Kampf" demo is resurrected here to be AWE52-2 on the 2010 tape. But in reality, this is no more a modern updated version of "Kampf" than Predator 2 was a worthy sequel to the original film. It's different.

The curious nature of the beast is that the majority of Hrossharsgrani fans would surely have already bought the original CD pressing with these tracks present? Would they - save for the odd crazy obsessive completest like Nazgul - go and purchase a tape version of the same songs, even allowing for the 'different version' bonus track of 'Down There' which, if I'm brutally honest, is pretty hard to distinguish from the original? I'd wager 'no' is the answer to that question, hence perhaps the small limitation of just 100 copies of the tape being produced (Nazgul's copy being #2).

Nazgul's advice would be to take a read of the original post for "Dead:Meat" and determine if this sounds like your sort of music. If so, and if you can't quite justify stumping up the cost for the CDr pressing (which does feature the excellent Dead Man's Hill too, of course) then this low-cost option might well be worth investigating.

One small anecdote to end: this post very nearly didn't happen as the last play of "Kampf (Part 2 - Dead:Meat)" in the Castle led to it being the very first (and hopefully last) tape to become chewed up in the inner workings of the death-deck. Fortunately a deft bit of finger-work accompanied by no little swearing managed to salvage the tape sufficiently for it to fight on another day. But dead-meat it very nearly was...

And - this is the 400th post on Honour and Darkness, would you believe? Nazgul thanks all of you who have made the writing and maintaining of this Blog an absolute joy.

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