Thursday, 30 June 2011

WRATH OF THE RING


Band: URUK HAI
Title: Wrath Of The Ring
Format: A cassette tape release from 2010 on the Wulfrune Worxx label (France), cat ref WW163. Black and white copied inlays, standard C60 style commercial tape. The copy pictured has been dedicated by Hugin in silver pen.
Edition: Hand-numbered edition of 111 copies

Track Listing:
Side A
01. Wrath Of The Ring part I
Side B
02. Wrath Of The Ring part II

Another Wulfrune Worxx-released Uruk Hai demo from the prolific 2010 period, where Hugin seemingly was on a roll in terms of composing and releasing material from his perennially popular ambient project.

In much the same vein as other contemporaneous demos from the project - "The Lord Of The Rings", "Ash Nazg..." and the "Darkness" series - this is a lengthy and wholly instrumental ambient adventure into the shady forests and snow-capped peaks of a world far more enchanting than our own. Hugin, effortlessly assuming the mantle of the Pied Pier of Linz, leads his listeners on another epic and glorious journey into realms of mystery and magic, where anything is possible...

It must be said that this is a very gentle journey in musical terms: there is little 'wrath' on display here if one takes literally the dictionary definition of 'deep or violent anger, indignation or rage' as a yardstick against which to gauge the material. Any expectations of a bombardment of vicious guitar riffs or evil shrieks are soon headed off by the lush, relaxing tones of Hugin's trademark keyboard patterns and fills.

It's not to say that this is a demo without verve, oh dear me no, but it makes for a dreamy, occasionally distant listen. It conveys the sounds a traveller might hear floating on the winds as they edge around the borderlands of Mordor in the mountain passes of Cirith Gorgor, or whilst cutting a path through the overgrown, winding trials in Mirkwood. There's a range of synthesised instrumentation contained in the piece (the song is effectively split into two parts on either side of the tape) and if you're attuned to Hugin's mastery of all things keyboard-based then you'll have a pretty good idea what to expect from this demo.

The version of the song on this tape, incidentally, is advertised on the inlay as a first take rehearsal version of the track that is unique to this Wulfrune Worxx edition. A (presumably) revised version on CDr appears on the latest limited edition box-set release "Gorgoroth (The Land Of Darkness)" on the Tryby label, more of which at a future point.

Credit must be given to the enigmatic Skogen at Wulfrune Worxx for his ongoing support to Hugin's various projects in the issue of these limited edition demo tapes, many of which must be sold out almost as soon as they emerge from WW HQ in France. Without the backing of underground labels the availability of music like this would be practically non-existent: they are the very bedrock of distribution of a physical product as opposed to digital download, and long may that situation continue.

In conclusion, for an enjoyable if undemanding excursion into the majestic wilds of Middle-Earth you could do far worse than to play this through a quality set of headphones and let yourself drift...

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