Band: URUK HAI
Title: Odium Records Promo Compilation
Format: Silver compilation CDr in a black and white photocopied sleeve released by Odium Records (UK) circa 2003. Released directly from the label and/or accompanying a copy of its infamous Depravity zine. Unusually, the inlay opens up to the left as one looks at the cover, e.g. in left-handed format.
01. Odium * no title (from the "Blood" demo, 1998)
02. Anubi * Menuilio Paslaptis (from the "God's Pantheon" demo, 1993)
03. Odium * Dreams (from the "Hatred" demo, 1999-2000)
04. Meressin * When the candle's already lighted (from the demo "Satan, oro te, reo portas patere", 1994)
05. Uruk Hai * Seelenwarderung (from the "Elbentanz" demo, 2000)
06. October * no title (from the "October" demo, 1998-2003)
07. Excarnation * Excarnation (from their self-titled demo, 2002)
08. Soman * Attack, Attack, Attack! (from the demo "N-Stoff", 2003)
From the scabious and underworldly realms of Philip Knight's Odium Rex label comes another filth-covered abomination, compiling a number of bands released by the label over the period 1993 to 2003. As ever, an eclectic range of music is on offer ranging from the nascent primal ambient tones of Odium (the band, Mr Knight's own weird and wonderful creation), Uruk Hai, Anubi and October (another midget-fuelled Knight project) to more 'in-yer-face' outings full of piss and bile from the likes of Excarnation and Soman.
Some of these bands have appeared on other Odium compilation CDrs and one has a sad story unfolding around it: the Lithuanian band Anubi split-up when in March 2002 the main driving force behind the horde - Lord Ominous - died in a sailing accident on Lake Michigan. Also featured and from Lithuanian are Meressin, and are fairly accurately described in one online review as, "fitting much better in the same fold as the older (90's era) thrash/heavy metal bands (Celtic Frost comes to mind at times when listening to Meressin), although you can sense a black metal "atmosphere" hanging over the music".
Excarnation prove to be a noisy bunch from Warwickshire in the UK. The name of the band refers to the burial practice adopted by some societies of removing the flesh of the dead, leaving only the bones, which is wholly appropriate as the music could flay skin at 50 paces. Never say Honour and Darkness isn't educational as well as entertaining. Final band Soman is a mystery to Nazgul, as apart from being Italian (and just as noisy as Excarnation) there is little else I can tell you about them, other than prolonged exposure to their music is probably sufficient to remove moss from walls and would be a fool-proof way to rid yourself of unwanted neighbours.
The reason for the existence of this collection in Castle Nazgul is of course the presence of the mighty Uruk Hai at track 5, with the final track from their 2000 demo "Elbentanz", which clocks in at over seven and a half minutes in length and is easily the longest song on this collection. Reviews of "Elbentanz" have ranged from fair to scathing online, but you know what: this is something of a quaint release when viewed alongside more recent Uruk Hai demos, and still very listenable even today. Sure it's a basic keyboard track, but it's competent and has a good strong melody to it, so what's not to like? The really old Uruk Hai material is still worth tracking down even to this day (some 12-13 years after its original release) as it charts, if nothing else, the journey that the project has been on over the past decade or so.
The inlay gives some interesting information about the various demo releases that these tracks are drawn from, including the information that the "Elbentanz" demo is issued in an unlimited pressing, which is contrary to the original plan of 100 copies that we saw recently on the artwork for the promotional version of the demo designed by Hugin.
Guaranteed not to be found anywhere soon, this is another interesting collection from Odium and even now gets the occasional airing at Castle Nazgul.