Sunday, 29 January 2012

HROSSHARSGRANI > Promotional advertisement

And what's this then, Nazgul? A glossy colour promotional item featuring the Hrossharsgrani discography, and also a rare piece of artwork...

Here's an interesting promotional advert pulled from the Castle archives: a glossy colour display featuring a smattering of early Hrossharsgrani demos from "Blut" through to the "Schattenkrieger" release. It's not a complete summary of the releases to this point - the "Feuer & Eis" demo and "Demo 99" tapes are not featured, for a start, and the "Ancient Tales" cassette version is also missing - but it's a relatively full listing of the items available from Hugin's Viking Battle-Machine circa 2002.

Taking the bottom two rows of cover artwork first, we have - from left to right on the middle row, the classic "Blut" artwork (that went on to form such an awesome t-shirt); the "From The Dark Ages" tape; a photo of Hugin; the "Die Ruckkehr Zum Pfade" tape; "...Of Battles, Ravens and Fire" first pressing CD EP cover; and then to start the bottom row the "Der Pfad Zum Tor Der Toten" CDr cover; "Sagen & Gedichte"; the original pressing of "Ancient Tales" on CDr; "The Secret Fire" CD artwork; and finally the "Schattenkrieger" artwork from the standard jewel-case pressing (the digipak being different again).

Where this advert comes into its own as a historical document, however, is in the uppermost illustration of a sword being wielded against a fiery red background: this, as it turns out, is the original colour cover design for yet another tape release of "Ancient Tales" that was released on the Italian Werwolf Productions label.

That particular pressing (if true to the output of the rest of that label) would most likely have replicated this cover in photocopied black and white, and would have been numbered to a very low number of issued tapes. And, as it turns out, it's one of the very few early Hrossharsgrani demos yet to find its home in Castle Nazgul, so whilst having a copy of the original artwork - in colour, no less - is something of a boon, this tape now is pretty much at the top of the list in terms of rare items to be tracked down.

Nazgul thought he'd found a copy just a few months ago, but sadly it proved to be an old photograph of this cover used to advertise a more modern pressing of the same demo. Given that the infamously elusive Uruk Hai demo "Battle Magic" was also a Werwolf Productions release, the chances are it could be a long and arduous search before an original of this version of the demo is found...

The source of the advert is unknown - it could well have been a W.A.R. Productions release, or equally could have been something in the trade press conjured up by CCP Records, but that is of little consequence: as well as being a colourful record of many early Hrossharsgrani releases, it is the only tantalising evidence of yet another rarity that needs tracking down. Line up the fiery eye for some serious scanning of the Internet!

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