Thursday, 8 March 2012

THE ANCIENT PATH



Band: HROSSHARSGRANI
Title:
The Ancient Path
Format: A 10CDr box-set released in 2012 by Kadaath Records (Russia), cat ref Kadaath 17. Each disc has screen printed artwork orginally seen on the band's "Feuer and Eis" demo of 1998. This release sees ten early demos from the 1999-2000 period being remastered and reissued upon an unsuspecting world.
Edition: Only 10 unnumbered box-sets produced

Track Listing:

CD1 "Sanguis/Blut"
Remastered Version:
01 - Pax Vobiscum
02 - Libera Me
03 - Silentium
04 - Nosferat
Original Version:
05 - Ozeane Der Zeit
06 - Kalte Nacht
07 - Die Karpaten
08 - Mitternacht
09 - Der Pfähler
10 - Sehe Deinen Tod
11 - Ein Meer Aus Schmerzen
12 - Herr über Die Winde
13 - Aufstieg Verlorener Seelen
14 - Blut I
15 - Blut II
16 - Apokalypse
17 - Ewigkeit
18 - Zuende

CD2 "Der Pfad Zum Tor Der Toten (Part 1)"
01 - Der Pfad Zum Tor Der Toten
02 - Schönheit Gibt Es Nur Im Kampf
03 - Schwerter & Äxte
04 - Blut V

CD3 "Der Pfad Zum Tor Der Toten (Part 2)"
01 - Heimfahrt Nach Hördaland
02 - Barbarenblut
03 - Bußfertigkeit
04 - Anämisch In Einem Universum Aus Blut
05 - Heidek´s Ende
06 - Blut VI

CD4 "Die Rückkehr Zum Pfade (Part 1)"
01 - Der Pfad Zum Tor Der Toten
02 - Aufmarsch Der Todeskrieger
03 - Von Blinkenden Schwertern
04 - Asgard

CD5 "Die Rückkehr Zum Pfade (Part 2)"
01 - In Der Nacht Des Todesscheins
02 - So finster Wie Es Niemals War
03 - Heimfahrt Nach Hördaland
04 - Schönheit Gibt Es Nur Im Kampf

CD6 "Ancient Tales (Part 1)"
01 - March Into Battle
02 - The Riddle Of Steel
03 - Fire & Ice
04 - Mjölnir
05 - Hel - Godess Of The Underworld
06 - Song To Hall Up High
07 - Blood On My Sword
08 - Born In The Fight
09 - The Unknown Land
10 - The Eternal Halls Of Valhalla
11 - Ancient Tales
12 - Myrkvid
13 - Riding The Wind
14 - Triumph In Every Fight

CD7 "Ancient Tales (Part 2)"
01 - Hlidskjalf
02 - Wotans Ehre
03 - Fimbulwinter Part I
04 - Mjölnir (different version)
05 - Steel Meets Steel
06 - Fimbulwinter Part II
07 - Heroism
08 - When The Gods Come To Earth
09 - Fimbulwinter III

CD8 "In The Mystic Forest"
01 - Menegroth (Intro)
02 - Mordor
03 - You & Me
04 - Khazad-Dum
05 - Mithrandir
06 - The Sign Of Nargothrond & Nargothrond
07 - Zwergengesang

CD9 "Der Ring Der Macht (Part 1)"
01 - Durch Folde & Fenmark
02 - In Hollow Halls
03 - Mettanye
04 - Am Stein Von Erech
05 - Regungslose Leidenschaft
06 - Sternenpracht

CD10 "Der Ring Der Macht (Part 2)"
01 - The Durnisday
02 - The Final Battle
03 - Fleischeslust
04 - In Tiefster Finsternis
05 - Zwergengesang (different version)
06 - Gollum´s Rätsel


It's rare that guilty feelings sweep over Nazgul as he surveys his collection, but on this occasion they creep up on him unbidden like a nagging conscience in the dead of night. These retrospective box-sets from Kadaath Records (whose parent company is Rigorism Productions) cover a distinct period in the early history of Hrossharsgrani. The demos thus captured are for the most part hard to come by, even allowing for tape reissues of some in recent years, and the existence of this material in CDr format is very rare indeed. With only 10 boxes existing, it would seem only fair to allow those without access to the original recordings the chance to get their hands on this material: despite such laudable aims Nazgul has still gone and bought one in order to keep his collection up to date. Sorry, everyone...!

By far and away the biggest single compilation of Hrossharsgrani material yet seen, it seemd only right and proper to get some thoughts direct from the mouth f Hugin himself about the background to this release:

Q1: How did you choose which albums to include in the box?
A1: I chose the albums because I thought they fitted best together, they are mostly in the Barbarian Black Metal style that Hrossharsgrani did between 1999-2001, except "Blut/Sanguis" from 1998/99. This last album could be the long introduction to the whole box-set, and it includes the rare original recordings + the remastered 2008 version. All the other stuff includes the 2010 remastered versions + bonus tracks from those early demos!

Q2: Are other early Hross demos not included (e.g. Feuer & Eis, Kampf, Lieder Aus Mittelerde, Sagen & Gedichte etc) likely to feature in a similar box-set in the future?
A2: Yeah Mr. Nazgul, this is a very good idea for another box set - that stuff is even more rare than the first lot and I have tons of unreleased Bonus stuff from those recording sessions too - definitely a good idea for an future release! I have a lot of cool pictures taken in this period of time too to use for some nice cover art!!

Q3: What was it like revisiting this early material after such a long time?
A3: It was absolutely great to remaster these old recordings - a kind of time slip, I really enjoyed it a lot. I have to say that I think this was the best age in the whole Hrossharsgrani era, it's rough and epic together. I always wanted to do something new with the "Der Pfad..." recordings, and now I'm really happy with the result. Rigorism Productions really did a great job too - thx guys!

Q4: Do you have a personal favourite album or song from these recordings?
A4: The 'Der Pfad Zum Tor Der Toten' track is my fave from all the songs, and "Ancient Tales" is my fave album, it ever was and it ever will be!!

Q5: How long did it take to produce the final recordings, and what sort of work is involved in creating a 10CD set?
A5: As I mentioned I did the remastering back in 2010 and it took just a few weeks to get them all remastered! To choose the albums and create the cover art was very fast; I think I decided to do it in that way in just 1 day and all was finished! Rigorism also did a fast job and the release was finished and sent from Russia with hate in just 2 weeks!

Q6: What is the artwork based on?
A6: The artwork is based on an old picture of Helen of Troy. In Greek mythology she was the daughter of Zeus and Nemesis, and the picture is painted in the Pre-Raphaelite style by Frederick Sandys. The background picture is the same as I used for the "Ancient Tales" CDr release. Incidentally, the title of the box-set "The Ancient Path" is a mixture of "Ancient Tales" and "Der Pfad..." (Pfad = Path).

Q7: Why only 10 copies of the box-set: will it be enough to go around (or is this a label decision)?!
A7: I think 10 copies are enough for this kind of box set - we need to see first if people still like the old Hrossharsgrani stuff as much as I do :-)

Whilst you would need to be certifiable to try to sit and play all ten discs back to back, dipping in and out of the set over the last week has revealed a huge improvement in sound and some great memories invoked by these early songs which - as Hugin notes - are very much in the blistering black metal style that the band was known for back at the turn of the Millennium.

The extent of material that this compilation encompasses can be seen from the photograph below of the original releases - this 10CD set is certainly a lot more portable, that's for sure!

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