Saturday, 3 March 2012

DARKNESS (PART IV)


Band: URUK HAI
Title: Darkness (Part IV)
Format: Formally a tape-only release on the Wulfrune Worxx label (France) in 2010, cat ref WW172 although a CDr version does exist that compiles all parts of the "Darkness" series, but only within the very limited edition box-set version on WAR Productions. This tape comes with Wulfrune's standard black and white copied inlays.
Edition: 66 hand-numbered copies

Track Listing:
Side 1:
01. The Last Ray Of Light (part I) 29.52
Side 2:
02. The Last Ray Of Light (part II) 19.58

And so to the fourth part of the epic "Darkness" series, last covered on this Blog back on 29 September 2011 with - believe it or not - 'Part III'.

'Part IV: The Last Ray Of Light' is a curious affair. Very dark and sombre in places, with plenty of chilling vocal effects and disturbing synth parts to give you the utter conviction that you - the intrepid listener - is embarking on a fateful journey into the deepest caverns of despair...

Only nearing the end of Side Two does a more uplifting keyboard melody kick-in (and by this time we've reached the 40 minute mark overall) to give some hope that there is a way out of these pits of despondency, and that the last ray of light mentioned in the title might be an avenue through which to effect an escape, rather than a trap to lure you to an early grave! Ultimate salvation comes through a neat change to a keyboard sound not dissimilar to a church organ which punctuates the gloom with occasional - but very welcome - shafts of light and hope.

In overall terms it's a epic expanse of claustrophobic sound, never quite giving you the impression that all is quite right in the world due to the unsettling nature of the track. Unlike much of the Uruk Hai output of this period there is a lot of, well, 'darkness' surrounding the music here. And, given the theme, one has to conclude quite rightly so!

Goodness only knows what the final part of this series will sound like! Nazgul has been saving 'Part V' for a special occasion, and who knows - that day might be just around the corner.

Curiously this particular instalment came in a tape issue of 66 copies, unlike the preceding 'Part III' that was limited to a run of just 33 tapes. Quite why this difference exists is unclear, although the general lack of any of the 'Darkness' series being offered for resale online suggests that either all the parts sold out quickly and nestle happily in collections around the globe, or alternatively that Wulfrune Worxx would welcome an email order from you to reduce their stockpile. In any event, the more accessible nature of this cassette (in volume terms, not necessarily musically) is something to be celebrated. Nazgul is delighted to note that his copy of the demo is #1 of the 66 produced.

Darkness continues to cover the land, and the contents of the "Darkness" box-set continue to entertain and enthrall.

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