Friday, 16 March 2012
Format: A plain CDr disc with a single-sided, colour-tinted paper sleeve, contained in orange plastic wallet. No catalogue reference number, but it is a self-produced demo by Hugin in 2007 not intended for commercial release.
Edition: 1 copy only
01. untitled 5.12
02. untitled 4.25
03. untitled 6.09
04. untitled 3.26
05. untitled 7.19
06. untitled 5.42
07. untitled 9.56
Here is a unique CDr demo from the deepest vaults of W.A.R. Productions, and one that I am indebted to Hugin for having shared with the Castle archive late last year.
On the face of it, as you will have gathered from the title on the cover, it's a Bonemachine demo. The vast hand emerging from the briny depths to grapple with an ocean liner is a very cool image indeed, and one that complements the title "Triangle" perfectly. The name refers to the so-called Devil's Triangle that covers the Straits of Florida, the Bahamas and the entire Caribbean island area and the Atlantic east to the Azores. This demo has - and let us be thankful for the fact - nothing to do with Barry Manilow and his 1981 'Bermuda Triangle' smootch-fest (but then, who here does have anything to do with Barry Manilow?!)
Everyone has a view on the relative merit of the Triangle legends, and I dare say we'll all have to agree to disagree on the subject or risk endless and interminable argument. Consequently Nazgul decrees that the best thing to do is to draw a line under the legitimacy or otherwise of the area's reputation and move onto the musical element of the release instead.
But first - a random quiz! Score yourself one gold star if you are able to identify another Bonemachine song with a direct reference to the Bermuda Triangle. Still thinking...? No hurry, the answer is to be found elsewhere in Honour and Darkness (and also at the foot of this post).
Anyway, back to the music, and let's take another look at that artwork. Conjures up feelings of immense power, vulnerability and the presence of mysterious forces at work doesn't it? You might assume that with such a cover the music is destined to be an industrial concept album based around disappearances within the Triangle, featuring the tortured sounds of rending metal, twisting girders and the screams of hapless crew members, perhaps accompanied by bursts of static from emergency radio transmissions as Hugin recreates the tragic loss of countless sea-faring vessels. And if, you continue to wonder excitedly, this also involves some input of that vast, mysterious hand emerging from the deep then all well and good - bring it on!
So you slip the disc into your death-deck: immediately unexpected but strangely familiar sounds begin to emanate from the speakers. This doesn't sound like the final moments of stricken ships, you cry, why these are ... they surely can't be, but they are ... songs from the early days of Ceremony of Innocence! What gives - has a temporal disturbance in space and time impacted upon this demo too?
Over to our Austrian friend for more details on the matter: "this Bonemachine CDr was made before I started Ceremony Of Innocence; I recorded it in 2007 and then never used again, I just did the cover for my own use. Later I decided to start a new project and so COI was born."
It's essentially a parallel (universe) with the situation previously described in these pages where the Hrossharsgrani "Uruk Hai" demo tape was recorded, didn't seem to suit the project, and led to the formation of a new band instead (being Uruk Hai, for those playing catch-up). On this demo, the distinctly upbeat keyboard rhythms are not in the vein of Bonemachine output of the time, yet were clearly too good to discard or ignore. The solution: pop them onto a CDr as untitled works-in-progress, revisit them with fresh ears and determine (quite rightly) that they were worthy of release but under a new guise. This in turn led to the foundation of COI and the inclusion of the first six of these songs on the "Horproben 2007" demo and "Der Rote Glanz Der Flammenfee" album releases.
The one exception to this is the final song, where compositionally over its near ten-minute duration it reflects more of a traditional Bonemachine dynamic, and actually does come close to creating the perfect atmosphere of fog-shrouded waters and impending disaster....
And the answer to Uncle Nazgul's quiz question? Crown yourself an official Huginophile if you answered 'Flight 19' from the 3"CDr release "Burn Down Psychosis" featured on the Blog on 14 February 2009 (Flight 19 being a training flight of five TBM Avenger torpedo bombers that disappeared on December 5, 1945, somewhere over the Triangle as the story goes, although recent evidence suggests that they may actually have been sighted on radar over swampland in Georgia shortly before their final disappearance).