Tuesday, 3 April 2012

RETURN TO THE GREEN FIELDS



Band: URUK HAI
Title:
Return To The Green Fields: Version 2011
Format: A 3" CDr pressing inside 2 colour glossy card inserts. Released in 2012 by Smell The Stench (Australia), no catalogue reference.
Edition: Limited to 11 hand-numbered copies

Track Listing:
01. Return To The Green Fields 18.49

This release contains an expanded version of the song 'Die Rückkehr Zu Den Grünen Feldern' that debuted on the very limited edition (even by Hugin's standards) "Lebenin" tape in 2009, and which then appeared on the split demo "Zeitzeichen" recorded with Draumar later that year. The original song was 14:21 in duration, so having applied some deft mental arithmetic you'll note that this expanded version comes with almost four and a half minutes of additional material: this is found late in the sing, coming in the form a doom-laden echoing ambient passage of music that is more in keeping with a trip down into the fetid bowels of Moria rather than a walk across green fields, but there you go.

In some respects this is a return to the 'Return...' as subsequent to the 2009 releases the track made an appearance on the "Ein Zeitzeichen von Lebenin" compilation tape and also on the "Angband" compilation CD. And just to complete the picture, it also makes an appearance in revised 2011 format on the yet-to-be-reviewed split tape "United with the Fallen Ones..." that features Uruk-Hai, Gromkult and Zloslut. Quite the popular track, so it seems...

Now, just to confuse even further, this particular 3"CDr edition is the 1st pressing on Smell The Stench, limited to 11 copies. There is already a second pressing available, in a larger edition of 25 copies and on the TryBy label, which comes in essentially the same packaging except for the fact that the inlay cards are tied together with twine. Presumably twine obtained from cotton plants in those green fields. As these Tryby pressings cover a number of recent Uruk Hai 3" releases, Honour and Darkness will pick them up in a future post, as rather handily the label produced a limited edition metal box-set that compiled them on one place.

The outstanding question in all of this, of course, is what particular 'green fields' could be the subject matter for this song. Well, you can use your imagination to determine that for yourself: if you are in a Tolkien frame of mind, you might consider it to be a reference to 'The Battle of Greenfields', which was fought in the year 2747 of the Third Age at the Shire's Northfarthing.

In this skirmish, a band of Orcs from the Misty Mountains (led by a chief called Golfimbul) was confronted by Bandobras "Bullroarer" Took, younger brother to the Thain of the Shire, and a force of hobbits. Golfimbul was killed and the orcs were defeated. According to legend, Bullroarer decapitated the orc chieftain with one swing of his club; Golfimbul's head rolled down a rabbit hole, and thus the game of golf was allegedly invented. It's all true you know - this is partly why Nazgul didn't post this story on 1st April, in case it was seen as an April Fool's joke. Anyway, this event preceded the War of the Ring by more than 250 years.

It could also theoretically be a reference to Gladiator, and the speech by Maximum in which he says, "If you find yourself alone, riding in green fields with the sun on your face, do not be troubled; for you are in Elysium, and you're already dead!", which has featured in Hugin's past recordings (from memory, on the "Iron Age" release, but don't take that as gospel). That said, for all we know Hugin may have been inspired whilst on a walk through the green lawns of Linz's Botanical Gardens, which holds - you will be as interested to learn as I was - the finest collection of cacti in Europe...!

More Uruk Hai 3"CDr recordings to come in due course - watch this space!

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