Friday, 11 May 2012

EVERLASTING WRATH OF THE TYRANT


Band: URUK HAI
Title: Everlasting Wrath of the Tyrant
Format: A 6CD box-set released on the TryBy label (Poland) in 2012, cat ref 17/2012.  The set comes in a DVD size box with two colour glossy card inserts, and compiles both old and/or rare Uruk Hai releases.
Edition: Available in a hand-numbered edition of 15 copies

Box-set contains:
CD1  *  Über die Nebelberge Weit      
CD2  *  Elbentanz      
CD3  *  March to War      
CD4  *  Blutreich      
CD5  *  Gone with the Wind      
CD6  *  Thousand Lightnings Strike  

The imminent arrival of a "Tyrant" box-set from Uruk Hai has been a recurrent theme over the years of Honour and Darkness, with various iterations proposed but none existing - until now!  And as is often the way of things, there are in fact two box-sets with "Tyrant" in the title now in circulation, so one can hardly say it's not been worth the wait!

Let's keep a tight focus for today's post, however, and consider this rather splendidly presented outing from the Polish TryBy label.  What Hugin has done her is to compile 6 varied releases from across the years, the majority of which will have been sought-after by fans and collectors for years as the original releases were either very in a limited edition, or effectively impossible to get hold of for a variety of reasons.

Re-releasing this material in box-set format is a real boon to those fans who have been starved of such rare recordings, although it has to be said that the price of feeding this hunger is not cheap: consider the asking price for this box-set on the SkullLine distro site, which is just a whisker under 50€...

Perhaps given the higher than normal costs of the enterprise, TryBy has limited the number of copies of 'Everlasting Wrath of the Tyrant' to just 15 copies, though Nazgul doubts that there will be any problem shifting such a number given the current interest in this project.  After all, the "Darkness" box-set sold out of its run of 5 copies at a price of around 60€ apiece, so in relative terms this is a bit of a bargain considering you'll be getting 6 discs worth of albums/demos that frankly you are just not going to find anywhere else (well, excluding the vaults of Castle Nazgul of course, but on your own head be it if you try to take on the strange and macabre defences littering Nazgul's hallowed halls).

The stories surrounding each of the original releases has already been documented, as the releases in this box-set have previously been reviewed in Honour and Darkness: "Über die Nebelberge Weit" on 5 November 2009; "Elbentanz" on 3 October 2009; "March To War" only very recently on 23 March 2012; "Blutreich" back on 20 November 2009; "Gone With The Wind" on 9 April 2010; and - deep breath - "Thousand Lightnings Strike" on 14 January 2010.  

Where this box-set scores an additional bonus is that there is additional material on some of the discs above that released on the original demos.  This is not the case for all - 'March To War' appears exactly as in original guise - but a quick summary of the differences shows us that "Über die Nebelberge Weit" gains the bonus track 'Moria'; that "Blutreich" gains 'Minas Morgul' as it's additional bonus; "Gone With The Wind" is expanded to include 'Wenn Es Nacht Wird'; whilst "Thousand Lightnings Strike" gains the song 'Land Of Fire & Steel (Rehearsal)'.  "Elbentanz" goes all complicated on us on two occasions by merging a few songs from the original into one longer track on this pressing, and also adds 'Kazad-Dum' as an additional bonus.

Time-wise, the majority of the albums incorporated here are early releases in the Uruk Hai canon, with the exception of "March To War" which is a far more modern release from 2010 (some ten years after the earliest recording on this compilation) that originally came in an uber-limited vinyl edition. Since that time - and yet to be covered in the Blog - a 3" CDr re-release of the release has appeared, so of all of the releases in this box-set this would probably be the easiest to find in other formats.

Looking at the content objectively, the most exciting releases for fans would probably be the earliest two demos - "Über die Nebelberge Weit" and "Gone With The Wind" - that were hand-crafted W.A.R. Production CDr demos back in 2000/2001 and are now impossible to find anywhere.  Early Uruk Hai songs are sometimes quite a shock when you've become accustomed to the more instrumental epics that are now the band's staple fare, and on these two outings the links with Hugin's other contemporary works in Hrossharsgrani are evident.  Also of interest is the "Elbentanz" demo, which showcases the very early keyboard noodlings of our Austrian Hero, and which has received some fairly scathing reviews in some quarters of the Internet but - taken in context - is an interesting insight into how some of the early tracks were constructed.

"Thousand Lightnings Strike" was originally a one-off unissued demo CDr that Nazgul was fortunate to obtain from Hugin some years ago.  Since that time, the album has seen a reissue via Wulfrune Worxx and thus has been available again (in as far as Wulfrune releases are generally available).  Some hard-to-find material appears on this demo, including the principal songs that subsequently made it onto the ridiculously rare "Battle Magic" demo tape, which you will definitely not be finding in your local charity shop or online emporiums anytime soon!

Sitting in the middle of all of this is the 2005 compilation "Blutreich", which brings together some of the standout songs from the 2003-2005 period and adds the unique 20 minute plus epic 'On A Night In Autumn', which you won't find anywhere else.

Completing the contents of the set comes 2 glossy inserts - one showing what may have been an alternate proposition for the cover art, the second our man Hugin.

All in all, a good value release even at the asking price: you'd never be able to find 5/6 of the original versions of these releases, and even limited reissues for some of them are pretty hard to track down.  Not that this TryBy box-set is exactly being made in vast quantities mind you, but Nazgul suspects those dedicated hardcore of fans who are really interested in hearing this early material will own their copy by now.  If you've not got yours, then head to SkullLine with credit card in hand immediately or try the label directly at trybylabel@gmail.com and tell them Nazgul sent you....!



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