Tuesday, 3 July 2012

ORC FUNERAL


Band: URUK HAI
Title: Orc Funeral
Format: There is a 3" CDr version of this release on the TryBy label (Poland) together with a cassette pressing on Wulfrune Worxx (France), cat ref WW317.  The music was recorded in 2011, but both releases date to 2012.
Edition:  CDr and tape pressings both limited to 25 hand-numbered copies

Track Listing: 
01. The Mystical Path  3.48
02. Orc Funeral  15.11

It's hard to believe that we're now more than halfway through 2012. With the number of posts on Honour and Darkness being fewer than ever before due to the incessant demands on Nazgul's time, it's become something of a rare treat to have the time to settle down in the castle library, enjoy the sounds of Uruk Hai combine with the screams of tortured souls in the dungeons, and jot some thoughts down for you - the honoured guest and readers of these hallowed pages.

So onwards and upwards we go, with "Orc Funeral", which joins the current fashion of receiving a 3" CDr release alongside the resolutely old-school tape approach offered by Wulfrune Worxx.  Both editions are limited to a mere 25 copies, Nazgul's being #1 of the cassette release and #2 of the CDr pressing.

Sonic comparisons aside, the real difference between these two versions lies in the majesty of the cover artwork as seen in colour on the TryBy version - it really does come alive in a way that a black and white copy (even on blue-tinged paper) simply cannot do.  Great rear cover art (although don't ask me what it represents, suffice to say that one sighting of that thing on your daily rounds would be enough to evacuate your bowels fairly sharply) and an intriguing premise to explore based on the cover: it's definitely a humanoid hand burying something in a grave, but would a human bury an orc?  What would be the reason?  Is the spade named 'orc funeral' in the same way that a sword might be called 'goblin splitter'?

Lots of questions and - as always - no answers whatsoever from your Uncle Nazgul.  Hey ho, what I am, an oracle or something?!

Moving on to 'The Mystical Path' - a shortish morsel before the main course, as it were - and keen ears will spot some familiar melodies lurking in the mix for this tit-bit.  There's nothing wrong in giving one of your own songs a bit of a dusting down and reworking, and it's a pleasant enough way to get proceedings afoot.

The main track on this EP is the title track, 'Orc Funeral', running in excess of a quarter of an hour.  There's no 'clever' effects of samples on this piece, just a gently crafted ambient trip through ... well, pretty much any place that your mind happens to wander.  There may well be a sub-plot involving grave-digging and cadavers somewhere in there, but Nazgul has to own up to the fact that such images were not readily conjured to mind by the music.

It's very light and airy in nature, with plenty of gossamer-thin melodies and chiming bells to keep things ambling along at a gentle pace.  It's at the lighter end of the spectrum in terms of 'heaviness', and nothing that you'd find the likes of Pr. Sergiy or Krom contributing to, but for all that it is an entirely acceptable and pleasurable way to spend a small portion of one's day, and for that Hugin must be congratulated.

In keeping with the funereal theme, there's a pretty thin line between creating a lament and birthing something lamentable (just ask Cradle of Filth to explain their latest abortion), and whilst this may not be everyone's cup of tea it's certainly well worth a home in the Uruk Hai discography.

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