Saturday, 10 November 2012

BATTLE OF THE SOUTHERN FLAME [EDITION 2012]

Band: URUK HAI
Title: Battle Of The Southern Flame [Edition 2012]
Format: 3" CDr on the Smell The Stench label (Australia) with no catalogue reference, released in 2012 with a 2-card colour inlay.
Edition: Hand-numbered to 13 copies

Track Listing:
01. Intro  2.25
02. Battle Of The Southern Flame  13.44
03. Outro  4.06

The first CD release for this Uruk Hai song, presented with some truly excellent artwork on the label of our old friend Leigh Stench all the way down under in Oz.  This artwork really 'pops' in terms of making you want to stick the disc straight into your player, and immediately this 2012 pressing scores bonus points on previously cassette-only releases of this demo.

For as you may remember, the song "Battle Of The Southern Flame" has appeared twice before in Honour and Darkness; originally on a 4-way tape demo reviewed on 15 January 2011 and then on its own tape release, through Grav's (Orcrist) Host Of Darkness label, covered on 16 July of the same year.

This third version (with the same song, plus 2 bonus instrumental tracks) is a welcome addition to the seemingly infinite marketplace of Uruk Hai releases, and as previously noted certainly looks the part.  So what's underneath the covers of this one, then?

Well, the two instrumental pieces bookmarking the main course (to mix a metaphor somewhat) are described on the inlay as being pieces created for Walpurgi in 2010.  That band will be familiar to you as fellow Austrians who released a split tape with Uruk Hai called "Gestalten, Berge & W√§lder" in 2010 (and jolly good it was too).

These two tracks positively reek of fantastical landscapes and deepest mysteries, and as bonus pieces on what is a very limited edition they count as special tracks indeed.

The main song here remains 'Battle Of The Southern Flame', and over time it seems to be maturing like a fine wine: Nazgul's original review of the track on that 4-way split tape wasn't altogether positive, but sitting in the Castle library now with the song playing in the background it's hard to discern what Nazgul's problem with it was.  Obviously a bad day at the office that day - not enough hobbits to crucify or something, no doubt.

Will you be able to find this massively limited edition now?  Well, Nazgul thinks not, although you could always drop Leigh an email to ask the question and then buy some crazy stuff from him anyway.  Nazgul's copy of this release is #3/13 and since purchasing it I've yet to see another one for sale, so you have to imagine it's now out of circulation.  And that's a shame, really, as a track like this deserves a wider airing: perhaps a future Uruk Hai box-set may include it...?

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