Monday, 4 March 2013

GEFALLENER ENGEL

Band: URUK HAI
Title: Gefallener Engel
Format: Cassette demo with black and white cover and standard C60 style tape. A single song demo created by Hugin but never intended for distribution. No label reference number. Recorded at the end of the last Millennium, this tape is dated "Promo 2001"
Edition: 1 copy

Track Listing:
01. Gefallener Engel 8.38

To say this is rare is an understatement - a little like suggesting that winters in Finland can get a bit chilly.

As far as Nazgul can tell this demo never been referenced online before, and other than by the mighty Hugin himself it has probably never been seen before. It is that rarest of items: a lost Uruk Hai demo tape!

This isn't a normal release, however. It was a song created by Hugin in the late 1990's that didn't seem to quite fit with the Uruk Hai canon despite being recorded under that project name. It later resurfaced as the track 'Engel' on Hrossharsgrani's 2000 release, "Ewig Winter".

The cover image looks at first glance like one of Hugin himself in silhouette, but in fact is from the German film Premutos from German film-maker Olaf Ittenbach, whose low-budget splatter epics have won him a worldwide cult following. It has been described as a "gory and ambitious shocker", in which Premutos - the first fallen angel, pre-dating Lucifer himself - is an evil spirit who has been walking the Earth in a variety of hosts since the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. 

When a man (Ittenbach himself plays the role) finds a mysterious yellow potion and a strange old book in the garden and begins to read the latter aloud, and unwittingly brings the demon back to Earth who not only takes over the unfortunate gentleman's body but then bring an army of the dead back to life to do his murderous bidding. Such unexpected events unfolding around his ears must have been a bit of a bugger, but the moral here, readers, is never to read aloud from dusty old tomes found in basements, cabins in the wood, strange houses or in the possession of gaunt featured old people.


Should you be in the market for a gruesome film (and supposing that you can track down a copy), this probably ticks all the 'gore' boxes (but don't expect it to be the best 'film' you've ever seen). MonstersAtPlay.com had this to say:

"Premutos is a gore lover's wet dream come true from nearly start to finish. Ittenbach is the only man I know who can give Peter Jackson a run for his bloody money. There is so much gooey nastiness in this film, I don't even know where to begin. Body parts chopped, bitten and chewed. People gutted, heads and limbs loped off, people smacked around with their own limbs, faces and flesh torn off. Death by bullet (many exploding heads), throats slit, chainsaw after chainsaw, knife, machete and pickaxe (and normal axe). You name it, this flick has it, and the blood flows freely. Take away about 1/2 hour of the talkity talk talk and you'd have a tight little gore flick. You have to know what you're getting yourself into, if you looking for cinematic class, you've come to the wrong place. This film was made with loving care for the gore hound market in mind and I can respect that. The problem is that it lacks the charm of films that obviously inspired it such as Evil Dead and Dead Alive."

"Ittenbach has an undeniable talent for making gore films that please to no end. Good old fashioned gore, unlike the CGI spectacles of today. This film gleefully took me back to the days of Romero's gore filled Dawn of the Dead, Raimi's Evil Dead and Jackson's Bad Taste or Dead Alive. The problem is that in addition to the spectacle of gore these other pictures are ultimately good films while Premutos is unfortunately not. Can this film still be enjoyed? Yes, on some levels, but the missing charm that these other films possess feels like a black hole in Premutos, an unfilled void that ultimately leaves the viewer feeling a bit empty."

Sounds rather like an average evening in the Castle dungeons to Nazgul...

Something of a missing link in the recorded history of these two noble projects, and an interesting historical artifact to be sure.  As always, Nazgul sends hails of friendship over the Austrian Alps to Hugin for releasing this to the Castle collection.

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