Saturday, 27 July 2013

TEMPERANCE


Band: URUK HAI
Title: Temperance
Format: A unique wooden box-set self-released by Hugin in 2012 as a gift to Nazgul! Contains a CD, a cassette tape, lyrics sheets and a myriad of other interesting parts - see photos below. The top of the box is packed with loose cassette tape to protect the contents, and the box lid is adorned with a wooden amulet.
Edition: 1 copy only!

Track listing:
01. Temperance  33.06

Temperance is one of the Seven Heavenly Virtues.  If you can name the other 6 then you're far too much of a goody two-shoes and should get out more.  Nazgul, of course, transcends all base urges and encompasses Temperance - defined as "restraint, temperance, justice. Constant mindfulness of others and one's surroundings; practicing self-control, abstention, moderation, zero-sum and deferred gratification. Prudence to judge between actions with regard to appropriate actions at a given time. Proper moderation between self-interest, versus public-interest, and against the rights and needs of others" - at every twist and turn of life.  

And yes, that is a pig you can see flying past your living room window....

Lyric sheet for the first part of the song...
... and for part 2
The design and content of this large wooden box is quite simply staggering.  As if Hugin didn't have enough on his plate to keep him busy, he found the time to create not only a lavish treasure trove of goodness but an accompanying 30+ minute song to accompany it under the proudly flying Uruk Hai banner.  

Nazgul had originally planned to go a bit overboard on this particular review for Honour and Darkness but in the interests of modesty and ... well, temperance ... it seems less appropriate to blow one's own trumpet that it is to let the accompanying photographs tell their own story.   It will retain a small air of mystery, as befitting for such a wonderful thing.

When this chest arrived in the post it was a tremendous surprise (to say the least: the ravens positively shot from the battlements of Castle Nazgul following the great shout of pleasure that accompanied the opening of the outer packaging) and it has been a much treasured object ever since. Yes, the glass on the frame had sustained a little damage during the trip from deepest Austria (Nazgul has this earmarked for replacement as one of those 'little jobs for a rainy day' that always seem to be deferred nowadays, much of which has to do with meeting the insistent demands of the fledgling baby Nazgul as he tears along the Castle corridors seeking fresh blood) but don't let that lure you into thinking that Nazgul doesn't take great care and pride of this mightiest of releases from his eternal brother in arms, Hugin.

a trio of unique Uruk Hai art prints
You'll be thinking that the music within must be in the classic mould of Uruk Hai ambient passages; something on the lines of one of Nazgul's favourite releases like "Honour" perhaps, or a re-mix of a modern classic?  Well you'd be wrong, so far out of kilter that you'd be staggered by the fuzzy guitar and hypnotic vocals that pervade this lengthy song and provide for a semi-religious ritualistic experience the like of which cannot be easily transcribed.  

To date, this particular song has not been found anywhere else in formal Uruk Hai releases, but I'm sure it's possibly more of a question of time and an appropriate vehicle before it reaches the ears of a wider audience.  Until that time, Nazgul prefers to keep his little secrets and revel quietly in the Castle Library with this delight playing in the background.

Mark Twain probably sums the concept of Temperance up the best:  "Temperate temperance is best. Intemperate temperance injures the cause of temperance, while temperate temperance helps it in its fight against intemperate intemperance. Fanatics will never learn that, though it be written in letters of gold across the sky"

Close up of the wooden adornment to the box-lid

Nazgul will continue to write the virtues of Hugin's music in letters of many colours on Honour and Darkness until the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse themselves come to wrest the keyboard from his bony fingers....

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