Monday, 16 September 2013

ANCIENT TALES - update IV


Band: HROSSHARSGRANI
Title: Ancient Tales
Reason for update: The fourth instalment in an ongoing series, courtesy of a reader of these pages...

Ha - no one expected two Hrossharsgrani posts back-to-back!

We've seen a number of updates since the original post of "Ancient Tales" was posted back on 21 March 2009.  These have all been associated with various reissues or older formats of the demo that Nazgul has managed to get his sticky mitts on.  However, today's post is somewhat different as it covers an original tape demo for the release that - to date - Nazgul has failed to track down.  

Not everything Hugin-related is yet caught in the lair of the Nazgul, but it is surely only a matter of time....

The prompt for this post came from the recent Followers of Honour and Darkness interview with Thomas Kahr - during a look through Thomas' collection it became clear from the photos that he had something rather unusual in his group of Hrossharsgrani items:  Said item was the Werwolf Productions tape pressing of "Ancient Tales" released circa 2003, catalogue reference WP013.  This has different cover artwork to any of the other tape or CDr pressings of the album, featuring a hand holding a sword extending across its cover.

Abibial of Werwolf Productions (based in Italy) was interviewed by Nazgul on 20 March 2010 and you may recall from those discussions that the 'typical' Werwolf release was of very limited quantity and have consistently rated as amongst the hardest to find of all of the labels who have issued Hugin's music.  Uruk Hai's "Battle Magic" and "Battle Yells" were Werwolf releases, for example, as were the "Ea" CDr demo and the "Long Forgotten Tales" and "Honour" tapes.  

They also produced the very hard to find "Isten Szek!" demo from Elisabetha, plus a handful of other related demos too.  Pretty much all Werwolf items are impossible to find, so it's rather splendid to be able to feature an actual copy of this inlay at all, as Nazgul has never actually seen a 'real' one before.

The pictures you will find at the base of this post were kindly supplied by Hugin as original colour copies of the artwork, but close inspection will show that it does not contain details of the issue number under the photograph of Hugin himself that does appear on the final black and white cover.

Interestingly, going off at a slight tangent, all of the Werwolf covers were black and white photocopies, presumably of colour original artwork in most cases?  Nazgul is only speculating, but  somewhere out there - either with Hugin or with Abibial - just may be a set of full colour covers for all of the Werwolf releases: now that would be a sight for sore eyes!

The great thing about Thomas' find is that it clearly displays the issue number as 30/88, so we know for certain for the fist time just how many copies were produced.  88 copies is actually quite a lot for Werwolf, as runs of 20-50 were more common across most of the rest of the issues they did on tape, so there's some hope that other copies of this demo may eventually come to light!  Nazgul did see a copy with this artwork for sale on Discogs (and it's still there, in actual fact) but closer reading of the description for it confirms that the tape for sale is actually a later pressing with different artwork.

Thomas - the lucky so-and-so - found his copy online and for the princely sum of around 7 Euros, which sounds like quite the bargain!  

Nazgul will whip up the Castle minions to double their efforts to scour the internet for similar treasures, lest their hides be flayed from their worthless carcasses ... and as and when an original copy eventually finds its way to the Castle Library, Nazgul will organise a 'family' photograph of the "Ancient Tales" releases to date!

Original artwork, in colour, as conceived by Hugin

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