Monday, 2 September 2013


Title: Zalgirio Musis
Format: The cover from a proposed but ultimately unreleased cassette release of this set of songs from 2003, which ended up as half of a split album with Svarrogh.

#4: From the Vaults of W.A.R.

Our opening post for August contained the sad news of the passing of Ruslanas Danisevskis, Hugin's fellow brother-in-arms in the project Ravenclaw.  So let us begin September with a tribute to our fallen comrade with another item drawn from the sepulchral vaults of W.A.R. - a Ravenclaw release that never quite came to be, at least in this format.

Stardate - 2003:  Ruslanas and Hugin have recorded the 6 songs that would rejoice under the title of "Zalgirio Musis", which from the Lithuanian translates as 'Battle of Grunwald'. This momentous event was fought on 15 July 1410, during the Polish–Lithuanian–Teutonic War. The battle was one of the largest battles in Medieval Europe and is regarded as the most important victory in the history of Poland, Belarus and Lithuania.  It was surrounded by romantic legends and nationalistic propaganda, becoming a larger symbol of struggle against invaders and a source of national pride.

We've come across this Ravenclaw release before, of course, but as part of a split album rather than a demo in its own right, covered in Honour and Darkness on 1 May 2009.  It was formally released on Ruslanas' own Atlantida Productions label in 2003 as "Baxas Xebesheth 1883 / Zalgirio Musis", a combined work between Ravenclaw and Bulgarian band Svarrogh.

We've also come across this artwork before too, although not in quite the same colours as those on the proposed Ravenclaw release:  Step forward Uruk Hai's "Battle Yells" best-of tape for that claim to fame.

It would have been a great demo tape had it come out in this format, but like many of these lost treasures from the W.A.R. archives subsequent events overtook Plan A and led to an alternative reality - there's probably entire parallel universes out there a la the series Fringe, in which the old Hugin demos exist in that time and space whilst his actual releases from our timeframe don't.  Hmmm, there would have to be an alternate Honour and Darkness blog too, with an alternate Nazgul in charge.  Or maybe more than one other ... hell's teeth, that's a scary thought!

Ruslanas helped to create a lasting body of work, not least with perhaps his most successful and well known undertaking Folkearth, yet these early demos are still worthy of acknowledgement and attention.  Raise your flagons high this evening in memory of one of the fallen, taken before his time but not to be forgotten....

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