Wednesday, 30 October 2013


Title: Heidensturm
Reason for update: An old flyer for this album (now in glorious Technicolor!)

This colour flyer (which measured a tidy 7cm by 10cm) was once upon a time used to promote the rather excellent "Heidensturm" album by Hrefnesholt, which must by default date it to around the 2004-05 period.  

As a loyal and avid reader of Nazgul's musings you will know this already, by dint of the fact that this flyer was once covered in these hallowed pages (on 22 October 2009, in fact).  However, that earlier post showed the flyer in black and white, whereas this version shows the full monty colour version.  Well worth a post of its own, therefore!

Although the final tape version of this demo was released by the Italian Werwolf label in 2004 the details given on this flyer pertain to the Wandalen Distro Germanien, which changed its name to Noxs Runas Produktionen sometime after.  Wandalen was run by a Mr. Hiller based at the address shown on the flyer, and the label released a total of three tape demos, one each for Hellebaard, Hordes Of Loki, and Nordvykk.  However, it was never part of the final physical release of this album.  

Perhaps the flyer was simply to drum up some interest to shift their stock holdings of the tape, not that they could have had that many given the limited numbers made!  Alternatively, and here's where the story becomes shrouded in the mists of time, Hugin wonders whether this label was originally supposed to have released the demo, only to be changed to Werwolf at the last minute.  We probably will never know.

Technically the fourth update of this release, no matter what the past numbering on this Blog might suggest (!), with the original album being reviewed on 26 May 2009, followed by updates on 22 October 2009, 16 December 2009 and then 18 August 2012.  Who knows, perhaps future updates could follow even now...?!

Saturday, 26 October 2013


Title: ...Set Sail Upon The Deep Waters
Format: A proposed promotional CD from circa 2006
Edition: Never released

Track Listing:
01. Out Of The Shire
02. Enter Mordor
03. Orc March
04. Beneath The Moon, Beneath The Sun
05. Morgoth
06. Dark (Are The Fires Of Mordor)
07. Underneath The Stars
08. Lay Of Laithian

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

Just as we know that the sun will come up in the morning and that the stars will twinkle in the sky at night, it's a given that the hyper-creative mind of Hugin keeps on churning away over there in the darkest forests of Austria, never resting for a moment in the relentless pursuit of his artistry.  If new albums or songs aren't being composed then there's not a moment wasted in the furtherance of Hugin's plans for world domination, including the compilation of an occasional promotional CD or two, presumably in order to stimulate some interest from record labels and draw the attention of as many people as possible to the various projects under his blackened wing.  

Some of these promotional discs were released and are now in limited circulation, whilst others appear to have been planned but ultimately shelved. Occasionally one of the circulating discs comes home to roost in the ever-expanding library within Castle Nazgul, and a feast day is held to celebrate such rare events.  Of those conceived but never actually issued very little is known, and for obvious reasons - thus this post becomes of some interest, if only to give us a little insight into Hugin's thinking at this time and to push that "what if..." button.

Designed around songs recorded in the cold winter months of October - December 2005, an early 2006 release would have been likely for this previously unseen gem, rejoicing with the title "...Set Sail Upon The Deep Waters".  Originally intended to form part of a mighty series of promotional offerings, subsequent titles were to have included "Uruk Hai ... Cross the Misty Mountains By Camel Train";  "Uruk Hai ... Gorge Themselves On Decaying Hobbit Flesh"; and, perhaps most intriguingly, "Uruk Hai ... Get Pissed At The Dog & Duck in Rivendell".  

One imagines - back in the real world - that the actual recording of the music and then subsequent rush to release physical albums probably overtook the immediate need to issue a promo, a supposition supported by the copious out-pouring of Uruk Hai material on innumerable labels in this period.  It was, by any measure, a prolific time.

And so, from the cobweb-shrouded vaults of W.A.R., comes the item you see before you today.  Sporting some rather natty colour artwork - which in actual fact eventually appeared in black and white format on the split tape "United" (with Symbiosis) in 2006, albeit with an entirely different track listing - this release would have contained an intriguing mix of songs.  You'll recognise the vast majority of them from other contemporary releases:  For example, 'Out Of The Shire', 'Underneath The Stars', 'Morgoth' and 'Dark (Are The Fires Of Mordor)' all featured on the split tape with Valar from 2005, "Enslaved In Evil Darkness".  'Lay Of Leithian' (note the corrected spelling, with a typo having appeared on this promo inlay) made it's appearance on the following years "Lothlorien" album, alongside 'Enter Mordor'.  

We had to wait until 2008 for the official release of 'Beneath The Moon, Beneath The Sun', finally springing into existence on the excellent split release with Saltvind, "A Dark Force Shines Golden / Dreams Of The Ancient Stone" - I say official, as it did make a sneak preview appearance a year earlier on Nazgul's "My Favourite..." 4-track promo CD.

Which just leaves us with the enigmatic third track, 'Orc March', which is not an immediately familiar sounding song.  However, Nazgul's guess, confirmed subsequently by Hugin, is that this song became 'The Last March of the Orcs' from 2009's "Lost Songs of Middle Earth" album and thus did eventually make an appearance in the official discography, albeit some time after all of the other songs.

What other treasures lie as yet undiscovered in the vaults, you ask yourself?  Stay tuned, dear reader, for more strange and wonderous offerings in the months to come....

Wednesday, 23 October 2013


Title: The Uruk Hai (1999-2012)
Format: Compilation CDr on the Depressive Illusions label (Ukraine) released in July 2013, cat ref cut1163.  This release comes as a single disc in a DVD-sized case, with full colour inlays and picture disc, with a business card for the label tucked inside the cover.
Edition: Hand-numbered in an edition of 33 copies

Track listing:
01. Uruk Hai part 1 (1999 original version)  7.31
02. Uruk Hai part 1 (2010 re-mastered version)  13.22
03. Uruk Hai part 2  4.01
04. Uruk Hai part 3  0.39
05. Uruk Hai part 4  2.22
06. Uruk Hai part 5  8.09
07. Uruk Hai part 6  10.50
08. Uruk Hai part 7  12.26
09. Uruk Hai part 8  9.55

This, I think you'd have to agree, is a simple but very good idea.  Take the many and various parts of Hugin's "Uruk Hai" song, compile them onto a handy single-disc release, documenting the saga from its inception in 1999 through to the latest instalment, wrap in some fancy artwork and sell.  Job done, a simple idea but one that ought to be a stone-cold success, particularly given the limited number of available copies (this time, incidentally, hand-numbered, which has not always been the way with recent Depressive Illusion limited editions).  

This being such a simple and effective idea, it's sort of been done before: this CD edition builds on a previous tape-only compilation of songs in the "Uruk Hai" series, that being the "Nachtschwarze Momente / The Uruk Hai" split release featuring Vinterriket and Uruk Hai of 2010, which covered the saga up to Part 5.  Successive years have witnessed successive instalments, hence the updated compilation you see being reviewed here today (and with the benefit of being in a more accessible format).

As a loyal and fervent follower of Uruk Hai you will - of course - be able to recite from memory the original demos on which the individual Parts reside, but just for the sake of convenience here's a handy summary for you of some of the principal locations for these songs (they tend to pop up here and there, with one notable exception):

Part 1 (1999 version)  -  "In Durin's Halls" (1999), "Elbenwald" (2000), and also "Uber die Nebelberge Weit" (2000)
Part 1 (2010 version)  -  "In Durin's Halls (Return To The Mines Of Moria)"  (2010)
Part 2  -  Originally an unreleased rehearsal track, it was subsequently featured on the bonus disc of the "Legacy Of The Tyrant" box-set (2012)
Part 3  -  "Elbenmacht" (2004)
Part 4  -  "Valkyrian Romance" (2006)
Part 5  -  "Black Blood, White Hand" (2009) and also "Angband" (2010)
Part 6  -  "Elbentraum" (2010)
Part 7  -  Exclusive to this release!
Part 8  -  "Legacy Of The Tyrant" (2012)

If you haven't manage to acquire all of the individual releases above, then all the more reason to grab a copy of this compendium whilst you still can.  Additional and notable input to these tracks has come in the form of guitar parts from Dimo Dimov (Svarrogh) on Part 5, and in the form of vocals/screams from Pr. Sergiy (Moloch) on the re-mastered Part 1.  And even if you have, the exclusive inclusion of a decidedly Euro-pop sounding Part 7 on this set might well tip the balance into making you reach for your wallet and heading off to Depressive Illusions.  

Well, it's all great stuff - reminiscent of a school reunion when friends you've not seen for ages all gather together and remind you just what a splendid bunch you used to be together.  They form a diverse range of songs, with the years separating them also being a timeline to witness how Hugin's own skills of composition and musical ability have changed.  It was also a masterstroke to put the original 1999 version of Part 1 as the lead-off song and then to follow it with a re-mastered and far more meaty reworking from 2010 (well, I suppose putting Part 1 first might be a bit of a given, but heck - it works well).  

Nazgul, it must be remembered, has not always been a fan of Hugin's tinkering with past songs, oft time preferring the purity of the original to later versions, but on this occasion the 2010 version is massively more powerful.  It's a little like stripping down a vintage engine into its constituent parts, refurbishing all of the components and then reassembling into something that makes one hell of a good noise!

Taken as a whole this is an excellent journey through orc-infested Middle-Earth, even if Part 7 does sounds a little like we've gone on a detour via the Misty Mountains' only gay disco on the way.  This isn't intended to be a concept album of course, so there's no implied or explicit thread to tie these songs together, other than Hugin's own imagination and keyboard wizardry. 

That said, as a collection of ambient-metal tracks you won't go far wrong in giving this some repeated air-time and it would seem a sensible and timely investment to grab one of the few remaining copies whilst you are able to.  

The cover artwork is a classic one, and very reminiscent of the sort of designs that used to appear in the Citadel Miniature catalogues of lead fantasy war-gaming figures.  And that is also a very good thing.

Monday, 21 October 2013


Band: Sturmpercht
Title: Bergentrückt
Format: A release in three formats: as an oversized A5 digipak CD package in slipcase; in a more limited edition wooden box CD pressing; and as a 3LP vinyl pressing in 'heavy cover'. This release is on the Steinklang label (Austria), released in May 2013, cat ref Percht 22.
But why do I care, Nazgul? Because there is a hidden link to Hrefnesholt in here!
Edition: The A5 CD is limited to 700 copies; the wooden box set to 300 copies; and the 3-disc vinyl edition to 230 copies

Track Listing:
01. Der Schlafende Kaiser
02. Die Drei Eisheiligen
03. Vieräugl
04. Die Hochzeitstafel
05. Die Dreizehnte Percht
06. Das Letzte Licht
07. Der Wildalpgeist
08. Das Wilde Heer
09. Die Übergossene Alm
10. Der Bauer und der Wuch'rer
11. Winterstille

Right, so you know the story by now: Nazgul scours the globe looking for all manner of weird and wonderful evidence for Hugin's musical genius.  In the past this has led us down some interesting tangents and diversions, covering on our journey music that Hugin has composed for other bands, lyrics he's contributed to other bands, bootleg releases of dubious provenance, non-commercial releases done exclusively for friends, through to various aspects of artwork and video clips.  Today's post is something a little different again - music originally composed by Hrefnesholt being used on an album by Alpine band Sturmpercht.  

What better way to understand the back-story here than to ask Hugin himself for some background information:

"Max - the guy behind the band Sturmpercht and owner of the Steinklang label - is one of my best friends and he always helps me with CD productions, etc. He is really a great guy. One day he asked me if I still had any Hrefnesholt recording tracks, and I had some that he could use.  He and Stefan worked on that stuff and now the song 'Vieräugl' from the "Bergentrückt" album is based on my music!  Hrefnesholt fits very well with the whole Sturmpercht image so it was just a matter of time before we did something collaborative together!"

'Vieräugl' is the Austro-Bavarian diminutive of "Vierauge", literally meaning 'somebody or something having four eyes'.  Whilst it may well refer to something far more mysterious in this dark and magical Alpine context, nowadays the word normally applies to the Austrian Black and Tan Hound (which has distinctive fawn markings over its eyes, hence the 4-eyed look), the true descendant of the original Celtic Hound it is thought. It is a used for tracking wounded game, most commonly hare, in high altitudes, and apparently has "a lovely voice" if Wikipedia is to be believed: perhaps some of the spoken word parts on 'Bergentrückt' are canine in origin?!

So that's the (sole) Hrefnesholt point of interest in the album, but before we consider the song in particular let us quickly visit the concept behind the album and where that interesting title derives from.  During work on their sold-out 8LP anniversary box-set Sturmpercht - "the Austrian pioneers of Alpine Folk Music" - found the time to create a dark, psychedelic collection of scary tales based around the holy mountain of Untersberg, located near Salzburg.  The promotional blurb for the album notes, "don't expect typically nice Sturmpercht fairie-tales, beautiful folk songs or joyful drinking hymns..." so take that as advance warning!

According to legend, Emperor Frederick Barbarossa is asleep inside the mountain waiting until his resurrection. His beard is said to be growing longer and longer around a round table and to have grown round two times already: Myth says that when the beard has grown three times around the table the end of the world has come. When Frederick leaves the mountain, the last great battle of humankind will be fought on the Walserfeld, a pasture at Wals, west of Salzburg.  

Other legends say that it is Charlemagne waiting inside the Untersberg, taken care of by the 'Untersberger Mandln', small dwarf-like creatures. Every hundred years he awakes and when he sees the ravens still flying around the Untersberg he sleeps for another century.  

There are also legends about cave systems below the mountain, and stories that tell of people who went inside the hollow mountain to visit the Emperor and his folks living/sleeping there. In most of these tales the visitors thought were only inside the mountain for a few hours or days, but when they returned to the outer world - if they ever returned - many years had passed.  Such time-loss phenomena is common in fairy-literature across the globe, and is also a feature of a more modern variant on such stories - UFO encounters.  Anyway, this phenomenon is called Bergentrückung, and this gives us the title of the album.

This is certainly an album where understanding the language plays a pivotal role, as much of the emphasis is on the spoken lyrics that conveys the unfolding story.  Nazgul is not linguistically blessed, so the plot largely travels above his head like one of the Untersberg ravens in flight.  However, the music on 'Vieräugl' carries various hallmarks of recent Hrefnesholt releases, including the deep 'twangy' bass part (that sounds like a huge subterranean elastic band booming and boinging from the depths) and what you might lazily call "Alpine" effects (bells, etc) floating around too.  Quite what musical elements are original to Hugin as opposed to those which may have been tinkered with by Max is a question that can't be answered at the moment, as there has been no response to Nazgul's enquiry from the admittedly busy Sturmpercht camp.

Despite the language gap this remains a compelling auditory experience, and in a similar vein to the old Elisabetha demos the lack of comprehension of the finer points does not detract from an appreciation of the atmosphere and tension created by the music and lyrical intonations.

Nazgul was very fortunate to receive the two CD versions as a birthday gift from Hugin, and subsequently decided to add the vinyl version pictured above to his collection just to complete the set.  And a very attractive set it proves to be.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Elisabetha interview in Possessed Magazin

And this is....?  An online interview for Possessed Magazin dating back to March 2003

Recently Honour and Darkness featured a Hrossharsgrani interview conducted between Hugin and Possessed Magazin (sic), and lo and behold an Elisabetha equivalent also was found to exist!  Nazgul has edited the piece slightly for ease of reading, and it is otherwise reproduced in full below.

It is becoming rare now to find new Elisabetha material to cover, so this is something of a godsend for anyone still craving knowledge about this dark, vampyric project.

Please, tell us something about your band (history, members, recordings/releases, live gigs, label)?

ELISABETHA's Dark World……

"I was frightened, rooted to the spot and a cold shiver ran down my spine so much so I was almost paralysed. At the same time when the moon lit the grave the storm began once again.  Driven by great curiosity I came closer to the grave to find out what it was all about and why it was on such a deserted spot.  I stepped around it and read over the Dorian pole in German language:

Count Alexander Zu Sankt Magdalena
Looked for and found dead

At the top of the grave was stuck an iron pole, which was obviously driven through the marble.  Something phantasmical and scary lay over the whole thing. Through mysterious circumstances I had finally found after 131 years the Mentor for this project ... ELISABETHA"

Through the project ELISABETHA we developed our own niche of the 'occult radio play' built with a 4-track recorder, an attempt to adapt the fantastical literature of the 19th century taking into account Black-Metallic elements for contemporary musical theatre?

Our Releases so far:

1. "Durst Nach Unsterblichkeit" - A demonstration cassette: (In English: "Thirst For Everlasting Life"). It was the first part of Vampyr radio plays, recorded in the year 2000 to covering the bloody heritage of Lord Byron and Bram Stoker. The story tells about the bloody and weird adventures Jonathan Harker lived to see in Siebenbürgen. The cassette was strictly limited to 100 items and is sold out now.

2. The Song "Isten Szek - Gottes Sitz (Denn Die Toten Reiten Schnell)" - We put the song of our first demo in a edited version at the Lithuanian compilation CD "Atlantida Volume 8" released in the beginning of 2001.

3. The Song "Tanz Der Vampire": (In English: 'Dance Of The Vampyrs') We put this song at the Lithuanian compilation CD "Atlantida Volume 11", released in the end of 2001.

4 . "Bluthochzeit" 7" EP: The songs included here are not a continuation of Bram Stoker's novel; on the Blood Side you can hear the song 'Bluthochzeit', at the Ritual Side you will find the track 'Oratorium Draculae In Gloriam (Luzifergesänge)".  The EP is strictly limited to 100 copies.

5 . "Sterbegesänge" demo tape: There are songs included on this tape which have been never released before; it is a limited edition of 1000 professional copies released by the Portuguese Label Halluzination Zine, 10 songs (+1 hidden track) with a total running time of almost 63 minutes.

6. "Renfield" CD: The Bram Stoker story continues. Released in the beginning of the year 2002 at the German Label Schwarzdorn Productions, limited to 100 copies in its first edition. Here you can hear 2 tracks ('Besessenheit In Agonie-Renfield Ein Panoptikum Des Grauens' and 'Renfield Hedoniker In Demut Das Ethische Prinzip Der Sinnenlust') with a total running time of more than 45 minutes.

7. "Erszebet Bathori (Eine Ode in Blut) Kapitel 1" 7" EP - released as a split EP with the Austrian Viking Metal band Valhalla and limited to 100 copies. Here you can hear the first chapter of the Countess Bathory trilogy, a story about blood and everlasting life. The sotory of Elisabetha, perhaps...?

Forthcoming Releases:
(a) "Erszebet Bathory (eine Mär Aus Fleisch) Kapitel II" 7? EP - the second part of the Countess Bathory trilogy
(b) "Huren Dracula's" CD - the Bram Stoker story continues (on Blodmorfogh Productions)
(c) "Nachtmärfahrten" LP - the pure horror soundtrack (on Blodmorfogh Productions)
(d) "Isten Szek!?" CrR - a split release with October from the U.K. (on Odium Records)
(e) "Vampyr" 7" EP - vampyric avant-garde

The band: Investigators of the bizarre:
- Blutgraf Gha'agsheblah : Song concept, Bass, Vocals, Layout, Samples, Etc.
- Graf Alexander Zu Sankt Magdalena : Guitars, Synthesizers, Vocals, Samples, Programming, Bass,?

How would you describe your position in the wide-world metal scene? What do you think about the underground movement?

Elisabetha is the darkest side of the underground!  Through the Internet the underground becomes much stronger, so I'm not sure what is underground and which bands are not any more.

Which 3 CDs would you take with you to a lonely island?

a) Laibach – Opus Dei
b) Schwarze Stille – Licht und Schatten
c) Sophia – Herbstwerk

If you had enough money to shoot a video, what would the clip look like?

The video would be in the vein of an old Vampire movie, like the Hammer Horror films with Christopher Lee

If you had the chance to change one day of your life, which would it be and why?

To change the day of my birth into the day of my death

Which song will be played on your burial?

Laibach – Life Is Life

If you had the chance to kill someone and to bring back one person at the same time, who would they be and why?

I'd like to kill Hugh Grant – I hate his movies sooooooo much!
Hopefully Vlad Dracul comes back

What does 'Metal' mean to you?

What a question! The best part of my life!

What is your opinion on political lyrics?

Elisabetha stands for Vampyric Avant-garde – this is not compatible with politics…..

What can we expect from your band in the future?

In March 2003 comes the LP called "Nachtmärfahrten"; at the same time Odium Rex in the U.K. will release a split CDr with OCTOBER, and at the end of 2003 comes the CD "Huren Dracula's" at Blodmorfogh Productions.

Some of the items mentioned above but not widely available (for example, the split CDr between Elisabetha and October) have been covered in past posts here on Honour and Darkness, so it is well worth trawl back through the archives to revisit this older material.

Friday, 11 October 2013


Title: Cirith Ungol
Reason for update: The exhaustive list of Cirith Ungol releases previously reviewed turns out to be not so exhaustive after all....

Nazgul inadvertently omitted this unique variant of "Cirith Ungol" from the recent coverage of this epic album, so here we have a swift update to rectify the issue.

The proud owners are Nick and Michele, who have featured in Honour and Darkness posts before for their various spirited endeavours in supporting Hugin's projects.  Their specially created version of the album - containing the early demo version of the song on silver CDr - comes with a hard-written warning from Hugin to "watch out for the spider", and slightly different cover art.  

The front sports a more 'arty' and stylised version of the cover artwork from the official A5 digipak version, and most notably changes the colour tone of the rocks at the base of the cover to something a tad more psychedelic.  Clearly a result of something hallucinogenic in Shelob's venom... .

To finish: on an almost-random-but-vaguely-related spidery theme, an anagram of the names of our two custodians for this item works out as "The kind, crab-like intimacy", which is of course an immeasurably useful piece of information to know.  Interestingly, using Nicholas rather than Nick results in an alternative anagram for the pair of "Thickish, inalterably demoniac", on which worrying note Nazgul shall take his leave!

Wednesday, 9 October 2013


Title: Tunes From The Toilet, Vol. 1 [Various Artists]
Format: 7" black vinyl single wrapped in coloured paper sleeve, released on 29 March 2013 on the Continuum label (America), cat ref Continuum25, compiling electro/noise/experimental works from 55 bands!
Edition: 500 unnumbered copies

Track Listing:
A Side 
01. Wet Dream Asphyxiation – You Suffer    
02. Cryptic Yeast – Cougar In A Kiss Shirt    
03. Time For War! – Die With Me    
04. Ginger Cortes – Alguien Moda    
05. Waves Crashing Piano Chords – Homegrown    
06. Divine Shell – Floating Coffin    
07. Controlled By Fear – Beast Of Nazareth    
08. Conure – 14 Seconds Of Heaven    
09. Aterpe – Ez Zan Hil    
10. Decayed Race – Oppressed    
11. Beard Without A Mustache – Boot Licker    
12. Sunken Cheek – Indefinite    
13. Demonologists – Slobberjack    
14. Sketchy Foocker – Hard Candy    
15. Rectal Necrosis – Black Balloon    
16. Pusdrainer – Life Beneath    
17. Ronald Ray Gun – Banana Peels    
18. Hate Junkie – Empty Pleasures Of Sundered Flesh    
19. Sissy Spacek – Sentences    
20. Praying For Oblivion – The New Silence    
21. The Invisible Sundial – Please Stop Hurting My Feelings    
22. The Karmakumulator – Lysozyme Expansion    
23. To Die – 15 Seconds Of Hate    
24. Inappropriate King Live – Lost Noise Wall    
25. Sordo – Good Guys Go To Hell    
26. Bloater – Personality Collapse    
27. () – Powerelectronicviolencecore    

B Side
28. Glasgow Smile – Data Loss    
29. Tinnitustimulus – Popcorn Zoo    
30. Water Torture – Life Is Pain    
31. Cancer Scanner – Chemical Imbalance    
32. Foot and Mouth Disease – Eating Worms At The Fish Market    
33. J.O.B. Squad – The Whole Foockin Show    
34. Justin Marc Lloyd – Rechargeable Circuit Bowl    
35. Cheesecats – Hairball Remedy    
36. Rosy Palms – Flesh Totem    
37. Bmwr – I Sent Your Severed Cock To Americas Funniest Home Videos Pt 2    
38. Swallowing Bile – When Doves Cry    
39. Mister Potato Head Is A Tranny – Peter Stuck In Sex Face    
40. Orange Annihilator – Crustacean Excavation    
41. Suckghey Ss – Tokyo Throwback Sizzle Fry    
42. Rovar17 – Muerto    
43. Megwaas – Nascar Is The Fast Car    
44. Deceiver – In The Shadow    
45. Stdfn – Crapture    
46. ZZ – 0.553882    
47. Drén – Zablesk Radosti    
48. Cocaine Breath – Politicians Taste Like Dirt    
49. Young Skitts – Ace Hood Realest Livin Remix    
50. Instagon – A Glimpse Ov Thee Dark Invokation    
51. Tuurd –  Untitled    
52. Moon Chao – Laughing Monkey Hidden Chao    
53. Bert – Zwiernik    
54. Mind Transferral – Blasphemurderapevolution    
55. Uruk-Hai – Orc Tears  

Here we have one hell of a curve-ball: take one old-school 7" vinyl disc format, throw at it more sleazy, scuzzy, fetid and depraved bands than you can shake a stick at and release it through an underground American label on to an unsuspecting population.  For those unfortunate souls subjected to its micro-song torture tactics, it has a similarly profound effect on your well-being as would an unexpected detonation of TNT in your underpants.  Add to its frenzied mix a hitherto unknown Uruk Hai song, and confusion is sure to follow!

One look at the band names and song titles that populate this strange little release will pretty much tell you what you're in for: it's similar to past Smell The Stench net-release compilations for amusing band names and even more amusing noises.  Whether you would ever play it more than once, and whether it is truly possible to thoroughly enjoy from beginning to end, are questions for someone with more psychological qualifications than Uncle Nazgul possesses.  More depraved than a night out with Odium's Phil Knight and a motley gang of Welsh sheep, it's a pretty hard  release to describe or survive, and quite why Continuum thought anybody was in great need of such a bloody racket is anybody's guess.

And yet ... buried right at the end of this putrescent pile is a 15 second Uruk Hai song.  Yes, you did read that correctly: a 15 second long Uruk Hai track!  Known for expansive epics that sprawl over whole album sides, something this hilariously short is - to say the least - unexpected.  One might have pictured Hugin submitting a Bonemachine song to this sort of shindig - a ultra-violent burst of static, perhaps - or even something from WACH, but to find the Uruk Hai name associated with such a project is all a bit strange.  The 'song' is also nothing like you might expect, as it's essentially an extended guitar riff rather than anything keyboard based, which you might anticipate.

Andy Warhol famously said that everyone would have 15 minutes of fame, but 15 seconds would strain the ability of even the most media-savvy to make an impact.  One interesting thing that could occur in as little as 15 seconds, however, is the loss of consciousness caused by stepping into outer space without the protective benefits of a space suit, swiftly followed within a further 45 seconds or so by insufficient air pressure to keep your blood and body fluids in a liquid state, causing them to lose heat energy rapidly and to be frozen before they evaporated completely.  I mention this only because it would be almost preferable to experience that gruesome fate than to listen to this record for a second time!

The emergence from the primordial ooze of this strange little 7" release came out of the blue to Nazgul and Hugin alike: whilst Hugin recalled sending off the track to Continuum, the label seem to have pursued an 'independently spirited' approach to releasing the disc (read: not telling the artist they'd done it!) and it was only by chance that Hugin came across the thing online that he was even aware that something had actually come out.  Yet another example of a record label getting a bit ahead of themselves, and depriving at least one artist of their rightful copies or credit!

[Edit 30/10/13]: Hugin tells Nazgul that all is now well with communications with the label over this release, so well done Continuum and nothing further to report on that front!

There's not a hell of a lot even Nazgul can eke out of a 15 second flurry on the guitar to report intelligently, and as your poor decrepit Ring-Wraith is currently suffering from cold and fever the strength and willpower to tell you anything about the remaining 54 bands is sorely lacking.  Ultimately, with 500 copies available in this pressing, it's a curiosity of an item that many fans of Uruk Hai might be glad to pass over.  But then again, your next favourite band could just turn out to be Tuurd or the impressively named Mister Potato Head Is A Tranny, so far be it from Nazgul to warn you off this piece of warped plastic.  The clue is in the title, however...