Saturday, 26 October 2013

...SET SAIL UPON THE DEEP WATERS

Band: URUK HAI
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....

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