Monday, 19 May 2014

THE LONG GREY ROAD - update II


Band: HROSSHARSGRANI
Title: The Long Grey Road
Format: Cassette tape release on the Wulfrune Worxx label (France) in 2014, cat ref WW444.  As is usual with Wulfrune Worxx releases, it comes with black photocopied inlays and in a hand-numbered edition
Edition: 44 numbered copies

Track Listing:
01. Intro  1.47
02. The Long Grey Road  9.24

Something of an oddity, this one.

Back in February 2010 Wulfrune Worxx published a demo tape featuring both Hrossharsgrani and Uruk Hai in their 'Split Series'.  This was, of course, the "Valkyrian Romance / The Long Grey Road" release, in an edition of 66 copies.  It featured the two Hrossharsgrani songs shown above together with a version of the epic 'Fimbulwinter' track.  As noted in the Honour and Darkness review of this release, the 'Intro' track was an old one recorded back in 2007 whilst 'The Long Grey Road' was originally conceived as the last part of the Lord of the Rings album trilogy after "The Secret Fire" and "Schattenkrieger".  This was also recorded in 2007.

So far, so good.

In 2011, the Australian maniac Leigh Stench released a 3" CD version of "The Long Grey Road" with colour artwork and in a tiny edition of 20 copies.  This lost the 'Fimbulwinter' song (which clocked in at over 15 minutes in length, rather more than a 3" CD would comfortably hold alongside the other tracks) and kept the other two.  And there you had it - the 'traditional' approach fulfilled of an initial tape release of a demo followed by a limited edition CD pressing, as has been done since time immemorial.

Which brings us to this unusual item: three years later, and for no obviously discernible reason, another tape version of the demo has been released.  And once again it comes out on the Wulfrune Worxx label, albeit with different cover art  - a different picture of a familiar scene, being the same Austrian ruined monument that graced the 1999 Hrossharsgrani demo "Krieg".  It's a rather odd thing, actually, as it's not an obvious instant seller (not that Wulfrune's market strategy seems to be mindful of such trivial matters) and puts back into the public domain two songs that were readily available on the original releases and which - by dint of being on tape - is not exactly on an in-vogue medium.

Most peculiar.

Still, there's no harm in revisiting old friends/songs with releases like this, and who knows: perhaps there's been a great uprising of popular opinion on social media sites for the material to be made available again.  Either way, it helps to keep the Hrossharsgrani name in the public domain in the absence of any new material, and that in itself can't be a bad thing!

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