Tuesday, 25 November 2014
Band: URUK HAI
Format: Not formally released, so all bets are off, but from the artwork it looks like a CD and/or vinyl pressing may have been planned. A credit on the artwork goes to session member Krom (of Arkillery) for guitar and vocals.
Edition: 1 promotional copy only
01. Immortal Hordes
03. Minas Morgul
04. May It Be (Enya cover song)
#16 From the Vaults of W.A.R.
No, not a bizarre cover of the Faith No More song, this is another release of interest and wonder from the depths of the W.A.R. archives. Or, more accurately, another proposed release, as this rather tasty looking item joins the growing list of 'the things that failed to be', which may sound like a Metallica song but trust me ... it isn't.
The provisional track listing for this one is split into Side 1 and Side 2, implying to Nazgul's tiny mind that perhaps a vinyl release had been thought about in pulling this together. Hugin's original email with the image referred to it as the "unreleased CD" so perhaps the division of the songs was more a nod to the old school vinyl format than an intent to actually release something in that manner, as we know that the amount of vinyl releases in Hugin's discography is very small compared to disc and tape.
Clearly a bit of amateur sleuthing was required, which of course involved the always fun elements of having a chat with Hugin and hunting around on the internet for clues. It turns out that "Epic" was in fact a one-off promotional copy was made for the owner of No Colours at a time when Hugin was engaged in that ongoing mission for independent artists - scouting for potential labels to release his album. No Colours, it seems, felt that this material didn't fit with their other bands on the roster so declined to release it.
Looking at both the songs and the style of Uruk Hai logo we can pin this one down fairly accurately at around 2005/2006: the songs featuring Krom ('Iceland' and 'Northhammer') appeared on 2005's "Northern Lights" album, whilst the cover song of Enya's 'May It Be' appears on that album and also on "Lothlorien" a year later in 2006.
Other less familiar songs are more intriguing. 'Mithrandir' (being one of the many nicknames of Gandalf, in this case from the Sindarin language as used in Gondor and meaning Grey Pilgrim or Grey Wanderer) may well be the same as track 9 on the original "Thousand Lightning Strikes" demo of 2003. The song 'Immortal Hordes' on the other hand is previously unknown, so may be another gem from the vaults that has yet to be released or - equally possibly - has been released under a different title elsewhere.
The artwork shown is entirely suitable for the title, being grandiose and epic in its own right and really rather wonderful. It would have made a ... well, epic release had it come to pass....