Saturday, 31 January 2015

DER PFAD ZUM TOR DER TOTEN > original artwork

Artist's monogram (see text)
"Honey, I shrunk the kids...."
Band: HROSSHARSGRANI
What have we got today, then?  The original artwork for the 1999 CDr demo "Der Pfad Zum Tor Der Toten"

Another delve into the curious mixture of items Nazgul has stashed away in the Castle Library reveals this interesting piece of original artwork, as used for the cover of the 1999 Hrossharsgrani demo "Der Pfad Zum Tor Der Toten".

A strangely unsettling image of vast misty mountains and red-hued sky, it has almost a Lovecraftian look to it, evoking thoughts of Lovecraft's favourite Cyclopean architecture, albeit in natural form.  The term broadly refers to the masonry style characteristic of Mycenaean fortification systems, and describes walls built of huge, unworked limestone boulders which are roughly fitted together with odd angles and perspective.  The term comes up again and again in Lovecraft's stories, usually connected with various cosmic horrors that are beyond human comprehension, and these mountains would surely give most readers a cold shiver or two if encountered in real life?  

So who is the artist behind this image.  Step forward Nikolaus 'Nick' Resch, pictured below, who - it transpires - was a work colleague of Hugin's some 16 years ago and who clearly had a talent for strangeness!  Not a well known artist, Nick has conjured up an image here synonymous with this early period of Hrossharsgrani recordings and which has successfully endured since then.

Nikolaus Resch
The original plan for this demo was to grace it with a cover from esteemed Tolkien artist John Howe, but to be honest Nazgul opines that the actual cover is probably perfect for the time and content of this dark and demented demo. 

The more artistic Lady Nazgul has taken a look at the piece and is of the view that it is acrylic paint on card, and given the size of it the plan is now to frame it accordingly and pop it on the Library wall.  A shame there is a crease across it (not guilty, M'lud, it was like that when I got it) but under glass it should smooth out pretty well. 

It's one of Hugin's favourites too, which probably explains how it came to be preserved for such a long time after the demo was released.

Incidentally, there is a pencil sketch on the back of the card of a naked woman reclined on what might be an altar in front of some form of entrance or doorway.  It looks quite likely to be the work in progress for an Elisabetha cover, it has that sort of look about it, though Hugin has no knowledge of it so perhaps the most likely explanation is that it's a doodle of Nick's from some other project?  Oh well - even if entirely unrelated to this post an entirely gratuitous image is pictured of it below!

We don't know either!

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