Thursday, 22 January 2015

TEARS IN A BURNING EYE



Band: MANWE
Title: Tears In A Burning Eye
Format: Cassette tape release on Wulfrune Worxx (France) in 2014, cat ref ULV500.  Black and white copied inlays, and a standard C60 style cassette with recording on one labelled side.
Edition: Hand-numbered and limited to 22 copies

Track Listing:
01. Tears In A Burning Eye
02. Tears In A Burning Eye (Radio Edit)

The arrival of new Manwe material is about as regular an occurrence at Castle Nazgul as the passing of Halley's Comet, so this small offering might just have to sustain us for another 75 years or so before something else crosses our orbit!

Released by long term supporter of Hugin - the inestimable Skogen, of Wulfrune Worxx fame - it is as fun to listen to as it was unexpected to receive.  The song had originally been a one-off collaboration between Hugin and Rich Davenport, the English guitarist/vocalist who was part of the line-up for the Joe Matera mini UK Tour of 2012, and it had principally been recorded for the proposed second part of the compilation "The First Ring".  

Incidentally, this latter 2-disc compilation is now out and quite stupendous it is too, both in terms of the quality of the presentation and of the music on there.  More of that one in a future post....

Longer term readers may recall Manwe's original demo "First Battle" being reviewed back in 2009, in which a 'troll metal' approach was the order of the day with vocals (from the refreshing perspective of an orc in Middle-Earth) being provided by Padre Adamo.  That demo still pops up for sale online, in both tape and CDr format, and for the low amount it will cost you is well worth seeking out.  Absolutely no relation in style to this latter tape, however, except for the tenuous bloodline of the band name.

Oh no, 'Tears In A Burning Eye' is a far more polished affair with 'clean' vocals from Rich (to quote Hugin, "he really did a good job!") and a melody/chorus you could pick up on and quite happily hum for the rest of the day. Nothing mentioned whatsoever about splitting hobbits in half, or the trials and tribulations of a day in the life of a hard-working orc!  

Revisiting the song again after a good few years shows it to be undiminished in terms of its overall catchiness and quality, and as well as the main version you get Hugin's 'radio edit' thrown in for good measure too as a different mix.  It may seem a bit funny to consider any radio play would be made of a Manwe song, but when you consider the amount of online radio shows (not least, Rich Davenport's own podcast of a very good rock show, and other places like Radio Rivendell) then perhaps the concept of Hugin on your wireless isn't so strange after all...?

What else can Nazgul tell you about this release?  Well, in an edition of only 22 copies you're not likely to find one easily now is a sad but true fact of life.  Skogen has done his usual quality black and white artwork for this release, which features on the cover the same British model - Elisabeth - who starred in the artwork for Uruk Hai's "Black Blood, White Hand" CD.  

The catalogue reference on this tape is interesting too, as it differs from the standard 'WW' prefix for Wulfrune Worxx releases of old.  Asking Hugin the significance of the "ULV500" reference revealed ... well, nothing actually, as Hugin had forgotten what Skogen had told him it signified.  Poor old sod, keep taking the fish oil!  Not wishing to leave his valued readers in the lurch, Nazgul aimed his black breath in the general direction of Skogen's French lair and discovered that ... errr, well nothing either, as we've not had a reply as yet. But as soon as I know, you'll know! *

* UPDATE FROM SKOGEN!

"Back in the day, with Chanteloup Créations (CC), catalogue numbers were "awe" for tapes and "woe" for CD's (a few of which have been released), which are the actual English words, not acronyms. 

Then CC ended in terms you probably know. I gave birth to its follow up which was Oakenshield, sub label of Adipocere who printed the CC CD's to honour the plans of scheduled releases. The 3 letters at the time were supposed to be FDG ('Fucking Degenerated Generation' from the W.A.S.P. song). Adipocere misunderstood (as usual) and the FDG turned in FPG. 

When I came up with Wulfrune Worxx, I wanted to keep up the 3 letters word tradition but nothing came up in my mind at this time so WW was chosen. Then I thought of the Swedish/Norwegian word 'ulv' (linked to the name of Wulfrune) but i was uncomfortable with changing the catalogue WW so late in. 

And then I decided: WTF, i can do what i want!  So from #475 ULV replaces WW. So this is all the story ..." 

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