Monday, 30 March 2015

LORD OF THE RINGS


Band: URUK HAI
Title: Lord Of The Rings
Format: This was a planned but ultimately unreleased demo from Uruk Hai circa 2006-2007, which would have been in CD format judging by the artwork size.
Edition: Never released

Proposed Track Listing:
01. The White Trees Of Minas Ithil
02. Enter Mordor
03. Rohan Riders
04. Gates Of Summer
05. Lay Of Leithian
06. Into The Mirror
07. Galadriel's Message
08. Keeper Of Nenya
09. Beneath The Moon, Beneath The Sun
10. May It Be
11. Helms Deep

#18 From the Vaults of W.A.R.


Today's rummage through the vaults generates a case of deja vu with a past entry in the series, namely "The Great Unknown".

Both that unreleased demo and this one ultimately coalesced (for the most part) into the "Lothlorien" album, of which there have been multiple variants issued over the years on tape, 5" digipak CD and a 4 x 3" discs in a special box-set.  So, let's do the same exercise here as we did for "The Great Unknown" and map out where the proposed tracks from "Lord Of The Rings" did in fact appear in the Uruk Hai discography:

  • The White Trees Of Minas Ithil - retained, as the short intro to Lothlorien
  • Enter Mordor - retained, becoming track 2 on the Lothlorien CD release
  • Rohan Riders - retained, and appears as track 3 on Lothlorien 
  • Gates Of Summer - retained, and became track 9 on Lothlorien 
  • Lay Of Leithian - retained, and became track 4 on Lothlorien 
  • Into The Mirror - retained as song 5 on Lothlorien
  • Galdriel's Message - retained as song 6 on Lothlorien
  • Keeper Of Nenya - retained as song 7 on Lothlorien
  • Beneath The Moon, Beneath The Sun - whilst not appearing on the CD version of Lothlorien, this was the final track 9 on the original cassette release of the album and track 9 on the Valgriind tape reissue.  It also appears on tape and CD versions of  "A Dark Force Shines Golden"
  • May It Be - retained, and became track 8 on the Lothlorien release (but track 10 on the tape version)
  • Helms Deep - Not used on Lothlorien, it makes its appearance as the opening song on "A Dark Force Shines Golden" and thus is also compiled into the "War Anthems" box-set
Just to clear up any confusion, this demo has nothing to do with the Wulfrune Worxx tape demo of the same title released in 2010, which stands as an entirely different release with different music and artwork.

Some great artwork accompanies this sadly unreleased CD, especially that on the cover.  The runic border recounts Tolkien's Ring Verse:

"Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky,
Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone,
Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die,
One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie."

and the image of a ship passing through Argonath (the Gate of Kings, a monument comprising two enormous pillars carved in the likenesses of Isildur and AnĂ¡rion, standing upon either side of the River Anduin) is a classic fantasy illustration from Tolkien's realm and looks really striking here.

Like many of these unpublished releases otherwise lost to history it's a pleasure to see some insight into what Hugin was plotting and planning back in the day, and also quite poignant that many wonderful looking demos or albums never actually came to exist.  The good news, of course, is that the proposed material from them most often did reach the outside world in one form or other, so from the aural perspective we've not lost out.  

And with the existence of the 'From the Vaults of W.A.R.' occasional series we can now enjoy these treats for the eye too!

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