Monday, 13 July 2015

DESTROYER (Part 2)



Band: URUK HAI
Title: Destroyer (Part 2)
Format: Silver disc CDr in a colour paper sleeve, issued in 2014 on the Smell The Stench label (Australia), no other catalogue information.  Information on the sleeve tells us that this track was an outtake from the "Glaurung" recording sessions.  Front cover shows "Destroyer" as the title, but given the remaining references cite "Part 2" in the name too and the original "Destroyer" song is on "Glaurung", this post bears the longer title.
Edition: 22 hand-numbered copies

Track Listing:
01. Destroyer (Part 2)  8.43

With a title like "Destroyer" you can't reasonably expect this song to deliver anything other than the proverbial 'kick in the testicles and upper cut' combination, can you?  Any namby-pamby ethereal wibbling around surely wouldn't meet the implied violence quota.  Just because Kiss toned down the original album art for their 1976 album 'Destroyer' as it was deemed too violent by their record company doesn't give Uruk Hai the excuse to go all limp-wristed on us, surely?

And behold - a tooth-loosening titanic guitar riff launches us off in properly belligerent style, and whilst the remainder of the song does gravitate down paths familiar to the patented Uruk Hai keyboard sound rather than take a Slayer or Cannibal Corpse musical detour through the woods, it's still a robust and rip-roaring song that breathes fire and head butts you all in one fell swoop, leaving you weak and trembling on the ground.  Much like Lady Nazgul's renowned gut-rot chilli, in fact, which packs a punch strong enough to leave a Barbarian speechless. 

The guitar riffs continue to mount up like the mutilated victims of a spree killer loose in Orange County, as keyboards build to a crescendo around them.  Simultaneously, percussive explosions (Hugin on his drums) detonate around the rapidly escalating crime scene like thunderclaps atop Mount Doom, and all this continues until a relative calm breaks out in the proceedings after around 6 and a bit minutes, as a piano (but note - a 'heavy' piano!) plays us out with a bit of class and a pause for breath.... 

The song is described as an outtake from the "Glaurung" sessions, which as you may know is part of a series of Uruk Hai releases known as "The Wars of Beleriand", which we will be covering in due course on these pages.  Glaurung himself was a fire-breathing Dragon,  known as Fire-drakes. Glaurung's body was covered with hard armour except for his underbelly which was soft and vulnerable. Unlike most dragons of fiction, he did not have wings and could not fly. 

He crawled or slithered on his belly like a worm. He was swift and lithe though he was of great size. Glaurung had sharper eyesight than the Eagles or Elves, and his hearing was keen as well. Glaurung's strength came from the evil spirit within him which also enabled him to speak. Those who looked into his eyes fell under his spell and he was able to manipulate them. Glaurung had a strong will and he was cunning and malicious. His body gave off heat and a terrible stench.  

Sounds like a tremendous dinner companion....

Partial to a bit of destruction himself, Glaurung broke the bridge into Nargothrond and burned the land around the entrance. He drove away his orcs and claimed the empty halls for himself, gathering all the treasures into a hoard to rest upon.

Nazgul will doubtless be having a poke around this Uruk Hai Trilogy and the stories surrounding Glaurung when "The Wars of Beleriand" hits the Honour and Darkness review schedule.

Only 22 copies of this release were pressed by Smell The Stench so very limited opportunities exist to buy one, though remarkably enough one is up for sale on Discogs as I type courtesy of an old friend of Honour and Darkness - check out Darkman's listings for this release and more from Uruk Hai (as well as a host of other weird and rare stuff), and if you purchase anything say "Hi" from Nazgul on your way through the checkout!  

Not entirely sure what the cover artwork is supposed to represent on this release, although it's laden with suppressed violence and looks vaguely dragon-like in nature, so let's assume it's the claws of Glaurung poised to strike us down in our tracks - and on that note we'll make a swift departure....!

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