Thursday, 8 October 2015

IRON AGE - update


Title: Iron Age
Item: A CDr created by Sergiy Fjordsson of Moloch for tracks to be included on the split vinyl release "Iron Age" released in 2010 with Uruk Hai.
Format: Recordable silver disc in plain black paper wallet, with hand written covering note
Edition: 1 copy

Track Listing:
01. I Remember Your Pain, Cartu
02. Coldness Of Mimir
03. Skold's Tears
04. Ancient Essence Of World Are Dead
05. Isengard (Uruk Hai/Moloch collaboration)

Something buried in the box marked 'random items' for you today.

We've seen a few of these sort of CDr's in the past on Honour and Darkness; items sent to Hugin from other artists, containing material for inclusion as their half of upcoming split releases.  Recent examples in this vein have included the Symbiosis contribution for "United" and the splendidly titled Maskinalegg with their "War Against Banana" tracks.

The item before you today originated in deepest Ukraine, and are the tracks for inclusion on what became 2010's "Iron Age" split vinyl 12" release between the mighty Uruk Hai and Moloch, prolific ambient black metal merchants from the town of Rivne.  Moloch is another one-man band affair, masterminded by Sergiy Fjordsson (also of Saturn Form Essence, who released the "Anti-Genesis" split release with Bonemachine).

The name Moloch, incidentally, derives from a deity to whom child sacrifices were made throughout the ancient Middle East.  The title comes from combining the consonants of the Hebrew melech ('king') with the vowels of boshet ('shame'), the latter often being used in the Old Testament as a variant name for the popular god Baal.  The laws given to Moses by God expressly forbade the Jews to do what was done in Egypt or in Canaan: 'You shall not give any of your children to devote them by fire to Moloch, and so profane the name of your God' (Leviticus 18:21). 

Contemporary scholars now debate whether the Hebrews did initiate their children to Moloch by fire or whether the law is a prohibition against the possibility that they might take up this custom.  Rest assured, there's no immediate evidence of burned bodies in Sergiy's back yard.

The accompanying note with this CDr identifies the 4 Moloch songs as 'only for the vinyl split' and includes the collaboration song 'Isengard' for good measure.  Sergiy requests that Hugin translate his song titles into German and to keep him in the loop with progress on the split and that's would be pretty much that, you would imagine.

What is interesting then, is when you look at the track listing of the final "Iron Age" release.  The final pressing features two songs from each band, plus the collaborative 'Isengard' as the final fifth offering.  Of the songs on Sergiy's CDr the two selected for inclusion were 'Die Alte Essenz Einer Inzwischen Toten Welt' ('Ancient Essence Of A Now Dead World', which tidies up the original song's title) and 'Skuld's Tränen' ('Skold's Tears').  Which then begs the obvious question: what happened to the other two tracks on this CDr, and was the original plan for this split release to be longer in duration?

Checking the obvious first, Nazgul had a quick peek on the Metal Archives search engine for the missing pair of Moloch songs - nothing there.  A quick check of the other Moloch splits with Uruk Hai also drew a blank: neither the 3" bag-set (if such a term exists?!) "Vereint Durch die Kraft Uralter Wälder" nor the 4-way split tape "Khvorost" feature the relevant songs.  Sergiy's note did clearly state that the songs were for this vinyl split only, so could it be possible that they are currently yet to feature in any of the band's official output.  And, whilst we're on the subject of asking awkward questions, who or what is the 'Cartu' being remembered in track one?  

The only online references to a 'cartu' brings up the Canadian entrepreneur and Ferrari tester Josh Cartu, who seems an improbable subject for Sergiy's paean, and Sorin Cartu who was sacked as manager of Romanian football champions Cluj in 2010 after he went berserk and smashed up the Basle dugout during a Champions League defeat - I think we can safely discard him too?!

Well, for the time being the second of those questions will have to go unanswered I'm afraid.  Hugin's recollections of this release suggest that there was a lot of last minute re-jigging and re-selection of songs by Sergiy as the release date neared, and that the final pair of songs were probably chosen later on and may also have been the result of time restrictions on the final running length to ensure optimum audio quality.  

Let's finish with a visual interpretation of the god Moloch: just hope that you don't bump into him on your way back from doing the school run...

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