Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Nazgul's Horde #1: Tapes

Nazgul's Horde #1: Tapes

As the years have passed the odd email still pops into Nazgul's inbox asking about the ever-growing Castle collection, mostly variations on a theme: how many tapes/CD's/box-sets do you have, how many items are there in the collection now, why don't you put up more pictures, et al.

Now, it's been quite some time since a general overview of the vast library of Hugin-based releases was posted up on Honour and Darkness.  In fact, looking back over past entries, the last time any sort of notable coverage took place was as part of the 'An Interview with Nazgul' post in December 2010, which is an awfully long time ago when you consider how prolific Hugin is at releasing stuff!

That post made reference to an approximate total of 350 items in the collection at that date, which included tapes, CD's, t-shirts and everything else.  I think it's safe to say the number has grown a little since then...

And so - an opportunity for yet another mini-series!  Given the apparent interest expressed by you, my honoured readership, Nazgul thought it might be fun / interesting / a good chance to show-off (delete as appropriate) to re-document elements of the Castle Nazgul collection and the result is "Nazgul's Horde".  

Taking it in bite-size chunks seemed like the sensible way to manage the project, so we begin today just with cassette tapes.  Indeed, the entire collection began with the purchase of a humble C60 tape in the shape of the "Honour" demo, and since then a positive avalanche of the things have found their way into the Castle coffers.  Almost all in fiendishly limited editions, some come in bags, some have things stuck on the outside of their boxes, some are unique one-offs and many have bonus tracks never released on other formats.  

There are demos here from the very earliest days of all of Hugin's manifold projects and bands, and yet there are tapes so new they sit pristine on the shelves and have yet to be reviewed in these virtual pages.

What you see below is the entirety of the tape collection as exist in standard cassette cases: to explain that caveat further, some tapes do pop up within box-sets alongside compact discs, and those sort of crossover releases will be scooped up under a general 'box-set' edition of this Series, at a future date.  So - to recap - we're purely looking at the standard C30-C90 style tape in a plastic hinged case in this post that were released in that specific format.  

By the way, these are physically released items too, of course: you'll appreciate that the 'From The Vaults Of W.A.R.' series had identified a number of pieces of inlay art that never were formally released, but that could be printed off with a decent printer and made into a mock-up of what an actual tape release could have looked like.  

Yes, Nazgul has been sad/keen enough to do that on a few occasions, but those are not included in the pictures below!

The tapes that don't exist....
Oh wait, I lie.... but that sneak peak is all you're getting of the tapes that don't get pictured in this post...!

I've pictured them all together to start with (gosh - there's quite a lot....!) and then have broken them down a little by band in order to make some sense of what you're seeing.  And of course, the odd note and embellishment keeps the whole thing moving forward until - quite frankly - you'll probably be sick of the sight of cassette tapes!

Right, so here we go - here's the current collection of Castle Nazgul tapes, some 245 in total at today's date!

Holy Hell - Smaug eat your heart out
Of course, this post and the accompanying pictures will be almost immediately out of date as soon as Hugin's next parcel drops onto the plush leather-wrapped desk in Nazgul's Library, but let's look on the bright side: any subsequent release can be the first entry in the update to this series that we'll schedule for ... ooooh, circa 2020 shall we say?

Breaking it down in to projects and groups, in which you can play the popular parlour game 'spot your favourite demo', we have the following subsets:


Well you knew it would be the biggest sub-set of all, but 125 different demos?!  That's a hell of a lot from one project, and many of these are so rare they make sightings of the Loch Ness Monster seem common by comparison.  I thought I had quite a few Uruk Hai tapes but even I was shocked to see them all laid out together like this...


A total of 36 Hrossharsgrani tapes grace Nazgul's collection, which is second only to the mighty Uruk Hai in number per band.  Some legendary and rare demos here as well as bespoke one-offs, definitely a Viking treasure trove.


With more landscape format tapes in proportion to the total of band demos produced than any of Hugin's other projects (7 of the 14, or 50% if you'd rather) this is far from a project that's gone sideways, though admittedly we've not seen much in the way of new material for a while, and certainly not in tape format. 


A collection of the truly odd here, including 3 different versions of the killer 'circuit board' split release with Novasak, the outstanding "Anti-Genesis" tape (here shown without the pink wire surrounding cage) and a copy of the Mystified/Bonemachine split without it's inlay ... which is somewhere else in the Castle at this time!  20 tapes in total.


14 tapes to get your teeth into here, including no less than 3 different versions of "Nosferat" alongside some rare demos and one-off master tape.


The weird and wonderful underbelly of Hugin's creativity: 2 Manwe releases; 3 from Heimatleid; 3 also from Eismond; 1 self-titled Hugin tape; 2 Guts For Dinner abortions (one in draw-string bag); and 1 each from ILL and Raben Nacht.  That makes a lucky 13 in total 


Some interesting bits and pieces find their way into this last sub-set, including the early Atlantida compilations, Hugin's "Hour Of Scare" collection and a rare Orcrist demo tape of "Fallen" released just for friends of the band. 23 tapes in this set.

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