Thursday, 10 November 2016

SIEGHETNAR / URUK HAI split – Independent Reviews!

Title: Split release with Sieghetnar
Reason for post: Here are two independent reviews of this older release, culled from the darkest corners of the Internet for you.  It's always good to get a bit of outside critical comment on Hugin's releases to balance out Nazgul's crazed dispatches, after all....

Once in a blue moon, or so it seems, someone other than Nazgul writes a review of one of Hugin’s releases online.  Much like waiting for a bus, not one but two independent reviews of the Sieghetnar / Uruk Hai split CD have now emerged from the primordial ooze at the bottom of the Internet, and as such – and to give you a respite from Nazgul’s constant monologues – here they are!  This release was last seen on Honour and Darkness over 6 years ago, believe it or not...!
 The first review comes courtesy of Metal Soundscapes
“Sieghetnar and Uruk-Hai are two bands with many similarities. First of all they both belong in the generic ambient black metal genre. Sieghetnar is the personal project of Thorkraft from Germany and Uruk-Hai the personal project of Alex Wieser from Austria. Both bands have released many albums and re-released several of them in various editions. Back in 2010, Nordsturm Productions released a split album with 3 songs of each band, which I only recently got in my hands. I guess better late than never.
The first part of the album belongs to Sieghetnar and lasts a little over 17 minutes. The band plays atmospheric instrumental black metal without any vocals at all and very limited ambient parts, compared to their other works. These 3 songs are based completely on the melancholic sound of distorted guitars that together with the discreet synth orchestrations create a dark depressive atmosphere. It is a very solid work from the band, who usually prefers to add long ambient parts in it’s works.
 The second “side”, which is much longer – over 31 minutes, contains the 3 songs from Uruk-Hai. With each composition lasting for about 10 minutes, Uruk-Hai perform their characteristic fantasy ambient soundtrack-like music. Epic atmospheric ambient synths are enriched by many samples and battle sounds. The 3 songs of this split are unusually “heavy” for Uruk-Hai standards, since they are full of distorted guitars and screaming vocals, both somewhere in the background, accompanied by beautiful ethereal female vocals, folk instruments and countless enchanting melodies. For me, this split is by far the best work Uruk-Hai has released the last years and one of their best ever!
I must admit I wanted this album mostly for collectible reasons, but it definitely exceeded my expectations, especially the Uruk-Hai side! If you don’t know these bands, this split is a perfect way to get a taste of their music, with very good songs from both of them. I have to inform you though, that Uruk-Hai usually move in more ambient instrumental paths in their other works.  
The split is released by Nordsturm Productions in a limited to 500 copies standard jewel-case edition, with a 4-page booklet illustrated by Alex ‘Hugin’ Wieser. Unluckily there are no lyrics and the package / artwork isn’t at the same level with the music.”
Reviewed by: dimiarch.  Rating: 8/10
Our second comes via Metal Archives:
‘Contemplation vs. bombast - 87%’
“Pairing these two bands was a good idea, as both rely heavily on atmosphere in their music.
 Sieghetnar: 83 %
 Sieghetnar continues in its good old familiar way: raw slow/mid-paced ambient/symphonic instrumental black metal with a cold, contemplative feel to it. The structure of the songs is, as usual, quite simple but they flow very well and keep the listener's interest up. The first track consists of only guitar and synth, and with a duration of only three minutes, serves more like an intro.
"In Spektren des Imaginären Lichts" has a strange fade-out at a bit after four minutes: the metal fades rather abruptly before the keyboard part that ends the track enters. This is the only thing that really disturbs me on this split. It interrupts the flow of the music, the transition between the two parts could have been done in a smoother way.
Flow is absolutely the keyword here, just like on Burzum's "Filosofem". Sieghetnar uses the same type of "hypnotic" elements to capture the listener. Thankfully "Versunkenheit" doesn't have any interruptions like "In Spektren..." and is therefore the best Sieghetnar track on this split in its melancholic splendour.
 Uruk-Hai: 90 %
 Uruk-Hai presents the listener with three well-produced tracks of highly cinematic, bombastic and enjoyable Tolkien-inspired ambient. This one-man band's discography is huge and definitely not all of it is gold, but for this split very good material has been chosen. It appears that when Mr. Hugin's on, he's really on.
 All tracks contain Tolkien-related samples, but I don't know their source. The best description I can come up here with is "Summoning without the metal parts". The music consists of powerful drums, majestic synths, piano, choirs and occasionally additional instruments like horns, violin, clarinet etc.
All tracks feature guitar occasionally as well but it's very down in the mix, only creating some distortion in the background. I'm not sure whether Hugin himself does any vocals here, or whether all vocal parts have been sampled. But as there are some black metal vocals too, I suppose it's either him or a guest vocalist. Thankfully these vocals aren't annoyingly hysterical 'n' screamy like the ones Pr. Sergiy (Moloch) does when he contributes vocals to Uruk-Hai. I've never liked that guy's voice much.
No use in picking out any individual track here as each picks up where the previous left off, creating a continuum. Uruk-Hai does very well at portraying Tolkien's world, these three tracks felt like three mini-movies.”

Review by: Pestbesmittad, August 13th, 2013

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