Wednesday, 22 February 2017

ELBENJAHRE

 


Band: URUK HAI
Title: Elbenjahre
Format: Cassette tape release on the Wulfrune Worxx label (France), cat ref WW971, with stock tape but full colour cover (and a very special 'guest artist'...)
Edition: Hand-numbered to 33 copies

Track Listing:
Side A
01. Welcome To Isengard
02. The Door To The Paths Of The Dead
03. Northwards
04. The Orc
05. The Fall Of Gil-Galad
06. Minas Morgul (demo)
07. The Return Of The Shadow
Side B
08. Dreamscape
09. Rise & Fall
10. Follow The Wind
11. Holy Metal
12. The Sword Of Revenge
13. From The Ashes (first take demo)

You may wonder at the purpose of "Elbenjahre".  Well, let Nazgul inform you: it is, per the inlay, "a companion album to "Elbenglanz" - where Uruk Hai's legions of fans chose their favourite songs - this best-of collection features Hugin's own selection of personal highlights from the battle years 2004-2015!"

And thus each track above is hand-selected by the man himself in accordance with his own agenda and thoughts.

It immediately begged one question to Nazgul's tiny mind: why only the period from 2004?  After all, Uruk Hai has been around in one form or other since 1999 so there are five years of untapped material here, including some seminal demos such as "Darkness", "Honour", "Elbentanz" and others.  Most intriguing. 

And then another question jumped up: why are there two demo versions of songs here, rather than the final versions?  Does that imply Hugin preferred the demo track/first take version more than the final version, and if so why was the original recording superseded by an apparently lesser version?

Well the short answer to all of these questions is simply this: at the time that Hugin put this collection together these were the songs that appealed to him the most!  And if you were to ask him to do the same thing again now, you'd probably get a slightly different list!!

There is a CD version of this release coming soon on the English label Aphelion Productions, who have of course released Uruk Hai material in the past, so that's definitely one to look out for and of course Nazgul will update Honour and Darkness accordingly when the disc lands in the Castle library.

That might be the time to get into the whole concordance of which song comes from what demo/album, which is always something of an intricate process to manage and one that - to my shame - is beyond my available time this month.  Yes, Nazgul's real world existence is cutting into Honour and Darkness time once again, and may well do for a while this year as various changes take shape and cause me endless amounts of travelling and hard work.  B'ah!

For now, then, let's rejoice in just the existence of this very limited edition tape on the ever-loyal Wulfrune Worxx label.  An interesting fact gleaned from the inlay, by the way, is that there are two artists at work here, one of whom is Ruta Silders who did the front cover and the other is none other than Hugin's talented daughter, who did the inside cover.  Clearly a family business going on over there in Linz.

Will we get another new post before the end of this month, you ask?  Well, it's possible, but I wouldn't hold your breath... 

Monday, 13 February 2017

Uruk Hai > metal logo

Band: URUK HAI
Item: A large, metal Uruk Hai logo for display; old school style!
Edition: Only 5 made

It's been a terribly busy month in Castle Nazgul for all sorts of reasons that I won't bore you with here.  Suffice to say, as happens from time to time, the number of posts on Honour and Darkness has dropped since the start of the year as other commitments become pressing.

That said, your old Uncle Nazgul hasn't forgotten about you, sitting there with baited breath as I'm sure you are for the next exciting post in this seemingly never-ending (let's hope so!) saga.

So - it's a best of both worlds fix to the problem today: a brief post from my side, but something new for you to enjoy.

And it's a cracker - a genuine metal Uruk Hai logo, measuring around 7" by 10" (or circa 18cm by 25cm for you metric types), and milled from what looks like a piece of aluminium or similar light but tough alloy. 

It features one of the old school designs from this project, and (possibly) coincidentally one of Nazgul's favourite Uruk Hai logos.  This is the one that was being used circa 2003-05 on demos such as "Honour" and and which has periodically popped up since, including its use on the WinterWolf pendant featured not so long ago.

What a tremendous looking object this is though: it looks for the world like something a ninja might throw at you to cause maximum laceration and bloodless, so angular is the design.  Few things have ever inspired Nazgul to rush out and get a tattoo, but this is certainly one of them (though not, as you'll appreciate, to this scale!)

There are but a handful of these beauties floating around, all commissioned by Hugin and - in my case at least - forming a surprise gift over Christmas last.  And once again words fail at the kindness and generosity of the man.

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Castle Nazgul's epic Spring sale!

Nazgul's horde: it could be yours....
One of the joys of collecting something is that you can keep on finding and buying items until the proverbial cows come home.  Clearly in the world of Hugin-related memorabilia or releases, some releases are more common than others to find, whilst others are practically impossible to track down because of their age, limitation, or a combination of both.

Once in a blue moon (the last time being March 2011) Castle Nazgul throws open its doors through the ever-so slightly seedy world of online auctions, to pass on duplicates or spare copies of these rare releases, which have been carefully selected to be amongst the most collectible of items that any fan of Hugin's work could hope to own!

Today's post gives you an overview of the auctions currently live on that old warhorse, eBay, in order for you - the handsome, intelligent reader of this Blog - to be able to lay your hands on some collectibles that, quite frankly, you may well not see again for many a year.

Some of the items up for grabs are genuinely rare: not in the content of eBay sellers usual over-use of the word (where 'rare' items are available in multiples of dozens, if not hundreds, at a time from as many sellers), but genuinely hard to find in a 'scratch-my-head-when-did-I-last-see-one-of those?' sort of way.

Money-wise, I grant you they're not exactly priced to give them away, but do bear in mind that I've had to find and purchase them myself over time and in most cases I'm not seeking to profit from them but simply recoup what I've spent, plus cover postage costs.  Think of it as a service to you, my most favoured of readers.

Incidentally, if you buy multiple items (of these release, or indeed any of the other wonderful things I'm selling currently on eBay!) then we can work out some form of postal discount for sure.

For convenience, there are 2 links given per item: the yellow link takes you to the auction page, the orange link takes you to the relevant Honour and Darkness review.

So, let's dive straight into the goodies on offer:


ELISABETHA - Renfield CDr

Whilst you might imagine the early tape demos are the hardest things to find from Elisabetha's glorious history it's not the case: they are relatively common to find.  This CDr on the Schwarzdorn label is an entirely different kettle of fish!

In nearly 15 years of collecting Alex's music I've only come across 2 copies of this demo, which includes the one I am selling here.  Only 100 were ever pressed, and it's never been reissued (nor I suspect is it likely to be) so I'd say this is the chance to own a copy of this if you are still looking for it....


ELISABETHA - Eternal Deathvastation 3CD

Something of a cracker, is this!  3CD's that bring together the highlights of a number of past Elisabetha demos whilst sprinkling a few unreleased songs amongst them.  26 tracks in total, culled from the "Nosferat", "Isten Szek", "Blutrausch" and "Renfield" demos, the problem with this limited to 50 release is that few copies ever emerge and when they do they are fearfully expensive.

Fear not, this one is priced to find an appreciative new owner...


URUK HAI - Vereint Durch Die Kraft Uralter Wälder 3" CDR special set

A veritable smorgasbord of goodness in this tiny but perfectly formed split CDr between Uruk Hai and Black Metal horde Moloch.  And in a equally tiny release edition of only 50 copies too.

Your noble purchase comes in a special 'ancient sackcloth' package with 4 mini inlay cards, 1 colour postcard featuring both bands, 4 photos of Ukrainian and Austrian forests and mushrooms, and actual parts from Ukrainian and Austrian forests!  That's got to be better than a 'download card'!


B-MACHINA - Burn Down Psychosis 3" mini-CDR

Arguably one of the hardest of the early Bonemachine CDr's to find, this is a little gem and was one of the earliest posts on a fledgling Honour and Darkness back in 2009!  With only 15 numbered copies made I think it's fair to say you will find it nigh on impossible to find another once this has sold.

Without lapsing into my 'old fart' persona, as a long-time collector of this stuff this is only the second copy I've ever seen of this release so - as long-time Kerrang! journalist Xavier Russell used to put it - BUY-OR-DIE!


BONEMACHINE vs. MYSTIFIED split CDr

Yet another hyper rare outing from back in the day, this 2007 release on W.A.R. Productions came in a handmade felt bag (closed with wire) with a hand-painted CDr inside a round metal tin, and included a triangular-shaped inlay with the edition number and track details. A red tag tells that only 19 copies of this particular release exist, so when will you ever find another...?

WACH - The Fear 

Much like buses (in the sense you never see any, then they all come along at once), here are no less than 3 of the 4 parts in the WACH release "The Fear", missing only the Blue seal version.

You'll read in Nazgul's original post that they each came in a slightly different limitation, with the same core tracks but a bonus track unique to each colour version.  Very, very scarce to find these now as the edition numbers were so tiny, and you may even recall the difficultly Nazgul had back in 2009 in trying to get a copy of the silver seal pressing - and that's when they were new and available.

So you can choose between (or purchase all of) the following:

Silver Seal (21 copies only)

Orange Seal (22 copies only)

Green Seal (23 copies only)


URUK HAI - Legacy Of The Tyrant t-shirt

There were only 10 of these rather snazzy t-shirts made exactly one decade ago, in 2007.  For reasons lost to history Nazgul ended up with 2 of them, and let's be honest you can only wear one at a time can't you.

Hence the exceedingly uncommon chance to own the other one - size XL - for yourself!  It's not been worn, incidentally, should you be pondering the noxious effect of Ringwraith armpit fumes on your health and wellbeing, though will be given a good launder as it's a bit dusty from storage.... 


B-MACHINA - Promotional "Vogelfrei" Ceramic Mug

As the link to the post reveals, 5 of these promotional items were made and Nazgul ended up with a pair, one via Hugin and one via The Eastern Front in Israel.  Neither have ever been unwrapped from new, so mint is the word you're looking for to describe the one being sold here!


PROMOTIONAL FLYERS, CARD, BITS & BOBS
Well here's a treat for you.  Over the years Nazgul has amassed quite a lot of flyers, promo cards, postcards and other ephemera based around Hugin's many and varied projects.  So here I've selected a good mix of different items from a cross-section of his bands for you.  Expect to find something you don't have!

Contents may have the odd crease or fold as they are paper mostly, which is prone to that sort of thing of course, but as you can see there are items from Uruk-Hai, Bonemachine, WACH, Ravenclaw, Hrossharsgrani, Ceremony of Innocence and  more besides!


Loosen your purse strings, have fun, and good luck should you choose to bid...