Saturday, 12 August 2017

ENSLAVED IN EVIL DARKESS - update II

Band: URUK HAI
Title: Enslaved In Evil Darkness
Reason for update: A happy resolution to the previous post!

It was back in June as I'm sure you all vividly recall when Nazgul recounted the rather sorry story of the "Enslaved In Evil Darkness" debacle, which largely centred on some rather dubious sounding activity by the label in question.

Well, let's take a minute to update you on that saga given a few developments that have since occurred.

To recap on the salient points: the tape reissue of this demo was advertised by the label as coming with a small colour poster - the copy Nazgul bought certainly didn't, nor did copies received by another contact in the USA.  No copies of the tape had at the time of the original post been sent to Hugin, whilst the label page suggested all their copies were sold out.  All of which reeked rather of a rip-off in progress.

Well, behind the scenes a few emails have done the rounds between the various parties involved, with the upshot that Hugin has now received his copies of the release, which is the main positive outcome as far as I'm concerned. 

The guy who sold Nazgul the tape featured in the original post (which came from Discogs, from a seller who may or may not be connected to the label directly, it's been impossible to determine) got in touch and offered to send a copy of the poster to me along with a free gift.  And sure enough, after a passing of a few weeks a copy of the poster did indeed plop through Castle letterbox, along with a rather nice double cassette featuring a set of Summoning cover songs by French band Muldeponie.

As far as Nazgul can untangle the version of events put forward, the poster was only supposed to accompany the first 10 or so of the 30 copies of the tape but due to a cock-up in how the label advertised it the impression was given that all copies were so blessed.  This may - or again may not - be entirely accurate, but Nazgul is happy to have secured a copy of the post nevertheless as it is rather nice.

I just wonder how many other owners of this particular release ended up with one...? 

So it does now seem to be a conclusion of all's well that end's well here, which is a nice thing to be able to report, and credit to the various people who invested time and effort to sort it all out.

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

TOTENFAHRT


Band: URUK HAI
Title: Totenfahrt
Format: Professional released CD in standard jewel case in full colour cover on the Winter Wolf label (Germany) in 2015, cat ref WWP0139.  Picture disc CD.
Edition: 100 unnumbered copies

Track Listing:
01. Totenfahrt (Einklang)  5.25
02. Totenfahrt  22.48

Leaving aside the advisability of naming a song so, particularly to an English speaking audience with a juvenile sense of humour, todays outing into the weird and wonderful ways of Uruk Hai sees us encountering another CD from the WinterWolf label.  There have been a few of these released in recent times, in low volume but to a high standard of finish, including "The Dusk, The Dawn, The Earth, The Sun" and the untitled "Split" release with Huluefni, both previously reviewed in Honour and Darkness.

By Hugin's own admission, the "Totenfahrt" CD is not particularly representative of the 'classic' Uruk Hai sound (assuming one can actually claim that there is now a classic sound, given recent variations of style) and is instead more of an experimental release.

It certainly forgoes the gentle synths and cautious melodies of other contemporary Uruk Hai releases, instead throwing fuzzy guitar riffs and martial drum patterns our way.  After the taster that is 'Totenfahrt (Einklang)' one proceeds directly into the meat and potatoes of the main course title-track, which booms and buzzes along merrily whilst gradually introducing a chiming bell (sounding not unlike the opening part of Black Sabbath's debut album being chewed up in a cement mixer), vocals, keyboards and all manner of musical japery.

It will take you more than a few listens to get your head around, and some less intrepid souls may give up on the lengthy second song before the varied diet appears part way through.  But this would be a shame, as this song grows on you, in the same insidious way that mould and moss invade a tombstone left to stand in boggy ground.

The main song does suffer a touch from what you might term the 'Man Vs. Food' syndrome: taken as a smaller portion it would be perfectly appetizing and palatable: as an enormous helping, however, it does tend to repeat on oneself and this can lead to a tad of indigestion.

That said, Nazgul imagines that WinterWolf could probably sell you a copy of this still despite its limitation of 100 copies, so there's little reason not to pop over to their online shop to spend some of your shekels.