Thursday, 14 December 2017

THE AMELIA EARHART FLIGHT


Band: ALEXANDER WIESER'S ADVENTURE
Title: The Amelia Earhart Flight
Format: This is a promotional CDr in a colour paper cover which came slipped inside a clear plastic wallet, on the back of which is a round sticker with the edition number.  The music was recorded in February 2016 at W.A.R. Studio and first released/advertised on the W.A.R. Productions (Austria) Facebook page on 21 December 2016.
Edition: 10 numbered copies

Track Listing:
01.  Adventure Is Worthwhile In Itself  17.38

Well here’s a turn-up for the trouser leg: our (almost) annual one-of-a-kind events where something weird and unexpected falls out of W.A.R. Productions and onto the desk in Castle Nazgul.  This time around, we’re experiencing the first ever release from Alexander Wieser’s Adventure.  It has a certain ring to it, that name, reminiscent of band’s like Arjen Lucassen’s Star One for example.  A palpable sense mystery and grandeur comes from using a name in the proceedings, so it’s with a keen sense of anticipation that we press on to see what this release is all about.

First things first: it’s a promotional-only CDr at this time, with only 10 copies being advertised via Facebook.  This copy is numbered #1 (which is jolly kind of Hugin – sorry, Alexander Wieser, as we should call him today) given that there are many keen fans all clamouring to get the first number in an edition of any of his releases now.  I probably should go on record to say that Nazgul isn’t at all precious about having to have copy #1 of anything ,by the way, and it’s great that many of you reading this will probably have a few early-numbered copies of releases in your own collections too, but I am appreciative of Alex’s kindness in this regard.

The subject of this release is, as you will have intelligently surmised from the title, Amelia Earhart.  Quite the person, was Amelia: she was the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, in 1928, and received the U.S. Distinguished Flying Cross for this achievement. She set many other records in her time:  Amelia wasn’t scared to dream, or to try – she was the first woman to be issued a pilot’s licence all the way back in 1921. She tragically disappeared during a 1937 attempt to circumnavigate the globe in her aircraft, but her legacy lives on and she continues to inspire people today with her spirit of adventure.

Rather difficult to conceptualise all of her career into a 17 minute song one might think, and of course you’d be mad to try, so I think Alex has drawn upon the inspiration of Amelia’s pioneering spirit in stitching together this fascinating track that is genuinely the finest thing I think I’ve heard from him this year.  There’s some tremendous melodic guitar in this song, which dominates the piece in a good way.  There's also some sporadic whispered vocals, the expected-but-still-excellent keyboard and effects bit (including at the beginning, with a nice thunderstorm/aeroplane segue) and a spoken word segment from Amelia Earhart which is both poignant and interesting.

I’m not sure at this stage what the prognosis for this song or project is, but it’s something that really needs to be heard in far greater numbers than the 10 of us who are sitting on this copy.

Oh, if you were curious about the origin of the song title you may be interested to learn that it derives from a fairly famous quotation from Ms Earhart herself:

“The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process is its own reward. Adventure is worthwhile in itself.”

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Hexenreich sampler March 2009 [V/A]

Band: URUK HAI
Title: Free Sampler March 2009 [V/A]
Format: A promotional CDr jointly released on the Hexenreich and Arhailised Helid labels (Estonia) in – believe it or not – March 2009.  It has a card sleeve and silver disc, and promoted bands with releases on those labels back in the day.
Edition: unknown

Track Listing:
01.   Urt  *  Me Ürgsed Juured (Murdja)   
02.   Bestia  *  Mälestus Kustutab Leegi   
03.   Realm Of Carnivora  *  Unclean - Hymn to the Filth   
04.   Sorg Innkallelse  *  Captive in Hell   
05.   Urt  *  Läbi halli udu (Bestia cover)   
06.   Bestia  *  F.S.   
07.   Simbioz  *  Крещеный Кровью    
08.   Kirst  *  Land of Stolen Dreams   
09.   Realm Of Carnivora  *  Üle Laipade   
10.   Sorg Innkallelse  *  Lethal Invasion   
11.   Uruk Hai  *  Dark

Here’s a quick post to kick-start the month of December and the run up to the festive season.  And gosh, it’s been a while since one of these Hexenreich CDr’s appeared on Honour and Darkness: you have to go back to December 2010 for the last time such a sampler was featured in fact.  7 years ago – how you’ve all put up with Nazgul’s endless wittering for all this time I will never know, but thank you for sticking around!

It’s the sort of a disc that Hexenreich would have popped into your mail order back in the day, and that by and large was probably listened to once (if at all) by the recipient before being discarded somewhere as an unimportant souvenir of that particular purchase.  Which is a shame, as they act as little time-capsules really, telling you what bands were on the label(s) at the time and where in their recording history they had reached.

As is the case with the Uruk Hai song that props up the 11 tracks on offer: ‘Dark’ was one of the bonus songs on the original tape release of “Northern Lights” on the Hexenreich label, albeit that is was actually released in 2005 so quite some time before this promotional item was dreamt up.  As to the rest of the sampler, I have to confess not to be familiar with most of the rest of the bands, though a combination of the words ‘noisy’, ‘black metal’, ‘folk’ and Viking metal’ would probably cover most of the bases.

The reason for this unfamiliarity is that this is one of those troublesome releases that currently is not housed within the Castle Nazgul vaults, so if you have access to a copy that you’re looking to sell then you know how to make Nazgul’s Christmas a brighter place!

Thursday, 30 November 2017

UNHOLY MATRIMONY [V/A]


Band: HROSSHARSGRANI
Title: Unholy Matrimony [Various Artists]
Format: This is a 64 x file (MP3) that was collated and released on the Smell The Stench label (Australia) on 24 December 2008, catalogue reference sts-net 400 .  There has been no official physical release of this compilation.
Edition: unlimited (at the time of being uploaded to the STS site)

Track Listing:
1-01.  Stigma Diabolicum & Zarach Baal Tharagh  *  Unholy Union  2:52 
1-02.  Slut Kull  *  I Ain't Gonna Murder Anybody On Our Wedding Day  4:12 
1-03.  [C. T. D.]  *  Vocal Improvisation For Leigh And Mandi  2:38 
1-04.  Silas Ciarán  *  Vous Aimez Seulement Les De La Ville  5:48 
1-05.  Rats With Wings  *  Misogamist  2:47 
1-06.  Bruital Orgasme  *  Music For Honeymoon  3:35 
1-07.  RedSK  *  A Happy Union  1:52 
1-08.  Endometrium Cuntplow  *  December  4:58 
1-09.  Screwtape  *   Love Ascends  5:42 
1-10.  Prodvkt  *  A March For Leigh  4:21 
1-11.  Ewe  *  La Voix De Ghoby Part 2  1:39 
1-12.  Flat Affect & DRK  *  Moreover  5:36 
1-13.  Mystified  *  Tumble  3:40 
1-14.  Some Asian Female Bodybuilders & Mixturizer  *  Torturexploitation / Goddess Heather  4:33 
1-15.  Rabbit Girls  *  Doves  5:50 
1-16.  Tainted Corrosive Mist  *  #16 (A Drone'n'noise Wedding)  4:38 
2-01.  Not Half  *  The Honeymoon  4:59 
2-02.  Chav Stabbe  *  First Waltz  5:00 
2-03.  Flippin Idiots  *  Legion  4:57 
2-04.  Crnich  *  Mandleighville  4:12 
2-05.  Soma  *  Happy Wedding  5:00 
2-06.  +DOG+  *  Sodomized Priest In Flames  2:51 
2-07.  Nihilistic Front  *  Poison Gas Attack  4:59 
2-08.  Herz Tod  *  Destructions (Remix - Zarach Baal Tharagh) 2:29 
2-09.  UNIT731  *  Cum Transmitter  2:00 
2-10.  Necroanal  *  I'm Getting Married, Too! (To My Right Hand, We've Been Dating For Years)    
2-11.  Extreme Volume Pop  *  Wedding Day  4:06 
2-12.  Fuck, The Retarded Girl  *  'Ave Yourselves A Lovely Otis Redding  1:16 
2-13.  Villain  *  Dance  3:54 
2-14.  900piesek  *  Full Moon  4:42 
2-15.  |n|!|g|h|  *  I Conjure No Life  3:44 
2-16.  Razxca  *  Untitled 465h5t Partial  2:34 
3-01.  Novasak  *  A Commitment To Noise  4:54 
3-02.  Zebra Mu  *  I Do  1:23 
3-03.  KZ9  *  Spread Baby Stench In The Face Of Allah!  4:54 
3-04.  Armenia Z024  *  Muslo 02  3:12 
3-05.  Doldis  *  Bröllopsdag  5:15 
3-06.  Hrossharsgrani  *  Terminate  5:51 
3-07.  Abraxas_apparatus  *  1L2A  1:26 
3-08.  Flutwacht  *  GFG  5:07 
3-09.  Hatesound  *  Ships In The Night  4:18 
3-10 .  Trend Basher  *  Untitled  3:15 
3-11.  Sick To The Back Teeth  *  Morning Gift  4:57 
3-12.  Gorgonized Dorks  *  Dead Dream  7:37 
3-13.  Heirdrain  *  In Life Beyond Death  4:24 
3-14.  Infested With Maggots  *  Untitled 4 Leigh And Mandi  4:30 
3-15.  Hybrid Frequency  *  Just Like Me  4:10 
3-16.  Cat.n.Bone  *  And Again A Set Of Utensils Into A Gift To A New-Married Pair  1:11 
4-01.  Ego Death  *  Click  5:00 
4-02.  I Spit On Your Grave  *  Hatchet For The Honeymoon  4:02 
4-03.  I;C;O;C  *  JjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjJFbBTIIIIIi XzX  4:46 
4-04.  Duct Tape  *  Sadist Tribute  1:58 
4-05.  Undecisive God  *  Spinning Gerogerigegege  4:23 
4-06.  Mixturizer & Hinyouki  *  Inhumanity / Zangyakuhidou  4:59 
4-07.  The Noisettes  *  Soldering Mesons  3:14 
4-08.  Dotåbåtå  *  The Stench Of Wedding Bells  4:56 
4-09.  Flower Of Flesh And Blood  *  For Leigh And Mandi  3:35 
4-10.  Bicycle Sighs  *  I Am Not The Girl That You Think You Are  4:56 
4-11.  IDO59  *  Flyby  5:01 
4-12.  Innominus  *  Seremonia  4:53 
4-13.  Zieltogend  *  XXIX  4:39 
4-14.  Socialistic Jonny Goblet  *  Smell The Nuptuals  3:32 
4-15.  Sliced Up Junkie Cunt  *  Was Si Muess Muess Si  2:54 
4-16.  The Helmut Bernecker Noise Gore Experience  *  All The Best And A Wiener Schnitzel  1:39

There’s not a lot you can say about a monstrous compilation like this one, other than be prepared to be shocked, repulsed, intrigued and ultimately exhausted in equal measure.  The ’net’ label side of Smell The Stench had a fine history of downloadable releases numbering into the high hundreds and around every 100th release they’d put out a gargantuan release like this one, bringing together as many noise-mongers from the Melbourne/wider Australian territories as possible, then adding in overseas contributions until saturation point was achieved.

This particular effort – the 400th net release, as reflected in the catalogue reference – was a 2008 event issued to celebrate the wedding of Leigh (Smell The Stench co-founder) and Mandi Stench.  And, as can be seen from some of the more entertaining song titles, many of the bands took the opportunity to make pertinent and relevant comments on this newly achieved nuptial bliss in their contributions.  Other songs seem pretty much to have been shoe-horned in for the hell of it, one of which being the Hrossharagrani contribution ‘Terminate’.

Normally one might have expected a noisy affair from Hugin’s Bonemachine project to have found its way onto this sort of collection (which, in fact, has been pretty much the order of things for previously reviewed STS endurathons) so to find a song by Hrossharsgrani is unexpected.  But then this was the period (2009) in which they went a bit industrial on us, moving away from their traditional Viking-influenced metal assault, so perhaps it was just the sound that Leigh was looking for?  ‘Terminate’, you may recall, appears on the somewhat abstract “Pro Liberate Dimicandum Est” album.  And, of course, Smell The Stench went onto release a few Hrossharsgrani titles after that time too such as the 3” CDr pressing of “The Long Grey Road” so this association led to interesting things in the years to come.
  
Other than a picture of the happy couple on their wedding day (below – don’t say Nazgul doesn’t try hard to get this stuff pulled together for you) there’s probably nothing more to say other than to reiterate the wise words of the Helmut Bernecker Noise Gore Experience: All The Best And A Wiener Schnitzel.

The happy couple: Mr and Mrs Stench

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

ORKSTAHL - update II

Band: Uruk Hai
Title: Orkstahl
Reason for second update: Copy #2 for reference!

So back in September Nazgul ran a little update on the different metal squares that adorned the three versions of the “Orkstahl” release that he’d been lucky enough to come across: the promo version, and official copies #1 and #3.  There were subtle differences between these items, leading to Nazgul floating the inevitable question out there:

“Perhaps if you are the proud own of copy 2/3 you might like to send me a photograph of the plate for a comparative analysis...?!”

And lo and behold, thanks to the kindness of spirit of its own, one Michael Linner, we are today able to post an exclusive look at Orkstahl copy #2!

And the inevitable conclusion we draw is that there are similarities for sure with the patina and indeed pattern visible in copy #1.  That said, as a pair they are different to both copy #3 and to the promotional #x/3 copy that Nazgul has.  So what do we make of it all, you might ask?  Errr … well, we’ve learned that there are some very generous people out there (thank you again Michael) and we’ve learned too that perhaps Nazgul spends a little too much time pondering such matters. 

Needless to say, it did raise another question in my tiny mind: if we’ve now managed to track down photos of all 3 official versions of this release, what are the chances that we could continue to identify existing copies of other highly limited but varied editions of past Hugin releases?  I’m thinking of such past gems where we know there are varietal types out there, such as the Novasak/Bonemachine split tape, or the Bonemachine “Another Time” wooden box set with all of its different badge variants.

And then there are the releases where there may be different variations between them – for example “Harvest” –but where the absence of any other images to compare Nazgul’s copy to means we just don’t know!

So go on, raid your collections and have a look for those hand-made, hand-decorated limited edition deluxe wooden treasure chest releases with badges,  trinkets or whatever the hell they have, and shower Castle Nazgul with some photos of your horde so that we can do some more cataloguing!

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Followers Of Honour And Darkness ... #9

Now I know it’s been a while since we had an entry in the occasional series “Followers of Honour and Darkness” but this – the ninth so far – comes a long time after our last episode.  If someone had asked Nazgul to quickly guess when the eighth entry in this series was I’d have guessed maybe a year or so ago, maybe eighteen months at a pinch.  Well knock me down with a hobbit’s handkerchief when on checking it was actually back in March 2014 that we last did one of these!  Either you people are overly shy, or Nazgul needs to start cajoling some more victims to come forward!

Coincidentally, as it was for entry #8, the individual in the spot light today was again recommended by Hugin himself.  However, you can volunteer your own collection to be put in front of the world by the simple expedient of dropping your old Uncle Nazgul an email at the address shown in the side panel.

But enough of the preamble, let’s meet today’s guest and self-confessed Huginophile: Kamil…

(1) Welcome to Honour and Darkness: tell us your name?
Hello. My name is Kamil Jabłoński

(2) And where do you live?
I live in Jaworzno, a city in southern Poland

(3) Your age?
I'm 27 years old

(4) What do you do for a living?
I work in small chemical manufacturing plant in Mysłowice, which is about 20 km from Jaworzno

(5) Your favourite style of music?
Hmm, now, I don't have one favourite style. I often listen to black/pagan/Viking metal, to ambient/other 'electro' and also pre-war music, but only from 20's-30's.  I enjoy a little classical and other styles besides

(6) Your favourite other bands?
Bathory - my very first metal ‘love’ (and Quorthon was my first musical mentor/master).  Also Lord Morbivod's bands (Trollech, Umbrtka and others - Morbivod is my second recognized ’master’); Thrudvangar; Falkenbach; Hel (from Sweden);  Graveland; Lebensessenz; Menhir; Nebelhorn; Hellhammer; Toroidh and more from other genre's too.  And not forgetting Adam Aston, Tadeusz Faliszewski, Hanka Ordonówna, Mieczysław Fogg - my favourite four from the 1920's-1940

(7) How long have you been reading Honour and Darkness?
My first encounter with H&D was partway through 2009 - I was searching for Hugin’s release for download and it was came up in the search. I don't remember exactly which day/month, but most likely between June-September is a good guess.

(8) How did you first come across Hugin's music?
It's came about in my ultra-sentimental era (2008-2009). In December 2008 I was searching for ‘clean’ Viking metal bands on Metal Archives and came across Hrossharsgrani's profile - at this time Hrossharsgrani was classified as such. I read the discography, and over the next few days I was thinking about the band. Finally, on December 24/25  I downloaded first “The Secret Fire” and then “Schattenkrieger” and listened to them: they were strange for me, but not bad.

After the new year I listened again to “The Secret Fire” and in that moment Hrossharsgrani became a great band for me. I also downloaded "Of Battles, Ravens and Fire" and for long months that was all of my exposure to Hugin’s music. Around August 2009 I came across Uruk Hai, then Elisabetha in September, and then between October and December I discovered Bonemachine and Manwe (on Myspace). Other bands followed after this date.

In November 2009 I was download the “Rehearsal 1999” from Hrossharsgrani: for a long time it was my opium, and ‘Der Pfad Zum Tor Der Toten’ is my very favourite song from Hugin music today, and forever. And today, Hugin’s music is a vital part of my life and Hugin is my third recognized ‘master’ (but first in my music collection) and the one with the most vivid recollections from my best years, 2008-2009, when was 17-18 years old.


(9) What does your collection of Hugin's releases look like?  How many titles do you have?
Here is my small collection:

BONEMACHINE & B-MACHINA
  • Zeit
  • Endzeit
  • split with Rei Rea
  • split with JeFF
  • Combat
  • Weiss (B-Machina split with Miel Noir)
  • Crypt Child (with Kenji Siratori)
 CEREMONY OF INNOCENCE
  • Der Rote Glanz Der Flammenfee
  • Our Fire Burns
  • split with Onyx
 DRACHENFEUER
  • Realm Of Light (CD and tape versions)
EISMOND
  • Demo 1/2010
  • Behind The Moon We Are Looking Into The Distance
  • As We Hide The Moon
 ELISABETHA
Tapes
  • Demeter
  • Sterbegesange
  • Uber Das Prinzip Der Unschuld
 CD's
  • Vampyr
  • Und Wirklichkeit Erfüllt Die Seele Wieder
  • Uber Das Prinzip Der Unschuld
  • Morella
  • Transilvanischer Hunger
 GUTS FOR DINNER
  • Demo 1 tape
  • End Of Time cdr
 HREFNESHOLT
Tapes
  • Hrefnesvinter
  • Heidensturm
  • Uraungst (Percht)
  • Woid & Geist
 CD's
  • Heidensturm
  • A Haund Voi Dreck
 HROSSHARSGRANI
Tapes
  • Kampf
  • Die Ruckhehr Zum Pfade
  • Pro Liberate Dimicandum EST part I
  • Pro Liberate Dimicandum EST part II
  • ... Of Battles, Ravens & Fire
 CD's
  • Ancient Tales (with poster)
  • ... Of Battles, Ravens & Fire ... (2000)
  • The Secret Fire
  • Schattenkrieger
  • ...Of Battles, Ravens & Fire ... (2005)
  • Sanguis
  • Pro Liberate Dimicandum Est (2cd)
  • Deat:Meat
  • Father:Land (V/A)
  • Das Ende Des Pfades (b/w cover)
 ILL
  • H.E.A.V.E.N. & H.E.L.L.
  • A.N.G.E.L.
 MANWE
  • First Battle tape
 SOLID GREY
  • Pull The Strings Tighter
 URUK HAI
Tapes
  • Elbenwald
  • Honour
  • split with Arkillery - Von Blinkenden Schwertern Im Reiche Des Nordens
  • split with Vinterriket - Nazgul/Landschaften Ewiger Einsamkeit
  • Valhall
  • A Night In The Forest
  • Barbarians (Orcish Battle Hymns II)
  • Enslaved In Evil Darkness (2005)
  • split with Symbiosis - United
  • Dragons Of War
  • The Battle
  • A Viking Journey
  • Songs From The Woods (2005)
  • Lost Songs From Middle Earth
  • Black Blood White Hand
  • Spirits - From The Ancient Worlds
  • Spirits - From The Past
  • Lothlorien
  • Gil-Galad
  • Songs From The Woods (2011)
  • split with Wear And Tear
  • split with Muldeponie
  • Elves & Men
  • split with Crucifixxx Sodomy
  • Twilight
  • Elbenglanz
  • split with Balrog - The Ashes Of Battle
  • split with Skoll - Through The Mountains Mist They Came
  • Ring-Wraiths
  • Enslaved In Evil Darkness (2017)
  • The Orcish Battle Hymns 4 tape box
 CD's
  • split with Vinterriket - -2-
  • Tawantinsuyu
  • Dragons Of War
  • Lost Songs From Middle Earth
  • Black Blood White Hand
  • Northern Lights (Vallgrind)
  • Cirith Ungol ('regular' edition)
  • split with Sieghetnar
  • Dagor Dagorath 3”cdr
  • Nargothrond 3”cdr
  • March To War 3”cdr
  • ... And All The Magic & Might He Brought (jewel case and digipak)
  • split with Black Jade - The Sadness Of Fallen Leaves
  • The Dusk, The Dawn, The Earth, The Sea ...
  • The Fellowship
  • The Sword Of Revenge
  • split with Skoll - Through The Mountains Mist They Came
  • Elbenstahl
  • Totenfahrt
  • split with Heulend Horn - Three Ages Of War
  • split with Hulduefni
  • Die Kriege Von Beleriand I
  • Die Kriege Von Beleriand II
  • Glaurung
  • Twillight
  • split with Joe Matera
  • Elbenglanz
  • The Battle (Vallgrind)
  • A Night In The Forest (Vallgrind)
 WACH
  • Experimentum Solaris
  • Firedance On A Dead Mans Grave
  • Nordwand
  • Hell:Wach
 Other cd's
  • Alexander Wieser's Adventure - The Amelia Earhart Flight
  • Hollenkreis: Des Bruders Boser Garten
  • Völuspá Part II: The Arrival of Fenris (Hugin cover art)
 and other bits too including a Hrossharsgrani long sleeve shirt, few pins with Drachenfeuer, Uruk-Hai, Hrossharsgrani, Hrefnesholt etc, Uruk-Hai metal logo, Uruk-Hai pendant and few flyers & photos with autographs.

For me it's small collection, but not bad and I'm happy and proud of it


(10) What was the first thing you bought that Hugin composed?
My first was "Of Battles, Ravens and Fire" from Hrossharsgrani - I bought it on Allegro.pl (the Polish ebay!) in August 2009. Between August-September 2009 I bought three tapes from Uruk Hai: ‘A Night in The Forest’, ‘Dragons of War’ and ‘The Battle/A Vikings Journey’ (also on Allegro.pl.  Others came later, but more so after 2014 when my collection expanded (with my first serious job and some income!)

(11) What was the last thing you bought that Hugin composed?
My last was the split with Skoll "Through The Mountains Mist They Came" on tape (Werewolf Promotion), but l am planning my next order with Hugin.  Also, from Eastside, I want to buy "Uraungst" by Hrefnesholt.

(12) What is your favourite release from Hugin's discography to date?
I have two: “Dragons of War” which is a great release with my favourites Uruk Hai hymns (and the very first of this band in my collection - now, I have tape and cd of this release); and secondly "Das Ende Des Pfades" from Hrossharsgrani.  It's brilliant a release from with battle hymns like ‘Der Pfad Zum Tor Der Toten’, ‘Von Blinkenden Schwertern’ and ‘So Finster Wie Es Niemals War’, my most favourite three songs from Hrossharsgrani and among the very best of all of Hugin's songs.

(13) What items/release(s) do you most treasure in your collection of Hugin's stuff?
My Schattenkrieger long sleeve shirt - it's my first (and only) clothing from any of his bands.  Also my Uruk Hai metal logo - I have pinned it on the wall in my room. But of the music releases I think “Realm Of Light” from Drachenfeuer, which has beautiful artwork. And I mustn’t forget Uruk Hai's “Dragons of War” tape!

(14) Are there any particular releases of Hugin’s that are you looking for?
I'm searching for all across my collection, but particular:
Tapes:
  • Hrossharsgrani - Ewig Winter (Fallen Angel Productions)
  • Hrossharsgrani - Die Rückkehr Zum Pfade (Wulfrune Worxx 2010)
  • Hrossharsgrani - Der Pfad Zum Tor Der Toten (Wulfrune Worxxx 2010)
  • Hrossharsgrani - Rehearsal 1999 (Smell the Stench)

I don't have Paypal, I prefer to trade now.  From Hugin I have for trade: Uruk-Hai - ...And All The Magic & Might He Brought (CD jewel case) and WACH “Nordwand” cd.  I also have few other cd's  from other artists/bands. If you want to trade with me, drop me a line at kamil.jablonski@buziaczek.pl

(15) Do you have a message for Hugin?
Oh yes :)

Huge thanks to you my music Master for great music and inspiration. Thanks for everything and I wish for you all the best and many new great ideas for your various projects.

(16) What message do you have for your fellow readers of Honour & Darkness?
Support Hugin and also Nazgul and his Honour And Darkness blog, so that these great works can't be forget.  Best regards for You all Hugin's maniacs!


A great guy, with a pretty impressive collection of Hugin’s music it must be said.  And if you can help Kamil fill those holes in his collection, then do drop a fellow fan an email and hook him up!

Saturday, 11 November 2017

ELBENJAHRE - update

Band: URUK HAI
Title: Elbenjahre
Reason for update: An one-off signed copy…?

How are we well after the first week in November without there being an Honour and Darkness post this month, you might ask?

Well once again it’s that unfortunate combination of being very busy in the day job and simply not really having the time to sit and listen to music to do justice to a review.  That said, following Hugin’s recent visit to Castle Nazgul, there are a couple of interesting things sitting on the shelf to cover off in the weeks ahead, so there is light at the end of the tunnel, honestly…!

Still, let’s celebrate an interesting update today, with this now-autographed copy of the Uruk Hai release "Elbenjahre".  This tape is, you may remember, the companion album to "Elbenglanz" wherein Uruk Hai's ‘legions of fans’ chose their favourite songs.  On this tape, Hugin's own selection of personal highlights from the battle years 2004-2015 were gathered and if nothing else it demonstrated quite clearly how different everyone’s views were of the band’s best bits!

Now, revisiting the post from February 2017 when this tape was covered you will recall that there were two artists responsible for the illustrations on the cover: one was Ruta Silders who did the front cover, and the other was none other than Hugin's talented daughter, who did the inside cover picture.  As Castle Nazgul was graced with the presence of the delightful Ms Wieser along with her father during the last ‘official visit’, it seemed a timely opportunity to arrange for a world-first double-signing session to capture the signatures of both artistes at one and the same time.

Which is what is preserved for posterity and pictured here today!

The next obvious step is to post this over to Austria to get Ruta’s autograph too, and then that will be job done for this inlay…!

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Funky Heroes


Band: Funky Heroes
Really?!  Yes, really! Bear with me on this one...
Albums released: none
Singles released: none
So what’s the story then, Nazgul?  A-ha! Read on for more!

Fear not, Nazgul hasn’t been on the funny mushrooms again.  No, this is a rare chance to learn arcane secrets about an even earlier chapter in the musical career of Alexander “Hugin” Wieser, and a story that has never been told before this dark and windy night.  And how appropriate, on Halloween itself, to share a story so terrifying that it will make you spit out your cocoa all over your pristine Uruk Hai t-shirt.

For you see, even before the early years of bands such as Schlaganfall which Honour and Darkness was pleased to raise to the world’s attention, there was an early band that rejoiced under the name of Funky Heroes.  Yes, you read it correctly, Funky Heroes.  It was founded in the summer of 1983 by 5 young Linz teenagers: Alex Wieser on bass; Roland Königstorfer on guitar & vox;  Andi Pernecker also on guitar & vox; Herbert Bergmayer on guitar (clearly a precursor to the triple guitar attack of Leatherwolf!) and at the final rehearsal there was a drummer too.  Sadly, with the passage of time Alex can’t remember his name, and boy I bet he’s a relieved man if he’s reading this now!

In an Honour and Darkness world-exclusive prompted by Hugin's own exuberant zeal at recalling these historical events, here for your delight and amazement is his recreation of the original Funky Heroes t-shirt!  It was limited to just 5 copies only, 4 copies for the band members and 1 copy for a friend (presumably the drummer didn’t qualify for one?!)  How much would one be worth now on eBay should it come to light...?

Sadly, such genius could not be contained within the confines of a small local band and Funky Heroes split in February 1984, never to return for that reunion tour and triple live album…

Hugin takes on the tale from this point:

"In 1985 Roland and I chose the band name Schlaganfall, I did the vox, Roland guitar, Wolfgang 'Gurkerl' Gall bass and another drummer I cannot remember the name (Nazgul’s note: what is it about these anonymous drummers?  Perhaps this is the legend that inspired Spinal Tap?) We did some covers but we also had 3 originals named ‘Scheiß Bullen’ (the only song we ever recorded, but sadly lost), ‘Harrys Anfall’ and I cannot remember the 3rd.

In 1986 we changed the name in After A.I.D.S. then we spilt up. Wolfgang and the drummer continued on and had some nice gigs too, but they split up soon too.  In around 1988 I did one rehearsal on vox with a Metal band from Linz called X-Ray then in about 1994-95 I did some sessions with The Sharks on bass, together with Mario Decarli on guitar, Andi Pernegger on vox and Geri Decarli (RIP) on drums, after Geri died they split up too.

In 1998 Hrossharsgrani was founded..... you know the rest J"

And Nazgul simply can’t let this story end without the most terrifying thing of all … so brace yourself, for a flashback of epic proportions as we view the young Hugin circa 1983, blissfully unaware of the musical career that lay ahead of him…!


Happy Halloween!

Saturday, 14 October 2017

THE TOME OF LOST WORLDS [V/A]

Band: URUK HAI
Title: The Tome Of Lost Worlds [Various Artists]
Format: Online download courtesy of the Dungeon Synth webpage, described by them as "a seasonal collection of new and recent work made by the users of the Dungeon Synth Facebook group".  It was 'released' on 22 September 2017.  
Edition: Unlimited

Track Listing:
01. Garadrak  *  A Questing Knight  05:05
02. Nan Morlith  *  Of Mim, Last of the Petty Dwarves  05:32  
03. Gatekeeper  *  Locked in an Eternal Afternoon, Under a Cold Sun  09:33  
04. Symbiosis  *  Nolstagia  03:47  
05. Lux Viridis  *  Hole in Ocean  03:27  
06. Inoriand  *  Vestibule of Winter  06:12  
07. Breidablik  *  The Gate To Eternity  03:40  
08. Uruk Hai  *  Die Erste Schlacht  10:12  
09. Alba  *  Innocence Lost  08:54  

With all the doom and gloom surrounding the last post, let's lift our spirits with this rather nice online compilation courtesy of the Dungeon Synth webpage.  It is described by the label as a seasonal compilation from current Dungeon Synth artists from both Facebook and the Forum. The artwork has been sourced from various artists, with overall mix and design by Kaptain Carbon.

There have been a few such 'seasonal' offerings before, as seen on the label's Bandcamp page, with this latest one being the seventh part.  Whilst there are no tell-tale signs of fallen leaves, conkers or pumpkins to indicate this current instalment is the product of the autumnal season, you can't beat a bit of dungeon synth as the nights grow longer and the evenings get chillier.  So let's dig in...

"The library, that was once discussed as having manuscripts from a different age, was famous for its catacombs. That was not all it had. Sections of the library held secrets including the ruined wing to the north. Overgrown with vines and exposed to the conditions of outside lay swaths of tomes people found too mysterious and dangerous to give proper care for. This is where some of the most infamous books find their fate. Whether originally stored in the north wing or thrown here out of some fear or spite, the books of the northern wing now lay buried under vegetation and felled trees.

This is where you most likely will find it -- The Tome of Lost Worlds. Said to possess enchanting descriptions of far away places and even simple incantations to build bridges between here and there. It is no wonder the keepers wanted it lost among the ruins of the northern wing for I heard there are places that some wish to be lost forever."

It could almost be an estate agent's script for the library within Castle Nazgul, could it not?  But don't be confused, for this is more background information from the label about the nature of the musical offerings on this downloadable feast.

The point of focus for Honour and Darkness is the Uruk Hai song at track number 8, namely 'Die Erste Schlacht' ('The First Battle').  As you doubtless will recall, this is a song that we've previously identified in this blog as appearing on the "Die Kriege von Beleriand Teil 1" back in March of 2016.

And something of a modern day classic song by Uruk Hai it proves to be, predictably epic and grandiose but none the worse for that!

It's not only Nazgul who's partial to this track: one independent comment on the Bandcamp page from user 'gatekeeper's_saveroom' notes for the release as a whole and this song in particular;  "Not polluted by the shabby commerce and the artificial glamor of these days, you can immediately feel that this music comes from somewhere else. A lost world hidden deep inside, following nothing but its own, unseizable pulse. Favourite track: Die Erste Schlacht."

Dungeon Synth as a genre will be familiar to most I'm sure, and traditionally encompasses bands in the style of Mortiis, Burzum, Wongraven et al.  My favourite attempt at trying to define the term comes in the following quotation form Tiwas of Finnish band Gvasdnahr:

"I kind of think of Dungeon Synth as a lone, ancient castle, hidden in a dark desolate corner in the shadow of Black Metal. Only a few know it’s there. And out of those few who dare to enter, only a few are capable of finding its treasure."
Let's find out a little more about the background to this particular compilation though, courtesy of Kaptain Carbon:
"Tome of Lost Worlds represents the 7th compilation made in 2017 and the start of the third round of seasonal collections of new dungeon synth. Since starting this project, I wanted to showcase new and recent works from a variety of artists who are either entering into the genre or even working on new material. The series has naturally fallen into three volumes which have become the traditional volume, the experimental volume, and finally the narrative volume. Tome of Lost Worlds represents the traditional volume or at least the one with the more identifiable dungeon synth music submitted. For as much as I adore the fringes of the odd, the sweeping sounds of ancient fields and long forgotten ruins holds something magical.
The first of the fall compilations offers a mix of traditional dungeon synth with the work of Garadrak, Nan Morlithn, and Anglezarke. Beginning with Gatekeeper and running to the end of the compilation is a series of artists which lean and run towards the ethereal side of the sound. While still rooted in dungeon synth, the sounds of Inoriand, Uruk Hai, and Breidablik possess an almost heavenly sound or at least an intangible quality much like coloured mists in the morning. This trend continues until the closer by Alba which is a sobering and melancholic piano driven track used to wake up the listener from their deep daze. As for flow, this compilation starts on the ground and eventually ends up in the clouds lost in daydreams.
The art for not only this compilation but the next two volumes was done by the very talented Dale Forward. Forward was not only quick and precise when being commissioned for the Tome of Lost Worlds but willing to license more of his work for other compilations. His black and white work not only fits the genre but possesses a dreamlike quality which suits the music on the compilation. The next two pieces will also showcase this artist’s versatility from the very narrative to the very abstract and almost nightmarish. While I enjoyed showcasing different artists for each of the compilations, Forwards art fit exceedingly well and also was there when circumstances deemed it necessary. I couldn’t be happier having a picture of a monstrous skull climbing out of the pages of some forgotten book. It was Forwards art which inspired the writing that accompanies the volume of some forgotten and ruined wing of a mystic imaginary library.
Tome of Lost Worlds is to be followed in a week by On Old Misty Roads and finally the third volume of the Dungeon Synth Forum’s narrative compilation. Each volume will have its own aura and texture with further volumes leaning towards the shadows. For now enjoy the 7th volume which offers an escape into the descriptions of lost worlds. Somewhere near the Codex of Dreams is a tome which has pages filled with stories of lost worlds. Find it and you will never want to go home."

Definitely worth exploring, and how nice to see our old friend Symbiosis on the tracklist. Nazgul encourages you to venture to the Bandcamp site immediately and - given you can name your own price to download the music - empty your wallet accordingly.

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

URUK-HAI


Band: HROSSHARSGRANI
Title: Uruk-Hai
Format: The item is described as a limited edition lathe cut 12" record 'made by hand on a rare Japanese Hara record lathe' and released by Beasst Productions (USA) in 2017 (no catalogue reference number).  However, does the item actually exist...?
Edition: Reported to be 100 copies only

Track Listing:
Side A
01. Uruk Hai  7.29
02. Nordhimmelstag  3.19
03. Moria  5.56
Side B
04. Kortirion  5.56
05. In Durins Halls  4.49

Caveat Emptor!

These advertisements for this 2017 release looked to be a really enticing prospect: a limited edition lathe-cut vinyl 12" of the original Hrossharsgrani demo recording that ultimately spawned the Uruk Hai project.

Indeed, the blurb for the release created by our friend Hugin for the label quoted none other than yours truly directly off Honour and Darkness: "The original "Uruk-Hai" demo tape was of course, intended as a Hrossharsgrani release and made in a tiny quantity of only 6 tapes. However, the story goes that back in 1999 when Hugin played his for his friends the general consensus was that it was so far removed from the battle-machine that was Hrossharsgani, and so ambient and ethereal by comparison, it shouldn't be issued under that band's name. So it was that the original six demo tapes were retained by this close-knit circle."

And before you write in to complain that the release is categorized on Discogs as an Uruk Hai release, not a Hrossharsgrani release, let me reassure you that this is actually incorrect, as the narrative above makes abundantly clear.  The project led to the creation of Uruk Hai (the band), but was recorded as a Hrossharsgrani demo under that banner.

All of which is very interesting, but skirts around the main reason for this post: it all looks like a rip-off in progress!

Nazgul received a direct email from Beasst Productions about this release, and - inevitably - placed his order swiftly.  Some 6 weeks later, no goods received, no response from the label to questions, nothing. 

Eventually a lengthy Paypal claim was necessary to secure a refund, during which RPM Shop (the online shop for the label) lied about having sent the parcel, stating that they would provide the tracking number for it.  That they didn't came as no surprise to Nazgul, as I have my doubts that these items physically exist let alone that it was ever posted.

Scouting around online, Nazgul found a customer on eBay.ca who has had exactly the same experience with RPM shop: 30 days of no contact and non-fulfilment of order, leading to negative feedback being left and a refund being forcibly obtained.

Relaying this incidents to Hugin also uncovered the fact that the label had gone quiet on him too, despite some extensive chasing up in the last week or so, meaning that we're all in the dark about whether these lathe-cut records actually even exist.

Without a physical copy in hand, all Nazgul would suggest to you is that you treat this release/company with extreme caution at the moment, and if you really feel the need to put money their way do so via a service/card provider that you can claw back a refund on if it all goes pear-shaped.  Which, on current form, it really looks like it might do.

Just for completeness sake, if you want to understand more about what a lathe cut record is and how to produce one, check out this useful site.

Sunday, 1 October 2017

VON BLINKENDEN SCHWERTERN IM REICHE DES NORDENS - update


Band: URUK HAI
Title: Von Blinkenden Schwertern Im Reiche Des Nordens ("Of Gleaming Swords In The Land Of The North")
Reason for update: A chance to look inside the envelope...

We have to cast our net even further back today for the basis of this update, to the 23 October 2009 to be exact.  For it was on that date that Honour and Darkness covered the Uruk Hai / Arkillery split release "Von Blinkenden Schwertern Im Reiche Des Nordens" in both tape and CDr format.

Were you to flick back to that distant review, you will come across the slightly bizarre revelation from Nazgul that as his CDr version was still sealed, he had chosen not to open it.  Even more bizarre, given we're now eight years down the line, that copy still sits pristine and unopened on the shelf in front of me!

So when the opportunity arose to grab a second copy of this rare release (I safely presume it to be rare as in the many, many years I've been looking around for Hugin's stuff this is only the second copy I've ever encountered and the only one offered for sale).  And so bought it was, and into the collection it came.

And happily enough, it was already open so no harm in having a peep at the contents of the wallet is there?!  And what we basically get is a silver CDr with a hand-written front (consistent with other Arkillery releases, actually) that gives us both of the band names and a couple of runes in black sharpie.

Also written onto the front of the disc is the number 10.  Now, in the Discogs post for this item (now illustrated with this very item, as it previously incorrectly had the tape inlay showing instead) someone has entered the information that this CDr was released in an edition of 250 hand-numbered copies.  I don't believe this is correct: the tape version certainly was limited to 250 copies, and I suspect duff information has been copied onto the CDr version page.

What the actual limitation was on this version is therefore still unknown, but if we purport that the number '10' on the disc has some bearing on the edition then as a minimum ten copies must therefore exist.  And no, before you ask, Nazgul is not inclined to open his original copy to see what that number is, at least not at this point in time!  It will remain an enduring mystery...

Whilst we're on the subject of Arkillery-related items, it seems something of a surprise to me that their releases have never been reissued or compiled in any way.  I've got a few on CDr, and recently updated Discogs with their details in order to bulk out the band's discography a little, so there's a nice little group of demos in the band's name clearly existing.  Does anyone know whatever happened to Rob Gaude, the man behind the band...?

Until the next time, adieu!

Saturday, 23 September 2017

ORKSTAHL - update


Band: URUK HAI
Title: Orkstahl
Reason for update: A 'proper' version now obtained!

It seems almost inconceivable that the last time Nazgul visited the "Orkstahl" release was back on Christmas Eve of 2009.  Incredibly, that's almost 8 years ago - how time flies?!

The reason for revisiting this very limited fan-only/die-hard release may seem something of a vainglorious exercise, but you have to go back to the original release to understand Nazgul's motivation!

You see, the original - and indeed only - version of "Orkstahl" was effectively a gift from Hugin to three friends/fans, and came therefore in a limited edition numbered, rather cunningly, 1/3, 2/3, and 3/3.  They all were distributed around the globe and that was that, until the existence of the release must have come up in some conversation or other and Nazgul received some time thereafter a special 'promotional' copy of the wee beastie, which bore the reference 'x/3' on its cover.

Now you don't have to be a genius to consider that this was Hugin being kind to long-time collector Nazgul, as really there never was the need for a promotional version this release being limited as it was.  I suspect it was made as an act of friendship as an extra copy outside of the official limitation.

And that's all fine and super, and very generous indeed, but of course from a collector's perspective (read: mad obsessive point of view) the copy in Castle Nazgul always felt like it sat apart from the 'real' Orkstahl family and was never therefore really one of the gang.

Hence this latest acquisition!

It's a rare time indeed when you get a chance to lay your hands on a collectible like this, but what's now in the collection is one of the original three copies - and #1/3 at that - to fill that little void in the Castle Library. 

It is to all extent and purposes exactly the same as the other copy, other than the fact the metal plate on the front has a very different looking finish to it from the x/3 copy, as you can see side by side.  Which of course now raises the question in Nazgul's mind as to whether both of the other copies had unique plates, or whether it was my original copy that differed simply because it was made at a different time from the original three and thus was milled/cut from a different source?


The metal cover of copy x/3
A little bit of research identified that copy 3/3 (below) is the one that is being used to illustrate this release on Discogs, and on the face of it there is a different looking finish there (akin to looking through a grey fog bank at the Misty Mountains behind!) as opposed to a patterned or stippled effect, which the other two have.  Whether this was intentional variation or just how they came out (or how they photograph in the light, perhaps?) is uncertain. 

Copy 3/3 and a slightly different style panel again

Perhaps if you are the proud own of copy 2/3 you might like to send me a photograph of the plate for a comparative analysis...?!

And that's this update done really, another triumph of obsessive collecting behaviour over common sense.  Of course, both versions will be treasured in the Castle vaults but for slightly different reasons.

Speaking of recent purchases, by the way, a couple of other rare Uruk Hai items have been bought recently for a specific reason to provide updates to you all, my esteemed readership, and these shall be brought forward in the spotlight of the fiery eye as the autumn season unfurls itself in a shroud of yellow and brown over the Castle grounds.

Saturday, 16 September 2017

DEMOS 88-99



Band: HROSSHARSGRANI
Title: Demos 88-99 War Sampling's by Bernd Barnickel [V/A]
Format: Silver CDr in bespoke front and rear covers, not released on an official label
Edition: Unknown

Track Listing:
01. Empyrium  *  Astrum Luciferi (demo 95)
02. Falkenbach  *  Laeknishendr (demo 95)
03. Dimmu Borgir  *  Raabjørn speiler draugheimens (demo 92)
04. Ensiferum  *  Old Man (Väinämöinen) (demo 96)
05. Hrossharsgrani  *  You And Me (demo 95)
06. Hrossharsgrani  *  The Sign Of Nargothrond (demo 95)
07. The Sins Of Thy Beloved  *  Silent Pain (demo 95)
08. Therion  *  Megalomania (demo 89)
09. Ensiferum  *  Knighthood (demo 95)
10. Dimmu Borgir  *  Inn I Evighetens Mørke Part I (demo 92)
11. Dimmu Borgir  *  Inn I Evighetens Mørke Part 2 (demo 92)
12. The Sins Of Thy Beloved  *  Even Though (demo 95)
13. Rimmersgard  *  Circle Of The Scroll (Jarnauga II) (demo 99)
14. The Sins Of Thy Beloved  *  Garden Of Eden (demo 95)
15. Paradise Lost  *  Paradise Lose (demo 88)
16. Ensiferum  *  Tale Of Revenge (demo 95)
17. Ensiferum  *  Outroduction (demo 95)

It's not often that you find Nazgul flummoxed by a release, but this one's had me scratching my head a bit.  I found it online, and the fact it came with a couple of Hrossharsgrani tracks on it made it a shoe-in for the Honour and Darkness collection.

But WHAT it is - or more aptly, perhaps, WHY it is? -  remains something of a mystery.
 
For openers, I have no idea whatsoever who Bernd Barnickel is, assuming it is a real person.  There are more than a few Bernd's listed on Metal Archives but none of this title.  Likewise a Google search brings up a few people of this name, but given their jobs (including a furniture maker and a forestry manager) I honesty think we're barking up the wrong ... ummm .... tree?

No, it's a bit of a puzzler.  Another odd thing about it is the fact that the guy's name is on the cover at all, as you'd imagine that if this was a personal collection of tracks for some kind of sampling purpose then you'd call it "Demos 88-99" and be done with it.  Not a lot of point in adding your own name to it if it is a one-off for your own personal use only, is there?  But equally were there more copies distributed, given that some effort has been expended on putting a nice set of printed inlays on it?

And are those Bernd's initials in green on the front of the disc, by the way...?
As far as the spread of music goes, there are some really good songs on here from a number of bands that will be very familiar to most of you.  And thrown into the midst of all of them are a pair of Hrossharsgrani songs, 'You And Me' and 'The Sign Of Nargothrond', both from the demo "In The Mystic Forest".

But here's another weird thing: the attribution on the rear cover for these songs says 'Demo 95', whilst in reality the release "In The Mystic Forest" came out in 2000 as a tape demo?  And the earliest of Hrossharsgrani demos, "Blut", was issued in 1998 some three years after the date cited for these songs. 

This is equally true for other tracks on this CDr: by way of example, the three Dimmu Borgir tracks are attributed to demos released in 1992 although according to Metal Archives the earliest date for demos from this band is 1994.

So does this merely represent some sloppy referencing on the inlay, or were earlier tracks and/or demos knocking around somewhere that our mysterious Mr Barnickel had access to?  Probably the former scenario, one imagines, but I guess we'll never know for sure....

Ignoring the fact that whoever did the inlays managed to misspell Hrossharsgrani, let's take some positives from this release.  As weird as it is, it's not a bootleg nor a pirated copy of anything, but seems to have been a bespoke project for *some* defined purpose, currently unknown.  It pulls together some pretty good songs too, and makes for a perfect listen in the car on long journeys.  It's also presumably fairly rare, and quite possibly a one-off, making it even more interesting in the Castle collection!