Monday, 16 January 2012
Band: URUK HAI
Format: Cassette tape release in 2011 on the SkullFuckingMetal [SFM] label (Canada), no catalogue reference, and comes with a single-sided black and white cover. This copy has been dedicated on the inside of the cover by Hugin with "Elvish Hailz"!
02. The Sound of Gondor
05. Emyn Muil (edited version)
Let's begin with a sales pitch / plea to all readers of this esteemed epistle. This superb tape is currently unlimited in volume, meaning that unlike the vast majority of Uruk Hai's very limited releases you will be able to lay your hands on it without difficulty. It's been released by a long-time supporter of Hugin's music - the noted SFM label run by Keegan in Canada - and is packed with brilliant music at a very fair cost. If you do nothing else today why not point your browser towards http://skullfuckingmetal.blogspot.com or drop Hugin an email to order your own personal copy?
Support the underground and support Hugin!
Let's continue with a look at "Felagund" itself. The title presumably comes from Finrod Felagund himself, a Noldorin Elf, recently encountered in the "Nargothrond" review. The Felagund element of the name was an epesse (an honorific after-name) given to him by the Dwarves who expanded the caves of Nargothrond, and meant "Hewer of Caves".
It's not the first time that the Felagund name has been used in one of Hugin's songs: give yourself a moment to consider where you might have come across it before...? Given up yet - well, Nazgul wouldn't blame you as it was back on 2 July 2009 when the review of Hrossharsgrani's "From The Dark Ages" tape revealed that track 9 on that tape was called 'Felagund (Part II)'. As you may surmise from this, given the different recording periods in question, the two tracks are not related in any other way!
The five songs on this tape are meticulously crafted, graciously melancholic pieces of dark ambient wizardry. They have moments of uplifting beauty in parts, but the mood seems to be a sombre one, and the emotional range created by these songs will leave your imaginings wandering the dark paths of Mirkwood in search of solitary places to dwell.
Title song 'Felagund' is a epic piece of artistry in this fashion, and manages to weave in a keyboard melody that sounds just a tiny bit like Sinead O'Connor's 'Nothing Compares 2 U' into the bargain (or perhaps it's just time that Nazgul reached for his medication), whilst the haunting violins playing out on 'The Sound of Gondor' are a far cry from the uplifting refrains of 'Gondolin Falls' from the 2004 "Honour" demo tape.
'Moriquendi' (the title given to the Dark Elves) follows on from this in similar fashion, and whilst 'Memories' starts to create a more upbeat atmosphere it's left to the final (edited) song 'Emyn Muil' to marry the depression and despondency with glorious chants and melodies to finish the demo on a high. This final song is an edited version of the 37 minute epic from the Uruk Hai / Sepulchral Moon split CDr (see post of 2 August 2011), and more good news: "Emyn Muil" the full-length release now exists on the Steel Blazes label in lavish colour covers with an additional song from the recent past of Uruk Hai. More on that release in a future post.
One final matter to cover, being "Felagund" - the movie! Yes, as improbable as it may sound there is an extended video that has been shot by fans of Hugin from the US under the "Felagund" banner, and - of course - Nazgul has managed to track down a copy for the Castle library. This one will be reviewed very shortly, so watch this space!
So let's end where we began - this is a golden opportunity to expand your personal Uruk Hai collection at little cost and with a brilliant demo, so get in touch with Keegan or Hugin to support both the underground and the band.