Band: URUK HAI
Title: Angband (Metal Fortress)
Format: A 4CDr and tape release on the Runenstein Records label (Germany) in 2010, cat ref RR01. There are two formats for this release: the more limited edition comes as a metal box-set, containing the four discs and cassette of the standard release but with a bonus 3"CDr of additional material, plus a poster of the cover art. Also contained in the release is a plastic figure of an Orc, together with a map of Middle-Earth.
Edition: There are 21 hand-numbered copies of this release in total, of which the first 5 only came in the metal box-set format and the remaining 16 as standard editions.
01. The Fate of Man
02. Death Is Just Another Path
03. Gil-galad (re-mastered version)
04. Return to the Green Fields
05. The Dark Lord (featuring Cz/Vinterriket& Pr. Sergiy)
06. Lebensende:Winter (different version)
01. Shadow of the Orcs (re-mastered version)
02. In the Green Fields
03. Northhammer (featuring Krom)
04. Iceland (featuring Krom)
05. Isengard (featuring Krom)
06. Minas Morgul (featuring Krom)
07. The Shire (featuring Phillip Knight)
08. Gollum (rehearsal 2000)
09. Angband (previously unreleased outro 2010)
01. Die Gemeinschaft
02. Quenta Silmarillion (full-version 2009)
03. The Mirror
01. Smaug's Destiny
02. Uruk-hai Part V (featuring Dimo Dimov)
03. Back in the Fields (rehearsal 2002)
05. Orcrist (previously unreleased track 2010)
1. Metal Fortress Part I
2. Metal Fortress Part II
Bonus 3" CDr (Metal Box version only):
01. March To War
02. Power Of The Ring (hidden track)
|Inner booklet, front and rear|
|The map of Middle-Earth|
|Exclusive 3" CDr for the metal box|
Incidentally, the artwork for the main four discs is the same in style as for the 3" disc shown above.
But before we embark on an analysis of the material in the set you may well be wondering about the title of this compilation - "Angband" - and from whence it derives...
|Exclusive poster from the metal box-set|
Over time, the dark creatures in Morgoth's service would gather in its ruined pits. After three ages of imprisonment, Morgoth returned to Middle-earth and set himself up in Angband, raising the volcanic Thangorodrim over the fortress as protection. He came out of it again but once, when challenged to single combat by the Elven king Fingolfin. He reigned there until the end of the First Age, when it was destroyed in the War of Wrath.
|Metal Fortress: the cassette|
With a box-set of this size there's always an issue of knowing quite where to start a review, and there's little merit in going through this track by track as some of the material will be/should be broadly familiar territory already as it comes from a myriad of past releases.
The metal Fortress tape is an interesting medley piece, and one that would benefit from a review of its own in the coming months, so keep your eyes peeled for that one!
|Eric the Orc!|
This is the perennial curse of any compilation of this nature - if taken over the complete recorded history of a band it's often a problem all of the songs sit happily alongside each other, especially when the artist is likely to capture many different influences in his work! There's no right and wrong in the dark art of track compilation, more a question of personal taste, and the beauty of having four discs to play with is that if a particular song grates with you there's bound to be a more welcome one just around the corner....!
|Runenstein promotional card|
What can be said is that the care and attention to detail contained in this release is second to none, from the quality of the metal tin itself through to the printing and final finish of the maps, inserts and discs.
Destined to be a much-sought-after item on many collectors 'wants list', even the standard version is exceedingly hard to find anywhere and Nazgul hasn't seen one advertised for sale for well over a year. The metal box pressing - which became something of a trademark of early Runenstein releases - is naturally even more demanding to find and - quite frankly - I don't think you'd find a copy for love or money now. Originally the item came with a price tag of around 60€, possibly a little more (Nazgul tends to blank such financial matters from his mind to maintain sanity) so it was a fairly pricey item new (although it has doubtless maintained its value over time).