Thursday, 14 December 2017


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]

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!