Monday, 29 January 2018


Title: Mit Stählernem Blick
Format: Transparent one-sided lathe-cut 7” vinyl release on the Beverina label (Latvia) on 13 May 2016, housed in a white paper sleeve inside a colour cardboard cover.
Edition: Limited to 21 signed copies

Track Listing:
01. Mit Stählernem Blick  4:42

You can almost count the number of vinyl releases across all of Hugin’s bands on the fingers of two hands, which is quite something to ponder given the prolific nature of his release schedule and his love of a good vinyl record.  Elisabetha still lead the way with the most releases for any of the various bands and projects, but here’s a welcome addition to this little sub-set of the collection: a new (and transparent!) B-Machina 7” release.  And it is, indeed, a welcome return for B-Machina too, which has languished in the wings for far too long in recent years.

The single was released on the Beverina label, run by our old friend Juris Silders, and as the promotional blurb from the time reads it is a “special limited 7" single sided transparent lathe-cut release by Austrian Industrial project B-Machina (Bonemachine) featuring member of Uruk-Hai, expect a haunting journey back to the times of WWI.”

A single song in its duration, what we seemingly have here is a rather Uruk-Hai sounding piece of core music given a light remix through the B-Machina war machine.  The principal melodies and flow really do sound like ‘modern’ Uruk Hai of the 2016 period, and left to my own devices I’d probably have attributed it to something from an album of the time had I heard it cold.  The clever bit, tying it all back to WWI and a bit of an industrial vibe, lies in the hijacking of the percussion part to replace a snare beat with a drilling machine gun beat, which does lift the song into a somewhat different dimension (a field trip into Mirkwood, by way of Passchendaele?)

Given only 21 of the things were released, all signed (well, initially on the back in gold marker pen, which you have to look pretty hard to spot at first!), you’d be forgiven for thinking that they would all be long sold out and lost to history nearly 2 years after initial release.  You would be wrong – the Beverina label itself still has 5 physical copies left to sell, for €20 each should you be interested, or you could stream it for a more modest €5.  Hell, you can play it for free on the page in question, so why not give yourself a four minutes and forty two seconds treat and head there right now to give it a whirl?  Once there, you can also admire the pithy review left by customer Brad Abar, who cogently noted “I set it to Replay, and I listen to it Repeatedly”.  Much better and to the point than the drivel that Nazgul comes up with…

Oh – here’s a quick news flash, for those on a budget – the Steinklang online shop also has a copy in their current sale, at an attractive €14.50.  Gosh, at a price like that, perhaps even the tight-fisted Maximus might be tempted to fork out for a proper copy…?!

I have to say, I rather like the format of this release.  A transparent piece of vinyl still seems something of a novelty to me, not being a big player of vinyl (as you’ve probably gathered over the years if you’ve been a regular reader).  Indeed that accounts for one of the reasons this review has been a while in coming given the single came out nigh on two years ago: Castle Nazgul still doesn’t possess a turntable so Nazgul had to cheat slightly and request a CDr copy of this song from Hugin to play it (before realising, of course, that the Beverina Bandcamp page allowed for one to hear it!)

And of course to end we can’t really leave without a quick translation of the title: “Mit Stählernem Blick” in English would read something like “With A Steely Look”.  Whether that be in the eye of the hunter, or the glassy-eyed stare of the unfortunate but presumably pissed-off prey, is perhaps left unanswered.

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