Wednesday, January 9, 2013


Uruk-Hai - In Durins Halls
W.A.R. Productions, 1999
Genre: Ambient

1. Luthien (aka Einleitung)
2. Kortirion
3. Durins Halls
4. Uruk-Hai
5. Moria
6. Nordhimmel
7. The Unknown (aka Ausklang)

I own the 2004 repress by Eclipse of Live Promulgation.  The titles for tracks 1 and 7 where changed for this release, but I believe the music is the same.  The 2004 edition is limited to 300 copies, I have copy 14.

"In Durins Halls" signals the beginning of what would be an absolute avalanche of Uruk-Hai releases.  Seriously, it is like a full scale invasion of the famed orcs!  Few could rival this project in releases, the ones I know of are Melek-Tha and Vinterriket.

Ambient for me starts in the mid-90's with groups like Mortiis, Autumn Tears, and Arcana.  I never would have thought it grow into the genre it is today with artists releasing hundreds of albums per year.  I feel that Uruk-Hai joined the scene when things were still developing.  I may be wrong, but "In Durins Halls" seems to be taken right from the world of Mortiis, rather than any of the others mentioned above.

This is basically a rather somber journey through some of Tolkien's worlds.  It's like Mortiis in the sense that the tracks can often let parts drag for too long.  "Einleitung" begins with what sounds like thunder or waves crashing.  But this goes on for over three minutes before we hear some real ambiance set in.  There is almost no melody being played anywhere just like in early Mortiis releases, just synths flowing around various ideas.  As this album progresses things step up quite a bit.  In the title track we hear a beautiful melody that does justice to what it would be like to wander the ancient halls of the dwarves.  The track "Moria" is very cool, it really is like when the Fellowship of the Ring were exploring Moria only to find it was infested by all manner of creatures!  It's starts off with a beautiful introductory piece as you stare in wander at these ancient halls, but then the war drums begin to pound as you realize you're not alone.

So that leaves us with the confusing aspect of this release.  The cover.  Despite this clearly being mostly about Tolkien related things, the cover appears to be from Conan and looks like a Frank Frazetta piece.  Unfortunately the dimensions of the original piece were not that of a tape, so it's horribly stretched and Conan appears very wide.  Oh well, I did stuff like this all the time when making a demo tape.

Without further ado, here is "Moria"...

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