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The Nazgul - The Nazgul CD (album) cover

THE NAZGUL

The Nazgul

 

Krautrock

4.04 | 12 ratings

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Progfan97402
5 stars A killer release from the Psi-Fi label, with a controversial story behind it, as well as the label it was supposedly originally on: Pyramid, and this applies to all the other titles issued on CD by Psi-Fi. Were these titles really recorded from 1972 to 1976 or 1990s UK hoaxes? Well, at least three proven musicians have appeared on these release: Reinhold Karwatsky of Galactic Explorers was in Dzyan, Zeus B. Held of Temple was in several Birth Control albums, and Hans-Jurgen Putz of Cozmic Corridors was in Mythos for the album Dreamlab. A couple titles certainly don't sound convincing, particularly Golem's Orion Awakes with its all too clean sound and '90s sounding grunge guitars, but it could have been doctored with, and maybe even rerecorded in places.

OK, so the review is on Nazgul, everything about this is Tolkien inspired.. The band members are named Frodo, Gandalf, and Pippin. To me, this is the polar opposite of Bo Hansson's Lord of the Rings. Whereas Hansson depicts Tolkien mythology in a rather inviting, fairytale setting through hippie psychedelic lenses, The Nazgul shows the dark and sinister side of Middle Earth, with four titles, like "The Tower of Barad-Dur", "The Dead Marshes", "Shelob's Lair", and "Mount Doom". The music captures that doomy feel, of an erupting volcano, of a tower full of evil, of a forbidding place, much as Tangerine Dream had captured the forbidding feel of space of Zeit. Had Tangerine Dream intended Zeit for Tolkien mythology, you know they would do something like this! In fact The Nazgul takes on that very similar approach: forsaking any traditional song structure or melody and going for sinister soundscapes instead. Unlike Zeit, it's just a single album, so it's easier to listen to in one go. I frankly don't care if it's a hoax or not, because I was really blown away by this. If real, it's a shock that anyone was still doing this sort of stuff in 1976, as the Krautrock scene had basically moved on to electronic or prog (you won't mistake Stratosfear for Zeit, or Pyrogany X for Yeti, for example). This has much more in common with the Krautrock of 1972, and this could have been easily at home on Ohr. If it is a hoax, they really captured that spirit of 1972-era Krautrock very well, and because of that it's no wonder I enjoy it so much. This is truly a treasure worth looking for. Sure the Psi-Fi label went under quickly (those hoax rumors certainly damaged the label's reputation, and that's why it faded so quickly), but worth seeking out!

Progfan97402 | 5/5 |

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