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The Nazgūl - The Nazgūl CD (album) cover


The Nazgūl


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4 stars Thanks to PsiFi we get to have this interesting piece of Atmospheric/Ambient Krautrock. It is an interesting work, and no doubt a great addition to anyone's collection that is interested in this style of work.

The music is somewhat rough, but that seems to be production because of the themes that are being worked with in the album. It focuses, as the band name denotes, on the darker themes of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. The musicians attempt to create what they feel is the ambiance of the four places they named their songs after.

The music sounds as if it would be what one would hear in the locations the songs are named after. The first song seems to be a buildup, a crescendo of sorts, until a climax in which it seems like something collapsed. It may denote symbolically a collapse of the Tower, but I will try and refrain from speculating on the motives of the artists.

The rest of the three songs do the same thing (excepting the marked crescendo). They create the atmosphere and the ambiance of the area the song's title is. It does it very well, it seems as if it were written as part of a score for a video game where one would have to go through these places. The songs all have that feeling.

The songs also allow for one to relax to this album, they aren't overly pretentious in any way. They contain just the right amount that I think is needed for these songs. There are times in the songs where dissonances are used well, where certain themes are countered with another theme. For being so strait forward, it is rather dynamic in its composition and production.

I had no preconceived notions of what was in this album, and I had not seen this page's single one-star review. It is a good example of what could be done in this style in the mid seventies. It doesn't have the last 35 years of a more evolved Ambient/Atmospheric scene to take influence from yet it does well at creating the visions the artists wanted to create. It also may not be the first example of the Ambient/Atmospheric genre, but it was surprisingly good considering its obscurity.

It is a good addition to any collection of those that like this style of music or like things associated with the works of JRR Tolkien.

Report this review (#271385)
Posted Friday, March 12, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars I don't know what's going on with the front cover that's shown. Mine's nothing like that. Looks like a wrong upload to me. It should show a brown sleeve with a stone hewn cloak with no face with some pretty cool 'sword cut' lettering - which depicts how the album really sounds.

Anyway, this is a far better album than any of the last seven I've reviewed. I thought I was about to enter a bout of depression on all the low ratings I was throwing about. I ended up drinking 5 gins during last nights miserable reviews in an attempt to cheer myself up!

Nazgul was apparently released in '76 despite claims that it was a 'fake', being recorded in the 90's by persons unknown. At the end of the day, who cares? Faked or not, it's an excellent album full of weird sound effects and groaning in a 'Kluster' like manner. There's Tibetan bowls, very creepy percussion, no guitars and a feeling of impending doom which infiltrates this entire recording.

There are also some dissonant coronets which sound mightily like those of 'Throbbing Gristle' from 1980's 'Heathen Earth'.

Nazgul won't be to the taste of many, being too experimental and spacious. But me, I love this kind of sinister music. 'Lustmord' circa '84 are another complementary band.

You should keep your dancing shoes firmly locked away in a cupboard for this one. It's all very ethereal and is perfect for late nights when it's foggy outside. There's not too many comparisons I can make with any music in the Prog Archives for this album - Ghoulish.

Report this review (#407061)
Posted Thursday, February 24, 2011 | Review Permalink
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!

Report this review (#699052)
Posted Thursday, March 29, 2012 | Review Permalink

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