URUK-HAI – Cirith Ungol

URUK-HAI - Cirith Ungol

Origin: Austria
Genre: Ambient Atmospheric Black Metal
Label: Nordsturm Productions
Year: 2012

Uruk-Hai is the most known and for sure the most active band of Alexander “Hugin” Wieser. This over-productive Austrian musician from Linz is also the basic (and in many albums the only) member of many other bands, like Hrossharsgrani, Elisabetha, Eismond, Bonemachine, Hrefnesholt, Wach, Manwë and others… He started Uruk-Hai back in 1999, one year after the birth of his first band Hrossharsgrani. He released an ambient tape with Hrossharsgrani under the title “Uruk-Hai” and after some encouraging comments, he decided to continue them as a different band. So Uruk-Hai was born, with the “mission” to explore the ambient battle atmosphere of Tolkien’s wonderful worlds…

It’s really very difficult to count and name all Uruk-Hai releases and even more difficult to separate them in full-length, collections, EPs, etc. It’s not only their huge number and limited releases, but there are also many versions of some songs, some re-used parts from older songs, many re-releases, etc. “Cirith Ungol” is not a new work, since it was released back in 2010 via Satanarsa Records in CD-r, including one 57 minute song. Nordsturm Productions re-released it in 2012, including the extended 78:29 minutes version of the song. If you have never listened to Uruk-Hai before, then expect to listen to epic fantasy ambient music. In this album the band chooses to emphasize more on the dark atmosphere of Middle Earth and not on its majestic epic side. This ultra long song moves in a slow hypnotizing tempo and almost everything is played by synths. A few distorted guitars and some screaming vocals here and there interrupt the “tranquility” of the ambient music, adding even more to the atmosphere. Some wonderful melodic piano parts, few flutes and some other interesting instruments and sounds complete this different musical journey. There are also a few electronic elements and an almost jazz mood in some parts, fitting so perfectly with the music, that I wish he used them more! “Cirith Ungol” is a characteristic example of the more atmospheric long compositions of Uruk-Hai, but it’s only a part of their music, since there are other albums with more and shorter songs, other with female vocals and many other elements that someone can explore…

Generally Uruk-Hai is a very interesting band, but its big enemy, after so many releases, is the unavoidable repetition. ”Cirith Ungol” is a very good companion if you like reading fantasy books, or even better if you are into RPG games. Otherwise it’s very difficult to concentrate and stay interested in a 78 minutes slow ambient song, no matter how good the music is. Nordsturm Productions released this album in 1000 copies. 900 of them come in standard jewel case edition, with the original black & white cover artwork and 4-page booklet. The rest 100 come in a 3-panel A5 digipak format with new colored artwork, including the 4-page booklet of the standard version and a patch with the band’s logo. If you are interested in their music, you better visit the band’s profiles below.


Rating:  (7,5/10)

Uruk-Hai @ Facebook
Uruk-Hai @ Myspace

URUK-HAI - Cirith Ungol A5


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