V/A – A Tribute to Uglakh

Waarloga Records from Sweden has find its own niche releasing music with a fantasy theme/atmosphere. The music is usually somewhere between neoclassical, folk/medieval and dark soundscapes. That resulted in some nice releases already, most notably the excellent albums by Za Frûmi. Now the label has released its first compilation with no less than 20 tracks, in collaboration with Golem.se, a webshop selling roleplaying games. Some Waerloga acts are present, like Encryption and the aforementioned Za Frûmi.

Best known names for me are Autumn Tears, Unto Ashes, the Soil Bleeds Black and Atrium Carceri. This last act, known for its release on Cold Meat, is a project of Simon Heath, who is also involved in various other projects on this sampler, like Za Frûmi, Volstoj, Abnocto and Alvskugga. His Za Frûmi partner Simon Kölle is at his turn active in Musterion and Abnocto. Therefore “A tribute to Uglakh” is a bit of an incestuous affair between the two Simons, which is not to say that the cd is not interesting. On the contrary, the majority of the tracks appeal to me and convey the right atmosphere.

Despite being an album with a unifying theme, there is enough variation. Soft neo-classical, heavenly voices pieces are alternated with dark soundscapes or uptempo medieval tunes. Some of the highlights for me: the ritual medieval track by Alvskugga, the heavenly hymn by Autumn Tears, the oriental tune by OverCoat and the very dark soundscape by Atrium Carceri. Furthermore the solemn ‘Kyrie Eleison’ by the Soil Bleeds Black, the festive medieval bagpipe song by Vox Vulgaris and the melancholic waltz by Sagor & Swing. In other words, a more than decent compilation which should not fail at any fantasy event.

artist: V/A
label: Waerloga Records
details: 20 tracks, 74 min, 2005 [WAER005]