Friday, 5 March 2010

Shadow From Mordor

Ash nazg durbatulûk, ash nazg gimbatul,

ash nazg thrakatulûk, agh burzum-ishi krimpatul

In the history of film is there any imagery more overtly Metal than PJ's nightmarish vision of the relentlessly advancing hordes of Mordor? Sauron's unstoppable War Machine razing all in it's path, spreading darkness, death and misery throughout Middle Earth. His servants, the Nazgul, ceaselessly overseeing the machinations of His desires... genocide, annihilation... Total War. The demonic fire and fury of Durin's Bane unleashed at the Bridge of Khazad-dûm. The poisonous shadowland and it's places of evil beyond the Black Gate at Udûn: Gorgoroth, Cirith Ungol, Minas Morgul, Barad-Dûr. The Dark Lord Himself, resplendent in his battle armour, laying waste to all unfortunate enough to stand before Him.

Mordor is Metal, and for me there's no better expression of that than the song "Shadow from Mordor" by Birmingham's crusty, thrashing doomsayers Sacrilege. The ferociously pounding drums and grimly unrelenting riffage bring to mind the inexorable progress of a huge, lumbering army, and perfectly evokes Sauron's coldblooded determination to conquer, subjugate, obliterate. Tam's vocals are the plaintive voice of the suffering, desperate peoples of Middle Earth held in thrall to His consuming darkness:

Like Durin's Bane, rising up from the deep
There is evil at work while the people do sleep
As they plunder the earth, still we sit back and watch
Their wrath consumes all that would stand in their path

In '86 or '87 this devastating six song 12" (with the Lovecraftian title of Behind The Realms Of Madness) was the record that jarred me out of my rigidly blinkered "hardcore rules, metal sucks" mindset. Motörhead followed, and I guess I've never looked back.

The runes below, written in the Black Tongue, are inscribed upon the foul helm of the Mouth of Sauron. They are evil. CLICK HERE PUNY HALFLING!


  1. Excellent, right up my alley. (Obviously.) I shall listen to it immediately.