I can’t express the extreme pleasure and delight of serving the unsung masters of Cirith Ungol. I’m a die-hard fan of the band for some long years and I have followed their short-lived yet wonderful career. My dear fan, one thing I can say for sure is that life certainly wasn’t easy to Cirith Ungol. It didn’t treat them right or well. Or even been fair. I guess if there is such thing as an underrated band, this band is Cirith Ungol, the real underdogs of Metal music. Some iconic bands never got success because they were ahead of their time, from where I’m standing as a fan, for sure that’s not the reason the band never got there. The fact is that they were too weird for their time. Too weird even for Metal’s standards which are hell of weird if you ask me. And this sad and pathetic and lonely planet never forgive the weird. Tim Baker’s voice, Jerry Fogle’s guitar tones, the sword and sourcery thematic before the time, the too shoegazed and doomy songs, well, the band really couldn’t fit.
Here’s an album of a band that can talk about hell, pain, grief, and sorrow. Cirith Ungol have been through all this and are back for more. “Forever Black” isn’t only an album title. It’s also a message that the band will never forget their roots. In general, “Forever Black” is a pure blood Ungol’s effort. Intro “The Call” sounds a bit out of the page, but we forgive the Ungol for that. Anybody can try new things with all the career they had. I mean, the song is great, it works fine, it just sounds a bit out. Only that. Following “Legions Arise” tells a lot for the die-hard Ungol fan. It can be the band’s new war cry telling the world that the legions have arisen for all that matters. And the battle goes on with “The Frost Monstreme” which has a great resemblance with “King of the Dead,” another classic from the band. From that on “Forever Black” sounds as if the band had never disbanded even with a new bassist who is truely at the same page as the others. The chosen bassist Jarvis Leatherby seems as if he has been with the band like forever. Guitarist Greg Lindstrom adds the classical foreboding touch to the songs with that known feeling and heart riffing and solos slowly note by note. and drummer Robert Garven holds the piece. Guitarist Jim Barraza was from the “Paradise Lost” era and he counts as a member, not original, but a member.
Some say Cirith Ungol are the forefathers of Doom Metal. Respectfully I don’t agree. The Ungol are much more. A band that goes beyond any labeling, just pure Metal at heart. The real deal, the real unsung heroes of Metal music. The beast that refuses to die. If you are a fan, you do know what I mean.
Cirith Ungol “Forever Black” will be released on April 24th via Metal Blade Records.
- The Call
- Legions Arise
- The Frost Monstreme
- The Fire Divine
- Fractus Promissum
- Before Tomorrow
- Forever Black
Watch “Legions Arise” official lyric video here: