Cirith Ungol
King of the Dead


4.5
superb

Review

by SylentEcho USER (21 Reviews)
September 9th, 2008 | 27 replies | 7,574 views


Release Date: 1984 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A very enjoyable, near perfect, essential metal classic.

6 of 6 thought this review was well written

Cirith Ungol are not a very popular band but they have made several albums that are considered classics in the genre. This was the first album I had heard of this band and is often thought of as their greatest album.

I do not have much info about this band other than it was formed in 1972 by Jerry Fogle and Tim Baker. Since it was formed in the 70's and came to light in the early 80's the influences of Black Sabbath, Tank, Deep Purple, Sir Lord Baltimore and a few others can clearly be heard in their style of playing.

Line-up:
Tim Baker - vocals
Jerry Fogle - guitar (R.I.P. 20th August 1998)
Michael Flint - bass
Robert Garven - drums

The album starts off with "Atom Smasher". The melody is catchy and the riffs are adequately implemented throughout the whole song with some impressive guitar solos. Another great song is "Finger of Scorn" which has a really good acoustic passage. There are some extended lead breaks in "Master of the Pit" which in my opinion is the best song on this record and also features a great instrumental classical, "Toccata in Dm". The music is dark and very sinister, akin to Doom Metal with strange guitar melodies and solos. It is these elements that made this album so unique because it was exactly what they wanted to make until they signed up with Metal Blade Records and were forced to commercialize their music a little more.

Many don't like the nasal voice of Tim Baker, but by listening the album several times, I understood that Tim's voice was the only correct voice for these songs. His wails really suit the music well and I can't imagine anyone else doing a better job for this kind of music.

Some may even say that the production isn't very good. The album was recorded on really low budget, the band never got any money for their previous album but the somewhat low production here fits the dark and sinister atmosphere perfectly. "Master of the Pit", "Finger of Scorn", and "Cirith Ungol" are my top three tracks here with some truly amazing solos. Every song is unique with great riffs by Jerry Fogle and very good bass line by Micheal Flint. Robert Garven is not too bad on the drums either.

This band was around for over a decade but sadly could not make it too big, mainly because they disbanded when they were just getting recognized by the masses, Jerry Folgle's drinking problems led him to leave the band. In 1991, Garven and Baker reunited he band to make the last album, "Paradise Lost" which was outdated and uncommercial music by then at which point the band called it quits. Sadly, Fogle became an alcoholic which eventually claimed his life in 1998.

However the legacy of Cirith Ungol will continue to live on as long as Heavy Metal exists. This is an essential masterpiece of dark gloomy metal, so in short, get this album because it kicks ass, it offers memorable lyrics and melodies and is filled with crushing riffs and powerful solos.

Recommended Tracks:
Master of the Pit
Finger of Scorn
Cirith Ungol
Toccata in D minor

Rating:
4.5/5



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user ratings (48)
Chart.
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Zoo
September 9th 2008



3759 Comments


I listened to this album just a few weeks ago but I couldn't get into it. Pretty decent review.

username345
September 9th 2008



594 Comments


I really should listen to this.

Eakflanderyof
September 9th 2008



2143 Comments


This sounds interesting and I love the album cover. It reminds of Bowser's Castle from Super Mario World.

joshuatree
Emeritus
September 9th 2008



3743 Comments


Sir Lord Baltimore and Black Sabbath references has me sold. I be downloading this shortly.

AngelPhoenix
September 9th 2008



2764 Comments


I have to check this cause I was born the year it came out

Slaytan
September 9th 2008



1186 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I found this album is be very boring. The vocals did induce laughs though.

Wizard
September 9th 2008



19210 Comments


Good review. Doesn't really sound like something I would enjoy.

Digging: Monarch - Sabbracadaver

ikarus
September 9th 2008



560 Comments


Is that....A LICH?

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
March 13th 2011



5915 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this occult and mesmerizing heavy metal...

great stuff.

Digging: Essence Beyond - Carnivalism

Hyperion1001
Staff Reviewer
May 9th 2012



18012 Comments


KING OF ALL THE DEAAAADDDD

Digging: Autechre - Draft 7.30

Ovrot
June 12th 2012



10460 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Great Album

Digging: Jean Michel Jarre - Oxygene

MarvinLapsus
August 11th 2012



128 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Really strange band. I used to listen to this release quite a lot back in the day and I always find it a satisfying bizarre jewel.

foxblood
October 26th 2012



6797 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

m/

Ovrot
October 27th 2012



10460 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

best album ever

evilford
December 6th 2012



21169 Comments


Hey just figured out what ovrot's av is, should check this.

Digging: Demilich - 20th Adversary of Emptiness

foxblood
December 6th 2012



6797 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

band is awesome

jesuslover46
December 30th 2012



578 Comments


actually the cover comes from the 4th elric book

Cowlick035
March 29th 2013



23 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

One of my all time favourites.

Passname
March 29th 2013



301 Comments


Feel like jamming some Cirith Ungol tonight

Eunuch
September 1st 2013



1229 Comments


Feel like jamming some Cirith Ungol today



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