Review Summary: Simple, melodic and entertaining old school power/classic metal.
Cirith Ungol certainly aren't one of the best known classic metal bands around, but following their formation in 1981 in Los Angeles they managed some great releases in their time such as King Of The Dead and this album. With a strong blend of extremely catchy songs and aggressive riffs, Paradise Lost is a bit of forgotten gem and is easily one of the more entertaining 80s metal albums around.
The musicianship of the album is solid all round though not exactly outstanding. The guitar playing of Jim Barraza is melodic and quite thrashy at times, negotiating through tighter and more technical riffs as well as slower, catchier sections, while his solos are fast, melodic and entertaining. Bassist Vernon Green is somewhat understated but audible and solid, while the drumming of Robert Garvin is solid and tight, if a bit simple. Vocalist Tim Baker has a large vocal range in which he executes shouts and screams with ease. The albums is well produced, with every instrument sounding good and being audible in the mix.
The album opens up on top form. Join The Legion
is insanely catchy and features excellent guitar work throughout, especially during its solos. The riffing throughout is excellent too, and the vocals of Tim Baker just further improve the song. The Troll
is among the most straightforward tracks on the album for the majority of its riffs but there are several technical lead breaks that help to keep a balance with the catchy riffing that's present throughout, and is just as much a highlight as the opener. Heaven Help Us
is one of the most melodic tracks on the album and features excellent riffs throughout, while the solo is easily among the best on the album and is a cut above the average guitarist's. Go It Alone
opens in a fashion akin to Van Halen but it works and it certainly features some of the most catchy riffs on the album, though Baker's vocals don't really fit the song as much as a certain Lee Roth would. Chaos Rising
is the most expansive track on the album and really showcases Barraza's excellent playing throughout, being the most melodic track on the album and one with some of the best riffs. The closing title track is also excellent track, and while relatively straightforward it's consistently catchy and melodic.
Some of the tracks are noticeably different in terms of sound compared to others, and they're generally the weaker tracks on the album. Fire
is in many ways a commercial 80s rock song with relatively simple riffs throughout and an emphasis on vocals, though the lead guitar work is entertaining, and while it isn't as strong as the other tracks it's still a fun listen. Before The Lash
is also a relatively simple track, akin to a track off of British Steel but with some more technical lead work on the guitar. It's an entertaining track but simply not as good as some of the rest.
Paradise Lost is very much an entertaining album throughout, featuring some brilliant guitar work and a simple but entertaining set of songs that will appeal to fans of Judas Priest and perhaps Riot, and while not quite as good as those bands peak albums, it certainly isn't too far behind.
Join The Legion
Heaven Help Us