Cirith Ungol
Paradise Lost


4.0
excellent

Review

by Jeremy Wolfers USER (59 Reviews)
September 8th, 2012 | 18 replies | 1,129 views


Release Date: 1991 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Simple, melodic and entertaining old school power/classic metal.

2 of 2 thought this review was well written

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.

Recommended Tracks:
Join The Legion
Heaven Help Us
Chaos Rising
The Troll



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user ratings (21)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Madbutcher3
September 8th 2012



979 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah I know I said it's 80s metal despite that fact it was released in 91. It's more of the style than anything.

MichaelSnoxall
September 8th 2012



12163 Comments


Clicked for Lord of the Rings, didn't read.

Madbutcher3
September 8th 2012



979 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

lol
This isn't as good as King Of The Dead but it's worth getting if you like 80s stuff.

Ovrot
September 8th 2012



10260 Comments


King of the Dead reigns supreme but this rules too

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
September 8th 2012



5626 Comments


Good review, pos.

Great band, King Of The Dead is really something.

Some critics have characterized Tim Baker's vocals as the worst in all '80s metal, but clearly they are a love-it-or-hate it case, I like them a lot, they are so "out there"...

Digging: The 3rd and the Mortal - Painting On Glass

Madbutcher3
September 8th 2012



979 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Sometimes they're good sometimes they're bad. they work awesome on join the legion

YEAH COME ON JOIN THE LEGIONNNN

Ovrot
September 8th 2012



10260 Comments


His vox are sweet

Madbutcher3
September 8th 2012



979 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice av change.
But yeah this is great. Join The Legion is ridiculously awesome.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
September 8th 2012



5626 Comments


One other thing about Cirith Ungol is those well cloaked '70s prog rock elements in their music.

I don't know if there are any of those in Paradise Lost, but King Of The Dead has a good deal of them.

Madbutcher3
September 8th 2012



979 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Paradise Lost is pretty straight metal overall, it doesn't really do prog much. I think it could a track with that sort of influence instead of Fire personally.

Ovrot
September 8th 2012



10260 Comments


Cirith Ungol rules in general

CROWN UPON HIS HEAD
KING OF ALL THE DEAD

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
September 8th 2012



5626 Comments


I mean, I remember that some tracks in King Of The Dead were really long with tempo changes and classic rock solos, that brought in mind '70s prog rock.

Madbutcher3
September 8th 2012



979 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah I know what you mean, there are maybe a couple on some of the longer tracks here.

CaptainDooRight
September 8th 2012



26555 Comments


Excellent review bro, pos.

Digging: Deniro Farrar - The Patriarch II

nononsense
September 8th 2012



3263 Comments


Is this band named after the orc tower in Lord of the Rings? If so that is legit.

Digging: For The Fallen Dreams - Heavy Hearts

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
September 8th 2012



5626 Comments


Yes

linguist2011
Contributing Reviewer
December 9th 2013



1781 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

A pity that this is the last album from such a great band. It does show just how instrumentally talented each member was, and the brilliance of 'Join the legion' and epic 'Chaos rising' makes for a unique listen throughout.

CaptainDooRight
December 9th 2013



26555 Comments


Indeed.



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