After 29 years, Ventura, California’s own CIRITH UNGOL have unleashed their metal album “Forever Black” onto the world via Metal Blade Records. This record proves that their mystical powers will be unleashed on you like a swarm of murder hornets.
Cirith Ungol is composed of Tim Baker on vocals, Greg Lindstrom on guitars, Robert Garven on drums, Jim Barraza on guitars and Jarvis Leatherby on bass. Leatherby, who was in the band Night Demon, was a lifelong fan of Cirith Ungol, was a driving force on bringing this band back to life. After a raucous hometown gig in Ventura, the city of Ventura declared October 10th, 2016 to be “Cirith Ungol Day”.
The band is really one of the more influential bands in traditional metal history. As a first time listener of this band, I can immediately tell that they paved the way along with the NWOBHM bands to shape metal in the 80’s to what it is today. Through this album, I can picture the band performing through billows of smoke with fire coming out of the nostrils of a dragon. The songs are of an ancient world, ancient history and explores elements of mysticism and fantasy(no not the kind of fantasy that involves dildos), the cool kind of fantasy that involves wizards, dragons and peasants’ homes getting engulfed for the hell of it.
Tim Baker’s vocals really carry like a knight carries a joust in the song “Fractus Promissum”, which I assume is Latin for Fractions Promised, which could mean an evil math teacher teaching the Common Core to today’s youth. I know that that isn’t what the song is talking about, but man that would be amazing. Anyways, Baker’s vocals coupled with the guitar sorcery of Lindstrom and Barraza make it a bon appetit for the knights of the roundtable known as Cirith Ungol.
Throughout this album, Cirith Ungol sounds fresh and relevant while paying homage to the metal of yesteryear, when metal had BALLS and gave zero fucks. Honestly, I’ve kind of drifted away from metal lately, but this album brings me back due to its originality and to the sheer respect I have for this incredibly influential band. Go pick up “Forever Black” wherever music is sold! Here is the track listing:
- The Call
- Legions Arise
- The Frost Monstreme
- The Fire Divine
- Fractus Promissum
- Before Tomorrow
- Forever Black
Fans can find Cirith Ungol at the following locations: