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Metal-On-Metal

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PostSubject: Cirith Ungol Discography Thread   Mon Jun 04, 2012 12:09 am

Cirith Ungol - Frost and Fire -- 1980




Cirith Ungol's debut is a bit more of a straight forward metal affair than their later doomier/epic material. But I can't say it's not enjoyable, because it's the opposite. The themes predominately focus on fantasy, reminiscent of Dio's lyrics (without all of the mysticism and nonsense), the guitar tone is great, and the bass really shines through. The only musical downfall is the average drumming, there's just not much going on. Just as a warning, if you don't enjoy odd vocals, this isn't gonna be your cup of tea.

Their signature sound: the driving bass lines, meaty riffs, and the screeched vocals of Tom Baker are all here, while it's still not up to par with King of the Dead and One Foot in Hell, it's a great quirky late 70's sounding hard rock/metal album.

It's definitely not perfect though, as there are a few songs that are clunkers. Some vocal parts just aren't up to par, and some melodies get a bit annoying (see "Edge of a Knife" for an example, the chorus is really weak).

Track List:
1. Frost and Fire -- 9/10 [Best track on the album, imo]
2. I'm Alive -- 9/10 [Great track, one of my favorites on the album]
3. A Little Fire -- 8/10 [Another song worth checking out, after this it goes downhill a bit]
4. What Does it Take? -- 7/10 [Weird synth riff that would've benefited from better equipment]
5. Edge of a Knife -- 6/10 [An okay song, but the chorus drags it down a few points]
6. Better Off Dead -- 8/10 [Solid track, not bad but nothing earthshattering either]
7. Maybe That's Why -- 9/10 [Nice instrumental track to end the album]

Overall, it gets a 80/100. Not a bad record, but nothing to wet your pants over. It's easily overshadowed by their later works.


A Little Fire


Frost and Fire
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Akeldama
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PostSubject: Re: Cirith Ungol Discography Thread   Mon Jun 04, 2012 12:14 pm

Nice, I'll be snagging all their stuff so I might post a little behind but I'll get there. Nice work, Met.
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chewie

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PostSubject: Re: Cirith Ungol Discography Thread   Mon Jun 04, 2012 5:26 pm

Sounds pretty cool.
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gershom

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PostSubject: Re: Cirith Ungol Discography Thread   Tue Jun 05, 2012 7:26 am

Sounds pretty good, I'll have to check these dudes out more.
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SpectreFate
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PostSubject: Re: Cirith Ungol Discography Thread   Tue Jun 05, 2012 8:17 am

Their first album (much like the early work of Manilla Road) is extreme Rush worship. Not saying it's bad, but the band needed their own identity. That happens later in their career.
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PostSubject: Re: Cirith Ungol Discography Thread   Thu Jul 12, 2012 4:22 am

Shit, I really need to update this. I'll get on it sometime soon, as I've got nothing better to do, hehe.
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PostSubject: Re: Cirith Ungol Discography Thread   Thu Jul 12, 2012 7:52 am

I had planned on jamming the first album this a.m. at work but I forgot my iPod.
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PostSubject: Re: Cirith Ungol Discography Thread   Sat Jul 14, 2012 12:33 am

King of the Dead -- 1984




Due to the band independently funding and releasing their second (and best) album, it took them four years to write, record, and release this kick-ass platter of doom. The classic sound comes into place here; the thudding bass, thunderous drums, vocals that are somewhere between black metal shrieks and AC/DC, biting guitars, and the epic songwriting. Add these pieces together, and you get one monster album.

Drummer, Robert Garven had this to say of the album:

Quote :
"King of the Dead was our best album, the reason was that we had total control over it. Every album could have been this good if we could have exercised complete control over its production and other things. This is the album which I feel is our best effort. I also did all the layout and design of the first three covers, all this while we were all working full time trying to sponsor the dream."


Standout tracks include:

Atom Smasher


Finger of Scorn


And my favorite: Black Machine


This album is an underground doom classic. Ungol's another unfortunate band that never gained any major success, although they really deserved it. They were pioneers of traditional doom, along with contemporaries Saint Vitus and Trouble.

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PostSubject: Re: Cirith Ungol Discography Thread   Sat Jul 14, 2012 1:03 am

The artwork of these two records was by acclaimed sci-fi/fantasy artist Michael Whelan who also did the Arise and Beneath The Remains covers for Sepultura among countless others.

http://www.michaelwhelan.com/catalog/galleries.php

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PostSubject: Re: Cirith Ungol Discography Thread   Sat Jul 14, 2012 1:08 am

He's an awesome artist, I'm pretty sure I've used some of his paintings as avatars on here before.
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PostSubject: Re: Cirith Ungol Discography Thread   Tue Aug 21, 2012 11:11 pm

One Foot in Hell -- 1986



This album is almost as brilliant as King of the Dead, although it's a bit different in style and execution. This album is much more straight-forward, direct and less prog influenced than King of the Dead; but they still retain the signature sound laid on their first two records.

"Blood & Iron" is one of the best openers to any metal album you'll find, with some of Tim Baker's most vicious vocals. As always with Ungol, the riffcraft is magnificent. The album is incredibly consistent throughout its running time as well, each song holds up in quality (unlike the debut).

This album along with King of the Dead are the two essential Cirith Ungol releases, in my opinion. Standout tracks include the aforementioned "Blood and Iron", "War Eternal" and the title track.

"War Eternal"


"Blood and Iron"


"One Foot in Hell"
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Akeldama
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PostSubject: Re: Cirith Ungol Discography Thread   Thu Aug 23, 2012 2:55 pm

I'm not ignoring you, Met, I plan on listening to them again and will post my thoughts. Good work so far...
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PostSubject: Re: Cirith Ungol Discography Thread   Thu Aug 23, 2012 6:02 pm

His voice is quirky, but I really do like those songs!
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PostSubject: Re: Cirith Ungol Discography Thread   Thu Aug 23, 2012 7:34 pm

Just caught up to this thread. I haven't listened to Cirith Ungol since I was in the 8th grade. Based on what you had to say though Met, I look forward to revisiting them. Good work so far.

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PostSubject: Re: Cirith Ungol Discography Thread   Thu Aug 23, 2012 8:13 pm

Thanks dudes, sorry for the month long delay on the newest one. I haven't been real busy, just fuckin' lazy haha.
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PostSubject: Re: Cirith Ungol Discography Thread   Sun Sep 02, 2012 6:09 pm

Frost And Fire is a decent enough album, it shows the potential they'd have later on. I agree, Met, that the background vox and drumming are the main things that drag this album down.
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PostSubject: Re: Cirith Ungol Discography Thread   Sun Sep 09, 2012 10:31 pm

Sorry for the delay, again fellas.

Paradise Lost -- 1991



This is Ungol's last album, and while it's not as great as King of the Dead, it definitely has its merits. The songwriting on this one as a whole is less dark and doomy, and more up-tempo. "Heaven Help Us" even has (who I assume to be) Tim Baker singing in a more normal range; and it actually works quite well. It's one of the standout tracks on the album for me. The opening track, "Join the Legion", is a monster track with meaty riffs, and awesome vocals throughout. The cover of Arthur Brown's "Fire" is quite good as well.

Another thing I noticed while jamming this one tonight, is that the bass isn't mixed as high as it was on the first three CU records. It doesn't ruin the album by any means, but it takes away a bit of their charm, imo.

This was the first full CU album I'd heard, so I'm pretty fond of it and don't view it much lower than their first three. Reading other people's reviews, you'd think it was a mediocre pile of excrement, but in all actuality it's far from it. There's not really a huge dud to be found here, but some of it is a bit weak compared to King of the Dead, or One Foot in Hell.

"Join the Legion"


"Fire"


"Heaven Help Us"


"Fallen Idols"



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PostSubject: Re: Cirith Ungol Discography Thread   Sun Sep 09, 2012 11:48 pm

Good job on the discog thread and I'm a little behind so "King Of The Dead" is quite a leap from the debut. Everything about it is just so punishing.
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