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 CIRITH UNGOL Discography

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Wurthless
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PostSubject: CIRITH UNGOL Discography    Sat Jul 14, 2012 6:51 pm

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, doomy riffs, and the screeched vocals of Tim 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).

A Little Fire


Frost and Fire


I'm Alive




Last edited by Wurthless on Mon Jul 16, 2012 9:36 pm; edited 1 time in total
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James B.
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PostSubject: Re: CIRITH UNGOL Discography    Sat Jul 14, 2012 7:41 pm

It was kewl when this came out cause they were a band that hardly nobody heard of and it had alot of elements that popular bands possessed to make it interesting. I remember noticing the cover at the local mom n pop record shop and purchased on the spot. The Tolkien reference in the band name was also pretty kewl at the time. Great album, I still spin it alot.

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PostSubject: Re: CIRITH UNGOL Discography    Sun Jul 15, 2012 1:52 am

I was really surprised to find out they were a California band, for some reason I had always assumed they were European. Learn something new everyday...

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manny
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PostSubject: Re: CIRITH UNGOL Discography    Sun Jul 15, 2012 8:49 am

I like S.D. always assumed they were a European band so I was very surprised by this.

I am looking forward to this discography section because I know next to nothing about this band and have always thought of taking a plunge a purchasing one of their discs but have not pulled the trigger yet so I am looking forward to this thread.
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Orion Crystal Ice
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PostSubject: Re: CIRITH UNGOL Discography    Mon Jul 16, 2012 11:49 am

Elric of Melniboné!
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Sutekh
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PostSubject: Re: CIRITH UNGOL Discography    Mon Jul 16, 2012 9:17 pm

Wurthless wrote:
Their signature sound: the driving bass lines, doomy riffs, and the screeched vocals of Tom Baker are all here

I think you mean Tim Baker, though it would be awesome to hear the Fourth Doctor, Tom Baker, on vocals! Laughing

On topic, though, this is the only album of theirs I have, and it's very much 70s influenced. The vocals are definitely an acquired taste, but I like 'em, and would like to get King of the Dead and One foot in Hell in future.
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Wurthless
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PostSubject: Re: CIRITH UNGOL Discography    Mon Jul 16, 2012 9:36 pm

Sutekh wrote:
Wurthless wrote:
Their signature sound: the driving bass lines, doomy riffs, and the screeched vocals of Tom Baker are all here

I think you mean Tim Baker, though it would be awesome to hear the Fourth Doctor, Tom Baker, on vocals! Laughing

On topic, though, this is the only album of theirs I have, and it's very much 70s influenced. The vocals are definitely an acquired taste, but I like 'em, and would like to get King of the Dead and One foot in Hell in future.

Well you can see my tastes overlapping there, haha. Laughing

I shall edit the original post.
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Wurthless
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PostSubject: Re: CIRITH UNGOL Discography    Tue Jul 17, 2012 1:07 pm

On we go then.

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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James B.
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PostSubject: Re: CIRITH UNGOL Discography    Fri Jul 20, 2012 9:44 pm

I had kinda/sorta forgotten about the band , then this came out and it was a bg step up. We used to kick back and do lots of bong tokes while listening to this. My vnyl of this has some cover damage. Still spin it often.

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Wurthless
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PostSubject: Re: CIRITH UNGOL Discography    Fri Jul 20, 2012 11:10 pm





Last edited by Wurthless on Tue Apr 09, 2013 4:26 pm; edited 1 time in total
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sheets
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PostSubject: Re: CIRITH UNGOL Discography    Mon Jul 23, 2012 1:08 pm

He's the hero of the modern AGE!!!!
Born in a test tube
RAISED in a CAAAAAAAGE!!!!

Baker's an acquired taste but I dig his style Smile
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Wurthless
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PostSubject: Re: CIRITH UNGOL Discography    Fri Aug 10, 2012 9:19 pm

bump for later.

i'll be working on the next review soon (maybe tomorrow), sorry for the delay.
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Wurthless
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PostSubject: Re: CIRITH UNGOL Discography    Tue Aug 21, 2012 11:09 pm

Once again, sorry for such a long delay.

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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Witchfinder
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PostSubject: Re: CIRITH UNGOL Discography    Wed Aug 22, 2012 3:46 pm

Big fan here. I have a hard time choosing between my favorite CU album but it's either King of the Dead or One Foot In Hell. They have a sound that's all their own. Does anyone sound like Tim Baker???? I never really classified them as Doom but I guess that's as good as any other label for them.
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Wurthless
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PostSubject: Re: CIRITH UNGOL Discography    Sun Sep 09, 2012 9:48 pm

Once again, sorry for the delay. This thread hasn't been too popular, anyways. Razz

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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BearOnUnicycle
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PostSubject: Re: CIRITH UNGOL Discography    Mon Sep 10, 2012 5:22 am

I listened to "Chaos Rising" and had to headbang. Might give this album and "One Foot in Hell" a try. Cause overall they are too epic for my taste just as Manilla road.
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Witchfinder
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PostSubject: Re: CIRITH UNGOL Discography    Mon Sep 10, 2012 11:28 am

I am one of the few that actually likes Paradise Lost. Sure, it's a bit more accessible than the other albums because of the vocals but it's not like they went all glam metal or something. The hate this album receives is totally unwarranted as it's not much of a departure. Join The Legion is indeed a killer track.
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Wurthless
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PostSubject: Re: CIRITH UNGOL Discography    Mon Sep 10, 2012 9:12 pm

Witchfinder wrote:
I am one of the few that actually likes Paradise Lost. Sure, it's a bit more accessible than the other albums because of the vocals but it's not like they went all glam metal or something. The hate this album receives is totally unwarranted as it's not much of a departure. Join The Legion is indeed a killer track.

I feel the same way. Sometimes I don't understand die-hard metal fans. The slightest departure of sound will always trigger the "sellout" response.
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speed101
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PostSubject: Re: CIRITH UNGOL Discography    Tue Sep 11, 2012 2:15 am

I have all the others but i wanna get Paradise lost as i love Epic Metal.
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manny
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PostSubject: Re: CIRITH UNGOL Discography    Tue Sep 11, 2012 9:00 am

I just wanted to tell you I enjoyed this thread, I knew next to nothing about this band and enjoyed this read thru their discography
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80s Metal Lady
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PostSubject: Re: CIRITH UNGOL Discography    Tue Nov 20, 2012 10:31 pm

I'm going to enjoy this forum Very Happy

I had (and still have) One Foot In Hell on cassette that a friend gave to me (or maybe I bought it) back in the late '80s. I regarded it as a novelty album as the singer sounded so ridiculous. He'd hit a low booming note ("We're living on a DOOOOOMED") and then a high screeching one ("PLANEEEET!"). I thought is was funny. I became fascinated by the band with their fantastic cover art of which I'd inspect every detail as I listened to the cassette. I found one metal magazine where they were mentioned with their awesome logo and was so happy to see it because I couldn't find any info on them in the pre-Internet '80s.

I kept the cassette all these years and often thought back on some of those songs like "Chaos Descends," "Doomed Planet," and "Blood And Iron." The songs were catchy and really stuck with me. I'd listen to it again and realized, if it weren't for the quirky singer, the musicianship was excellent. The guitars are right up there with bands like Accept.

Their albums are available for listen on Groove Shark except for Paradise Lost which is the only one on Spotify, so it works out. I listened to their albums and really like their debut Frost And Fire. I disagree with the above review as "Edge of a Knife" is catchy as hell and the bass riff at the end flat out kicks! It's my favorite CU song. I also really like "I'm Alive" and "What Does It Take" (really like the synthesizes opening that track). Tim Baker's vocals are a little more restrained without the highs and lows found on One Foot In Hell. I didn't care for their other two albums as much, but I think I'll listen to them again, especially Paradise Lost, after reading the comments on this forum.
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mlotek
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PostSubject: Re: CIRITH UNGOL Discography    Mon Apr 08, 2013 11:17 pm

Cirith Ungol was cool for not just for the music, but the way they looked. They played heavy metal, but dressed like 1970s stoner hippies with tie dye shirts and bell bottom jeans.
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journeyman
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PostSubject: Re: CIRITH UNGOL Discography    Sun Jul 07, 2013 11:36 am

Cirith Ungol is a band that pops up quite a bit in metal circles and thought I'd give them a try in part due to this review. I bought the second album King of the Dead and it sounds so familiar. First spin and I swear I've heard them before and I like it. Yes, the vocals are not what you'd expect from the early 80's. I will most certainly get the other 3. Listening to Cirith brings me back to the days of when I was discovering metal.
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