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Cirith Ungol - King Of The Dead (10/10) - USA - 1984

Genre: Heavy Metal
Label: Metal Blade Records
Playing time: 50:08
Band homepage: Cirith Ungol


  1. Atom Smasher
  2. Black Machine
  3. Master Of The Pit
  4. King Of The Dead
  5. Death Of The Sun
  6. Finger Of Scorn
  7. Tocccata in Dm
  8. Cirith Ungol
  9. Last Laugh (Bonus)
Cirith Ungol - King Of The Dead
I'd like to introduce you to one of the very best and most obscure classics of the Metal-history. It is the second album of the almost criminally underrated CIRITH UNGOL from the United States. Add to that that this album is ennobled by one of the best Metal-covers of all time, created by Michael Whelan!

With their debut "Frost And Fire" (1983) they already hinted at their potential and with "King Of The Dead" (1984) they fully utilise it! I can guarantee you that you will be shocked in the beginning. For one CIRITH UNGOL are very slow-paced, yes doomy and quite progressive. Then they have one of the most obscure vocalists of all time: Tim Baker! But he provides us with the lion's share of the appeal of this band! His voice sounds as if a true gnome or troll was scolding, which alone will prevent 90% of all Metalheads of even getting near the music of CIRITH UNGOL. Oh, you fools, you miss something truly exalted!

The songs themselves are viscous and dark and have a slight BLACK SABBATH-touch. But I still talk about one of the most original bands of this god-forsaken planet. A monument like the absolutely brilliant "Master Of The Pit" with its imploring, magical aura is unsurpassed until this very day. These dreamy guitar-leads of genius Jerry Fogle are just immortal. Or the dark title-track "King Of The Dead" still gives me shivers to the extreme. These ingenious-doomy introduction-riffs are God! That the songs are all quite long, I guess, has to be like that! This way they can fully unfold their special flair without being broken down in the three-minute-rhythm! But also the track "Cirith Ungol" is one of the songs that have changed my life. I can hardly describe its incredibly enchanting mood! I can hardly move in these 6 minutes and 21 seconds and barely dare to take a breath until it is over. And also the others songs have turned my flesh and blood, but the three highlights have been the three more epic, above-mentioned tracks, which truly are among the very best that the Metal-hell ever has spit forth. A pity that these exceptional artists, which are revered in certain circles, never received the attention and appreciation that they truly deserve. After that we got the slightly weaker, but still great album "One Foot In Hell" and after that "Paradise Lost", with which the band itself is not satisfied at all. I cannot understand that, because this album, too, contains very good songs.

I know that only a small and selected fellowship of fans will ever find their way to CIRITH UNGOL. But who ever has found it will be rewarded with a lair of emotions and originality! Highest rating without any restrictions!

Ralf Henn

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