Review | Cirith Ungol – Dark Parade

Metal Blade Records

A new sign of life from Cirith Ungol, the band coming out of Ventura, California and since a few years back from the dead. They released ‘Forever Black’ in 2020 and followed that up with a four track EP ‘Half Past Human’ on which they recorded some old songs that they found in their musical archives. I have always had a soft spot for these rockers who on their new album have stuck to their musical guns.


When you hear the tracks of ‘Dark Parade’ it is as of time stood still in the world of Cirith Ungol. Their music has always been a cross between doom and heavy metal, produced in such a manner that the sound is rough and tough. Vocalist Tim Baker still sounds desperate, angry, and schizophrenic, but I like his approach. A lot of people might not like this specific type of voice, but I think that Baker with his antics gives Cirith Ungol a quite unique sound of their own.

So not much has changed? Well, not really although it seems to me that the guitarists Greg Lindstrom and Jim Barazza play an even bigger part these day and with the fast rocker ,,Looking Glass’’ they temporarily have upped the tempo. ‘Dark Parade’ is an avalanche of doomy guitar riffs and scorching solos, heavy and brutal enough to shake the fillings in your teeth. And hey, there are even a few acoustic guitars present on ‘Dark Parade’, so it is not that they not tried to bring some more variation in their music.


Just as was the case with the EP ‘Half Past Human’ the band that further consists of original drummer Robert Garven and bass player Jarvis Leatherby, this record was conceived in (as the band calls it) their secret lair where they worked on this piece of pain and suffering for us to enjoy! Pandemic recordings so to speak. I doubt if Cirith Ungol with their latest record will win new souls in the metal world but nobody can deny that these guys sound unique in their own way. Doomy, aggressive and with tonnes of relentless guitarwork bedded in heavy grooves laid down by Garven and Leatherby.

It has been a recipe that has been working for decades now and with songs like ,,Sacrifice’’, ,,Sailors On The Sea Of Fate’’, ,,Down Below’’ and ,,Distant Shadows’’ there are plenty of freshly devils cocktails available to feast on. I cannot help it, I just love these guys as they always have and always will do their own thing, knowing damn well that they will never be trendy or hip. But then they do not want to as they are a force of their own!

Release date: 20 October 2023



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