CIRITH UNGOL is a 5-piece Doom Metal band from Ventura, California. This band was formed way back in 1972 and it’s one of the earliest Heavy Doom Metal bands out there with BLACK SABBATH. ‘Dark Parade’ is their second album after leaving the game for 30 years. They were reactivated in 2015 with almost all of the original members! The only new member is bassist Jarvis Leatherby, the frontman for the killer NIGHT DEMON band, a very old-school Heavy Metal band. By the way, NIGHT DEMON had a great album this year so Jarvis is on a roll this year, to say the least.
There are so many bands out there that were influenced by CIRITH UNGOL and the musical wealth they left behind when they first disbanded back in 1992 is amazing. Listening to this new album is like rediscovering yourself in the truest of forms. I had heard about the band for at least 20 years now but other than having a few songs on compilations, I never truly grasped their message or their sound. I was quite young back then and pretty much stuck to the basics of Heavy Metal and was not the open-minded fellow that I am right now obviously.
The music on this album seems timeless in a way, like 30 years passed by swiftly. The music is very faithful to the style of Heavy Metal like early BLACK SABBATH but also sounds like ICED EARTH in the Matt Barlow era. Tim Baker sounds like a mix of Matt Barlow, King Diamond, and Bon Scott, he has a distinct voice, and his raspy screeching vocals on songs like ‘’Relentless’’ are on point. The nasal voice just fits like a glove and he really has a unique style. His voice is like no other I have heard before.
The backbone of the band is still Robert Garven, the awesome drummer. In an interview he always said that other than ‘’Frost and Fire’’, they have always wanted to do things their way, not trying to be someone that is not. I believe that this does mirror these comments quite well. It’s unlike anything I have heard in the genre, you got some old-school Heavy Metal mixed in with the Doom elements obviously. It’s not easy to prove something after all that time gone and yet they were able to reinvent themselves and the album does not waste any time. It’s not the longest album but it has that sheer consistency you are looking for. It’s fast, it’s gloomy and it’s very diverse. They don’t stray away from their roots yet the addition of Jarvis Weatherby gave them an added boost, his frenetic Bass work shines on this album like on the previous release
Some fans will appeal more to their first few albums but this album is ambitious and musically it’s the mark of accomplished artists and masters of their craft. CIRITH UNGOL are back and the monarchs of Heavy Doom Metal have come back to take their crown. The band is tighter than ever and still experimenting with things even after all these years thankfully the production was fine, not the best but it’s adequate enough to even out this album and make it glow.
‘Dark Parade’ takes you back to more simple Doom Metal yet with some modern influences. They can still write some extended and long songs like ‘’Sailor on the Seas of Fate’’, which is something you don’t see anymore yet updated for the 2000s. Long forgotten by many, when they came back a few years ago, it showed that they could still go and had something to prove to themselves, yet also to the fanbase out there.
Songwriting & Lyrics8/10 Very GoodCIRITH UNGOL are back and the monarchs of Heavy Doom Metal have come back to take their crown. The band is tighter than ever and still experimenting with things even after all these years.
Overall Sound8/10 Very Good'Dark Parade' takes you back to more simple Doom Metal yet with some modern influences.