So I wouldn't put him under great either. You can barely hear the bass in many modern bands just because of today’s production values. The magic just hadn't really got to them yet; or maybe I'm just comparing this to its' far superior successor way too much. Although i think "King of the Dead" was more representative of the band I am most proud of this album because not only was it our first but it was graced by the unbelievable cover illustration of Michael Whelan's epic portrait of Elric of Melnibone holding Stormbringer high above his head. If it weren’t for that part of the song then the song would actually be decent. And the disappointment will follow. A previous reviewer mentioned that "Frost & Fire" sounded thrown together. ‘A Little Fire’ is decent, thanks partly to Tim Baker’s inexplicable decision to not screech on this song and instead try actual singing and partly to the more cohesive and inspired songwriting. Is it wright, is it wrong? With a better singer, Cirith Ungol might have been decent but would certainly have still been several steps down from groups like Brocas Helm and Manila Road. Frost and Fire Cirith Ungol. Rating by members, ranked by custom algorithm, Allegaeon - In Flanders Fields (OFFICIAL VIDEO), ASPHYX - The Nameless Elite (OFFICIAL VIDEO), Seven Cities Dead - Courage Under Fire (Official Video), El Bosco - Last Flight Of Pegasus (OFFICIAL LYRIC VIDEO), Protest The Hero | The Canary (Official Video), STARSCAPE - Single and lyric video [heavy metal]. Find helpful customer reviews and review ratings for Frost & Fire/King of the Dead by Cirith Ungol at Amazon.com. Unlike Rob Halford, this guy doesn’t bring out the shriek sparingly to punctuate certain passages and give them that powerful, vicious edge. Does it sound like heavy metal's ideal? NWOTHM (or whatever it’s called) has gained fierce momentum, with Cirith Ungol set to headline next year’s Keep It True festival in Germany. Ventura, CA, If you think this album isn't heavy enough, take another look at when it was released- 1980. That's not saying this is bad, far from it, it's better than most of the crap that is released nowadays, it just pales somewhat in comparison to the next album. The Frost Monstreme 04. The instrumental album closer ‘Maybe That’s Why’ is great. These guys approached their epic brand of metal with an admirable ambition and enthusiasm. As a result, this release is rather compromised from the beginning, and certainly doesn't give a sense of the classic Cirith Ungol sound, though the closing track Maybe That's Why does hint at it. Like his band, he is a much overlooked singer in heavy metal and, love him or hate him, I believe that he deserves more recognition. The title track, for example, has a nice gallop and a memorable recurring riff. Now, let's put the album in his place: it's 1980 and the NWOBHM is at the beginnings and still pretty far away from influencing the american metal (as it will do a couple of years later with the likes of Metallica and all their generation). “Edge of a Knife” is just about the worst song on here. What makes the record distinctive - and the closest link to the more characteristic sound of the subsequent discs - is lead singer Tim Baker's firey performance. Read honest and unbiased product reviews from our users. Tape, Progarchives.com — progressive rock ultimate website, JazzMusicArchives.com — the ultimate jazz music online community, MetalMusicArchives.com — the ultimate metal music online community. This album features his highest pitched and clearest singing. Obviously, writing off a band simply because of a bad singer is a stupid thing to do, especially in metal, where vocal prowess isn’t typically the most important element. Labels: Liquid Flames. And yes our music can never be worthy of this great artists work! Robert Garven In picking Frost and Fire apart, the most obvious starting point is Tim Baker’s singing. Most of this album’s elements are subpar at best but nothing else on display here even comes close to how aggressively unpleasant his awkward banshee shriek is. This album has to be listened to many times to appreciate the lyrics, songwriting and performance as a whole not separate parts and to understand as opposed to it being thrown together is was a calculated attempt to obtain a major label contract during a time that only bands with catchy songs that would get any radio airplay were signed. Hello Select your address Best Sellers Today's Deals New Releases Books Electronics Gift Ideas Today's Deals New Releases Books Electronics Gift Ideas A valiant debut by outsider metal icons Cirith Ungol, Frost and Fire comes loaded with a dyed in the wool, low budget earnestness that permeates every groove of the LP. Anyone who does not call it sining has to compare it with some of todays death metal. To be fair, this is by no means a bad album, nor should it even be guarded as lackluster, but is more of an exercise in what an epic heavy metal band would sound like when omitting all the epic moments from an album. His tortured wails, reminiscent of Geddy Lee with his hand in a vice or Rob Halford after a sharp kick in the nuts, add a wild-eyed and manic edge to the material which a more sober and serious delivery wouldn't have, catchy tracks such as Edge of a Knife proving to be a particularly good showcase for his vocal gymnastics. But there are certain facts that were bypassed in all the reviews of this album. Either way, it is true that Tim's voice could totally ruin your experience when listening to Cirith Ungol albums if you just can't get past it. The Fire Divine 05. What Baker does is the metal equivalent of pouring ketchup all over your salad. Nightmare 08. Frost and Fire (1980) by Cirith Ungol. Admittedly I wasn't very fond of this on the first spin, probably most due to the vocalist, Tim Baker, who sounds pretty damn awful before you get used to his voice. Every instrument’s tone is as thin and wimpy as Baker’s voice, which means they all lack the power necessary to pull off the album. The slower, more epic (borderline doomy) passages are only a reprise to the unapologetic rockin'. I was pretty surprised that absolutely none of the reviewers used the words "punk" or "new wave". If the songs titles don't convince you, just try the beginning of What Does It Take or the chorus of Edge of a Knife. Legions Arise 03. This is the very same year that Iron Maiden put out their first LP, and British Steel was making a hit in the US. Frost and Fire was hailed as the worst metal album ever because that Kerrang reviewer didn’t know what to compare it to. Limited collector's edition 500 copies on 180gr black vinyl includes poster and lyric sheet. It's a counter-intuitive disposition for a band that named itself for one of the darkest and gloomiest locations in the Tolkien universe. What we get this time around is a brief slice of doomy hard rock, with garage rock production values, sludgy bass from Greg Lindstrom, classic rock-styled soloing from lead guitarist Jerry Fogle, and songs mainly focusing on the time-honoured subjects of making love and rocking out. This is one of the standout tracks on the album and I’m sure you’ll agree when you hear the stunning solo in this song. I also think the title track "Frost & Fire" is excellent with a great middle break and solo and that "Better off Dead" has a great bass line and some of Tim's greatest singing range. A review by Robert Garven. The song also shows off Tim Baker’s vocals pretty well. Interesting enough, the sheet has lyrics for the song Maybe That's Why but on the album the song is instrumental. They would on the next album sound more like Black Sabbath, bringing a doomier edge to to the music but on Frost and Fire they're very much based on 70's Hard Rock ala US band Bang. I disagree with some of the reviewers and think Tim's singing is not only excellent here and that "Frost & Fire" has some of his best vocals. The chorus has Tim Baker singing in a voice that sounds like he’s trying to imitate Joey Ramone. The lyrics are also not very inventive. However, the musical contents are far less of a trailblazing affair, representing a band that is not only still working from a 70s rock template (which is fitting given the band had been in existence since '72), but sticking fairly close to the most conventional end of the spectrum for said time period. Therefore, whatever the intentions of the band were, the music on Frost and Fire has certain influences. The band themselves have often explained why this album sounds so different from the doomier and more complex material on their subsequent discs; hoping to attain some level of commercial success and widespread popularity, they deliberately picked out the songs from their repertoire that they believed had the most commercial appeal for this first release. When it didn't get any radio airplay, they swore off this approach for the subsequent albums, and the rest is history. I am proud that we are mentioned in the same breath as bands that were epic and hope you all appreciate what we were trying to acomplish at a time when only big label bands had any chance of distribution or airplay. I think the main reason why I'm rather disappointed with Frost and Fire is that based on the album name and the brilliant cover art I was expecting another bizarre, magical tour de force like the classic, misshapen but beautiful lump that's King of the Dead. Unfortunately, these are the only two songs on the album that are safe for human consumption. Unfortunately, for most of these songs, such moments of genuine songwriting competence just get lost in the stale, derivative riffs and drum patterns that outnumber them. I think that's what makes this album unique, not the "let's go play D&D in mom's basement" fantasy themes, but the raw, mean rock'n'roll attitude executed in true form. Stormbringer 06. The album contains 7 tracks, from which only the first 3 have, let's say, the classic and later on established Cirith Ungol vibe: Frost and Fire, I'm Alive and A Little Fire. This cannot be said for the next song. To be clear, this qualifies as metal in the sense that the riffing is heavy enough to set it apart from a standard Led Zeppelin or Blue Cheer album, but just about every other aspect of these songs pull it towards that barely metallic, hard rocking sound that adorned the lighter end of the British scene of the day. Strictly limited edition reissue on 180gr black vinyl. Cirith Ungol is often a name more synonymous with the Lord of the Rings trilogy than it … While the New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) was gaining steam in jolly ole England in the 70s with bands like Judas Priest and Saxon gestating the stylistic approach into the behemoth musical style that would overtake the metal saturated 80s, similar bands existed elsewhere whether it be Germany’s Scorpions cranking out similarly minded heavy rock tunes or even Argentina’s Pappo’s Blues however there was a huge scene in the USA as well with bands like Riot, Alkana and Bang in the forefront of more metal infused hard rock. The fact that it’s devoid of Baker’s horrendous attempts at singing makes it even sweeter. As it turns out that’s not what happened at all. 76%) Songs; Lineup; Other versions; Reviews; Additional notes; Side A : 1. The bass sits further in the back and has a fairly normal tone, Baker's otherworldly banshee howl is much more toned down and closer to some Bobby Blitz*/Bon Scott thing (sort of), lyrics are pretty boring, the solos are concise and far more normal. Instead they released an album with some great songs, some average songs and one awful song. And then the bashing of the album. Well here it is, the debut album by one of the most overlooked and tragic bands in (doom) metal history. The guys did their best on Frost and Fire (with a special mention for Lindstrom). This is the obscure and more than adequate debut of LA based cult Heavy Metal band Cirith Ungol. Well, in the first place, is the only one of the four (five, with the future bass player, Mike Vujejia) guys that does not appear on the next two albums that established Cirith Ungol name and style, King of the Dead (1984) and One Foot in Hell (1986), as he left the band in 1982. Some of the songs deliver decent passages, thanks in no small part to the surprisingly good (and actually audible) bass sections. But throughout Frost and Fire, the raging beast of rock'n'roll is screaming "I'm alive!". They sound like a normal band, kind of. On balance, I'd say this is one for hardened Cirith Ungol fans only - it's hard to see the crucial role they'd play in the evolution of doom metal on this album which is so compromised by their mercenary approach to choosing songs. As co-founder and drummer of Cirith Ungol for 22 years I feel I need to respond to some of the reviews here. All of that being said, this album is certainly not bad and is worth getting. Very fitting to the dark music. Something about the production from that era made sure that all of the instruments were audible (when produced correctly, of course). Also on the bill are Night Demon, Wytch Hazel and Amulet. Not really. But, again, there is a certain fact that is passed over in silence in almost all of the reviews: all of the music on Frost and Fire is composed by the multi-instrumentalist Greg Lindstrom. Jerry's solos are amazing and his passing was very tragic and sad. Regardless, this is also more than recommended. In this case, fans of Cirith Ungol owe Jarvis Leatherby—Night Demon main man and organizer of the Frost and Fire Festival in Ventura, California—a lifetime supply of Turtle Wax for hauling in Tim Baker, Robert Garven, Jim Barraza, and Greg Lindstrom to … I will justify giving this album an 80% rating simply because I do like it and the first three songs and the last song are fantastic. FROST AND FIRE was hardly regarded as a classic at the time of release and although the album cover art by Michael Whelan suggests a connection to the rather mediocre animated flick “Heavy Metal” which came out the very same year of 1981, CIRITH UNGOL’s album is much more interesting than the lame soundtrack that supported that rather ho hum film. The Tales that Speak of “Frost & Fire” As co-founder and drummer of Cirith Ungol for 22 years I feel I … I’m not sure how valuable they are. Frost and Fire, Cirith Ungol's debut album, was a decent enough attempt at sword-and-sorcery fantasy metal, and in some ways can be seen as a precursor to the bleaker, more influential work of Celtic Frost. Per the testimony of drummer Robert Garven, who's performance on this album is fittingly the most restrained of any in the fold, Frost And Fire was constructed primarily of banger songs with an eye for radio play, which sadly didn't materialize and was likely a key factor in the exodus of co-founder and multi-instrumentalist Greg Lindstrom departing. The instruments are much lower in the mix than the vocals so it’s often hard to tell what’s going on behind the singing. Remastered from the original mastertapes. Ironically enough, it is Lindstrom's input on bass, keyboards and guitar that give this album a sense of depth that prevents it from becoming too mundane, introducing some jazzy elements and acid rock quirks into what is otherwise something almost too straightforward for its own good. When we spoke about songs for an EP with US metal covers, we thought it would be a cool thing to feature one of the old CU tracks which were still present in our minds. I also think the title track "Frost & Fire" is excellent with a great middle break and solo and that "Better off Dead" has a great bass line and some of Tim's greatest singing range. Type: Full-length Release date: January 1981 Catalog ID: HM13666 Version desc. The Cover of Michael Moorcock 's novel "Bane of the Black Sword" acts as the album's cover: it is titled "King of the Dead" and was painted by Michael Whelan . So, no black machines, no masters of the pit, no swords, no nothing of the sort, only modern day-to-day frustrations. This is all said looking back with a historical view that only I of all the reviewers can comment on being there the whole time. They will co-headline the two day event alongside Angel Witch at The Underworld, Camden on Saturday May 12, 2018. 1999, CD, Metal Blade Records (Reissue, Remastered). Discover releases, reviews, credits, songs, and more about Cirith Ungol - Frost And Fire at Discogs. The real truth is that we had been in the band for 9 years already and "Frost & Fire" was our attempt to get "commercial" airplay and find success with what we considered some of our more accessable music and yes radio friendly music! I would also like to write a couple of words about “Brutal Manchild”, an old CIRITH UNGOL track from 1978 which was recorded in the sessions of “Forever Black”, but did not enter the album. Site links: Home | Register | Metal Music Forum | Metal Music Guides, About MMA: FAQ | About us | Contact us | Submit your music for review | Advertising informations, Sites in the MAC network: Progarchives.com — progressive rock ultimate website | JazzMusicArchives.com — the ultimate jazz music online community | MetalMusicArchives.com — the ultimate metal music online community. Yet there was something very compelling about the brooding music that forced me to revisit it again and again and again. The cover art is by Michael Whelan, originally for one of Michael Moorcock's Elric novels. Find helpful customer reviews and review ratings for Frost and Fire at Amazon.com. rips out some great solos and leads on this album. It's solidly written and performed hard rock that mostly works well (excepting Edge of a Knife, which has the weakest chorus ever) but doesn't get your dick all that hard. Cirith Ungol – Forever Black (2020) | REVIEW Pestilence sprays across the land from lung to lung, ignorant congregations gather and die in hordes, the populace rallies against their own public health for the sake of their slaver’s prosperity and in the sky Helios looms in preparation of his fieriest whip of summer heat to date. FROST AND FIRE was hardly regarded as a classic at the time of release and although the album cover art by Michael Whelan suggests a connection to the rather mediocre animated flick “Heavy Metal” which came out the very same year of 1981, CIRITH UNGOL’s album is much more interesting than the lame soundtrack that supported that rather ho hum film. So, for sure, some things must have changed after he was no longer in charge. This is all said looking back with a historical view that only I of all the reviewers can comment on being there the whole time. And now for the “average” songs. But, that's about it. Read and write album reviews for Frost & Fire - Cirith Ungol on AllMusic Hindsight can be a tricky thing, and a careful assessment regarding the context of an album's release can make all the difference in fully understanding why it comes off a certain way. The album’s numerous flaws come from the fact that as musicians, they simply didn’t have the skill to make it work. All the nuance and songwriting skill that’s absent in most of the other tracks settled here, making it an unexpected treat. From there “The Frost Monstreme” 1 slows things down into classic Cirith plod and thud territory, and again the band sounds in vintage form. The songs on this album are, for the most part, a lot faster and more upbeat than the ones that fans would come to expect from the band’s later releases. Unique style and sound. 2021, Who can we expect new albums from this year? Or read some of the lyrics: "Look through me like I'm not there / You always act like you just don't care" (What Does It Take), "I don't care if you laugh at me / It's better than being ignored" (Edge of a Knife) or "I've got a lot on my head / And my condition's red / I think I'm better off dead / Sometimes" (Better Off Dead). To be fair, this album has its highlights. Review Summary: Frost and fire gives you the impression of a band still finding their feet in the metal world, but few would argue that the album is still a generally powerful piece of music. You can’t give an album a bad rating for three kind of average songs can you? Only one year after Black Sabbath’s debut birthed the genre, Cirith Ungol began pushing boundaries in Ventura. The former has some strange keyboard going on the background and a rather poppy riff during the solo, it is a good solo though and it almost saves the song. Because starting with track no.4, things change drastically. These would be songs like “What Does It Take” and “Better Off Dead”. Add in the doom and stoner resurgence and the climate is perfect for the Californians to come leaping from the dark like the iconic Skeletor creature on the cover of their 1984 masterpiece. The problem is that Cirith Ungol is an unintentional parody. It's weird in that while this album is still resolutely a Cirith Ungol release (that bizarre signature style is somewhere here) this is still, well, quite boring, quite unremarkable. Most people who don’t listen to metal, when they get an earful of Cirith Ungol, think the band is a parody of metal. The problem is that Cirith Ungol is an unintentional parody. Select Your Cookie Preferences. After a couple of listenings, I checked the album on Metal-Archives and the album's reviews. You can imagine a snarl on the bassist's face, his mid-heavy Rick tone soaring above the guitars, and spittle flying from the singer's face, teeth bared, gristly voice shrieking every note. Unfortunately for you the listener you never got to hear the other 20 or so odd songs that never made it to print such as: "Half Past Human - A Quarter to Ape" & "Brutish Manchild" but then that is another story for another day............ That said "King of the Dead" is my favorite and the last album which we had total control over. Er, they sound more average, I guess that's the best way to put it. A valiant debut by outsider metal icons Cirith Ungol, Frost and Fire comes loaded with a dyed in the wool, low budget earnestness that permeates every groove of the LP. Find helpful customer reviews and review ratings for Frost & Fire by CIRITH UNGOL at Amazon.com. Their debut album, Frost and Fire, is funny in the worst way possible and most of its runtime is actually painful to listen to. Their debut album, Frost and Fire, is funny in the worst way possible and most of its runtime is actually painful to listen to. The album cover that depicts a classic Elric picture does not help either, inducing a pretty wrong idea about what one can hear on this particular album. Halford’s relative restraint is what makes the technique really shine when he does use it. This was a dream of ours and after so many years of struggle it was our reality. Nipping on its heels is another rock anthem that takes time to slow things down a bit in "I'm Alive", but the more subdued slower segments give off more of a UFO vibe, while the faster moments reek of a late 70s Judas Priest influence. Many of the songs have fitting keyboard presence creating a dark atmosphere but luckily it's not overdone to masturbation (when Greg Lindstrom was in his, as he puts it, "'I think this could need some more synthesizer' phase") as it was on the demo versions of the songs (which can be heard on the compilation Servants of Chaos). Nevertheless, what seems to have changed this time around is that there is a whole new generation of fans, especially in Europe, into traditional metal ready to … The music and the lyrics are what one would expect from an album with Elric of Elnibone on the cover. Old Cirith Ungol Webpit; Frost and Fire (Google search or WP search) Frost and Fire was the first CU album I got to hear in the mid 80s I guess. My ten remaining sealed copies of the original Frost & Fire LP on Liquid Flames Records! It wasn’t another Iron Maiden , it was a … This is showcased by the opening and title track of the album. The bass on this album is audible, which is a great thing about classic metal albums. "'Atom Smasher,' 'Cirith Ungol' and 'Death of the Sun' were all songs we had written together in the mid 70's, and 'Finger of Scorn' was one of my songs that the band used with my blessing." In picking Frost and Fire apart, the most obvious starting point is Tim Baker’s singing. This album was released approximately 8 years after the band had initially formed back in 1972 so one can imagine that they had had a lot of time to write songs. When the local LA station KLOS played it once and considered it too heavy, we decided to go for broke with our second album and pulled out all the stops. So I started with Frost and Fire. … Its music is generally faster and more simplistic than that of King of the Dead, which saw the band begin to adopt a doom metal style influenced heavily by power metal. Add to that list another legendary act, namely CIRITH UNGOL which formed in 1971 in Ventura, CA and was well known for its fantasy based lyrics and power metal leanings long before its 1981 debut FROST AND FIRE. Tracklist: A1 Frost And Fire A2 I'm Alive A3 A Little Fire A4 What Does It Take A5 Edge Of A Knife B1 Better Off Dead B2 Maybe That's Why B3 Cirith Ungol (Bonus Track) Hard to feel much about this album; I was definitely expecting more seeing as how much I love King of the Dead. However, it will be released as a Flexi Disc with the issue 187 (May, 2020) of Decibel Magazine, and you can listen to it online. 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