Genre: Heavy / Doom Metal
Label: Metal Blade
I’m sure that each and every one of you reading this article already know everything about Cirith Ungol. And that’s good for you. Cirith Ungol are not some random band amidst the American Metal scene; at least that’s what I think. Cirith Ungol and Manilla Road were the two bands that had that epic sound and themes, filled with a 70s quality in both compositions and atmosphere. Maybe that was their conviction, too, because people in the 80s were looking for a more direct / straightforward metal sound. Maiden and Judas were culminating and Metallica were changing the course of scene. There was no room left for those old epic metallers, those figures that popped out from the movie Conan with weird vocals and filthy, yet simple, sound. But time and passed and their value, their uniqueness, was recognized. I have said it before; releasing a good records doesn’t require a huge set of balls. Though producing sound with character and delivering notes that when heard remind you of just one band, does. And that’s something only really big bands can cope with.
As for the album ‘King of the Dead’, there’s no need to say much. It’s record that EVERYBODY who loves the epic American sounds NEEDS to have it in his collection. The reissues is thorough, too. Not only because it includes bonus live performances from 1984 and 2016 and the execution of ‘Death of the Sun’ from the historical Metal Massacre compilation but has a DVD of the concert at the Roxy club in 1983 (those who have seen it, we curse the scientists for trying to solve other problems instead of finally building a time machine for us, the old ones). I cannot pick any particular songs. For me the entire album is impeccable and I have a special weakness towards it, because it was the first Cirith Ungol record I bought and made me love them. All I can say is, if you live after Black Machine when they perform it live, I won’t visit my cardiologist for check-up ever again.
Buy it. I, however, although I have already bought some of the versions released throughout the years, I’ll buy it again and enjoy it like that first time.