Label: Metal Blade
Cirith Ungol surely are one of the Epic Metal genre behemoths. End of story. And yet, every time I listen to them I get upset. Not with their music but with metalheads (as I remember them) when Cirith were introduced to us. You see, while Manowar, Manilla Road, Liege Lord, Omen and a lot of other bands had a cult of epic metal fans (we were a bad ass group of fans, especially in Greece) Cirith Ungol never had the recognition they deserved. And it was not a matter of ignorance, their first records were distributed in Greece too. And while they were a killer band with their own distinguished “personality” many of the genre fans didn’t like them. I can’t forget countless “quarrels” with friends (that were into the epic genre) that told me that they either didn’t like the vocals or that the band seemed kind of psychedelic. Bottom line is that for some reason they were never really successful in Greece.
During the ’90s this (thankfully) changed. But it was too late. “Paradise Lost” had such a bad distribution that you could only get in on tape (a format I never liked). The CD was not seen for years and you could only get it from abroad. One could ask the question with I am getting upset now. Because many of the people that talked shit about them then (because when you get older you remember with obscene details everything from the past, but you forget anything recent), now are suddenly claiming that they are fans. And the reason? Their commercial failure made them a cult band in the hearts of this country’s epic fans (a group that unfortunately has that kind of psychological complex). Thank God (Lemmy) that the internet solved that problem. People have now access to countless releases and judges for their music. Thus Cirith Ungol can finally take their deserved place in the U.S. metal pantheon (talking about the Greek epic metalheads). Better late than never I guess.
What to say about “Paradise Lost”? An album that was released in a period full of problems. Rumor has it that they were incredibly disappointed with their label, the production was not the way they wanted it and everything was done with a lot of whining. So what? The album was a true Cirith Ungol release, a masterpiece. And I won’t accept any objections. “Join the Legion”, “The Troll”, “Heaven Help Us”, “Chaos Rising” (Supremely epic song) and of course “Paradise Lost” are reasons enough to love the album. We don’t know a lot of albums with 5+1 super songs (the cover on Arthur Brown’s “Fire” is amazing) out of a total of 9. For me it’s one of the best U.S. metal bands ever. But I have to be honest, I loved their previous releases. So don’t listen to me, listen to your ears and buy the re-release. DEFINITELY!!!!!!
(The new release has 5 of the album songs on alternative mixes. I guess vexation of the old production still exists. Anyway the songs are great even if you listened to them from a damaged tape written in a portable double cassette player you bought in St. Barbara. It was a great time then, in ’27).
Rating: RATING????? SERIOUSLY????? Ok, it will be 5/6 and that’s because I am strict (although 5/6 seems kind of low for that album).