OK…so, we said we only did interviews these days, but you know what, we might just have some good news for fans of CIRITH UNGOL, so do read on. First of all, indeed, you can find here our review of the upcoming EP Half Past Human – due out on the 28th May 2021, in a wide variety of formats that you can preorder here or here. You can see the picture disk and CD above, although we’re not sure who that guitar belongs to…
The guys did take a quarter of a century off, but what a comeback – they’ve certainly been busy these last three years, with the excellent single Witch’s Game, a live release, the full length Forever Black, and now this EP….a collection of older unused songs that have been reworked and recorded.
How does it sound? Fantastic, of course, and about as heavy as you can get! You’ll be yearning to see them live after playing this, but then aren’t we all? Against the musicianship and songwriting, Tim Baker’s vocals sound better than ever in the mix. The pace – which is so important to this band’s music – is precise and deliberate. The bass and guitars have plenty to offer with some nice solos, exchanges of motifs, and riff development.
Track one Route 666, a song that can only be about cars, I guess, kicks off into hard rock territory, with plenty of layers going on, and a doomy breakdown section, with some tasty solos, but rather than developing too far, it keeps a tight rock and roll song structure, and makes for a great opener with its singable riffs. Shelob’s Lair leans a little more towards classic and epic heavy metal, with a deceptive simple intro that reinvents itself as a great guitar riff, the song twisting and turning along its journey with some Sabbath-esque diversions and time changes. You’ve all, no doubt, heard Brutish Man Child? And could anyone be in any doubt that you are listening to Cirith Ungol when this kicks off? The trademark cadences bouncing around on Frost and Fire always made the music sound not just heavy, but tonally huge – the dimension that so many bands neglect – so fans of their early work will love this one. Good chord sequences, in other words! We finish off with Half Past Human, a steady epic ballad which took me by surprise at first but as it crushes along you’ll know you just spent your money wisely as the EP closes. Then you can play it again.
So, what’s the other bit of news? Well, to coincide with the release of Half Past Human, OMM has completed an exclusive interview with guitarist Jim Barraza that we will release next week! He talks about the early days, the time between, and what it’s like coming back after all these years. Subscribe on Instagram and / or Facebook for updates using the links below!
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