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Cirith Ungol-Servants Of Chaos

 

Where to start with this one eh?31 tracks on 2cds and a bonus live dvd as well.Metal Blade Records,due to demand,have re-released Servants Of Chaos from the vastly underrated and sadly disbanded Cirith Ungol.Originally released as a dbl cd in 2001,Servants Of Chaos contains rare,demo,live and unreleased tracks from the band hailing from Ventura,California.Cirith Ungol formed in 1972 and split in 1992 due to musical direction.

Between 1980 and 1991 they released 4 seminal albums:-

Frost And Fire 1980.

King Of The Dead 1984.

One Foot In Hell 1986.

Paradise Lost 1991.

The band were sword and sorcery fans and the name Cirith Ungol came from a place with the same name from J.R Tolkien’s opus Lord Of The Rings which reflected in the bulk of their lyrics.The original 2001 release consisted of 2cds but the 2011 version has a live dvd from 1984 recorded in Reseda,California.There is also a gatefold 3 vinyl disc of Servants Of Chaos version to.The dvd  is very warts and all,recorded from the mixing desk and the band were supporting and had no soundcheck apparently.

On with the music,31 tracks spread over 2cds,totalling just over 2 and a quarter hrs.Cd1 is very raw to say the least and sounds much better for it.First impressions were of early Uriah Heep,MC5 and The Dictators with the vocals sounding like a deranged Geddy  Lee but they have a unique sound which is hard to pigeonhole.A bit of doom,traditional heavy metal,melodic rock and sprawling instrumentals.Highlights of the 1st cd are Last Laugh,the lyrics state their intent of success which was not to be.100mph is an in your face rocker proclaiming their way of life and approach to their music but my personal highlights are the 8 instrumentals that close the cd.

Maybe Thats Why rides along on melodic guitar feedback followed by the early Rush era riffing on I’ll Meet In Lankhmar.The next track Return To Lankhmar is a keyboard driven guitar fest with some fast picking and killer hammer on/offs before returning to the main riff from the previous track.Darkness Weaves sounds like classic Amboy Dukes whilst Witchdance and Feeding The Ants are hyperspeed workouts.

Cd2 kicks off with the huge riff of Death Of The Sun followed by a killer cover of  Fire with with vocalist Tim Baker sounding as unhinged as the original vocalist Arthur Brown.Fallen Idols follows with the main riff sounding close to Judas Priest’s The Hellion.After Chaos Rising there is a demo version of Fallen Idols to appease Cirith Ungol purists everywhere.The Sabbath like riffs of Paradise Lost precede Join The Legion and Before The Lash leading to 5 live audio tracks which show just how good a live band Cirith Ungol were with  Tim Baker sounding as manic as in the studio.

Track listing cd1:

Hype Performance.

Last Laugh.

Frost And Fire.

Eyes.

Better Off Dead.

100mph.

I’m Alive.

Bite Of The Worm.

The Twitch.

Maybe Thats Why.

I’ll Meet In Lankhmar.

Return To Lankhmar.

Darkness Weaves.

Witchdance.

Feeding The Ants.

Obsidian.

cd2:

Death Of The Sun.

Fire.

Fallen Idols.

Chaos Rising.

Fallen Idols (demo).

Paradise Lost.

Join The Legion.

Before The Lash.

Atom Smasher (live).

Master Of The Pit (live).

King Of The Dead (live).

Last Laugh (live).

Cirith Ungol (live).

Secret Agent Man.

Ferrari 308QV.

Dvd track listing:-

I’m Alive.

The Black Machine.

Master Of The Pit.

King Of The Dead.

Death Of The Sun.

Finger Of Scorn.

Frost And Fire.

Cirith Ungol.

 

I award Servants Of  Chaos 9/10.

 

 

About Dennis Jarman

Full time downtrodden album/gig reviewer and part time rock God!
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