REVIEW: Cirith Ungol – Forever Black


Formed in 1971, heavy metal band CIRITH UNGOL was one of the most legendary heavy metal acts of their time. Their last album was released in 1991, almost 30 years ago now, so it certainly was a surprise when the band announced their return in 2016 with shows. Four years later, the band is finally ready to release a follow-up, “Forever Black,” out on 24 April 2020 via Metal Blade Records.

Opener “The Call” is an atmospheric intro track including horns and epic guitar melodies that sent us straight back to the 80s. The NWoBHM-influence is undeniable on “Legions Arise,” a powerful heavy metal track with galloping guitars and bass, powerful rhythms, and vocals. The same sound continues on songs like “The Frost Monstreme” and “Nightmare,” which shine with fantastic and groovy guitar melodies and riffs.

“The Fire Divine” could have been easily a leftover song from the 80s, with its familiar chord progressions and epic guitar solo work, and catchy chorus. “Stormbringer” shows a different side of the band. The ballad is a little bit cheesy in its lyrics, as is supposed to be with these kinds of ballads, but altogether it contains enough memorable guitar work to stand out on the album as a song.

The album ends with the closing duo “Before Tomorrow” and “Forever Black,” which again include some old-school riffing, slow, groovy, and as stripped down as heavy metal can be.

While the album has its flaws here and there, mostly due to some filler tracks, it contains some outstanding pieces like the opener, “Legions Arise,” which is probably one of the band’s highlights. The highlight of the album, however, is Tim Baker. After nearly 30 years, his trademark unique, somewhat unusual voice is still intact and as powerful as ever. With its nostalgic feel and production, “Forever Black” exceeds any expectations of a comeback I ever had and the band has managed to craft one of their best albums up-to-date.


  1. The Call
  2. Legions Arise
  3. The Frost Monstreme
  4. The Fire Divine
  5. Stormbringer
  6. Fractus Promissum
  7. Nightmare
  8. Before Tomorrow
  9. Forever Black


Tim Baker – vocals
Jim Barraza – guitars
Robert Garven – drums
Greg Lindstrom – guitars
Jarvis Leatherby – bass


Metal Blade Records