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Review: Cirith Ungol - Dark Parade
Cirith Ungol
Dark Parade

Label: Metal Blade Records
Year released: 2023
Duration: 44:05
Tracks: 8
Genre: Heavy/Doom

Rating: 5/5

Review online: September 22, 2023
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Readers Rating
Dark Parade

Rated 4.23/5 (84.62%) (13 Votes)

Dark Parade is the sixth full-length album from Ventura, CA’s Cirith Ungol, a band that began way back in 1971 and release several classic/cult albums in the ‘80s. This is their second since reforming in 2015, following 2020’s Forever Black. I liked the last one, but Dark Parade hands down captures Cirith Ungol’s weird and wonderful mix of traditional and doom metal as if it was still 1984. The production is modern, but everything else here is so authentically ‘80s, it is astonishing. Vocalist Tim Baker sounds as good as he did 40 years ago, and his unique style and delivery continue to enchant. They’ve even managed to capture late guitarist Jerry Fogle’s guitar tone in spots. As on classics like King of the Dead and One Foot in Hell, the band crank out a number of rockers, such as the fist-pumping opener "Velocity (S.E.P.)" and "Sailor on the Seas of Fate" which starts slow but then hits the gas midway through, as well as their signature slower doom cuts like "Down Below" and "Distant Shadows." There’s even bit of Middle Eastern-flavored doom on "Relentless" and Spanish/Moorish spice to the acoustic opening on "Sacrifice." The songwriting is simply incredible, each song stuffed to bursting with catchy choruses, creepy atmospheres, and riff after almighty riff. I am floored by how good Dark Parade is and cannot imagine any fan into Cirith Ungol’s early albums finding a single fault with it. 2023 album of the year.

Other related information on the site
Review: Dark Parade (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Forever Black (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: Half Past Human (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: I'm Alive (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: King Of The Dead (reviewed by Larry Griffin)
Review: King of the Dead (Ultimate Edition) (reviewed by Omni)
Review: One Foot in Hell (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Paradise Lost (reviewed by Omni)
Interview with Cirith Ungol on April 16, 2017 (Interviewed by Omni)
Interview with vocalist Tim Baker, drummer Robert Graven and bassist Jarvis Leatherby on December 1, 2019 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
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