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Review: Cirith Gorgor - Unveiling the Essence
Cirith Gorgor
Unveiling the Essence

Label: Osmose Productions
Year released: 2001
Duration: 45:16
Tracks: 8
Genre: Black Metal


Review online: April 12, 2005
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Readers' Rating
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Rated 4/5 (80%) (8 Votes)

It must have been about four years since I bought this album, and a few days less since I last listened to it. The one thing I remembered (beside the great cover art) was that this album was fast. Well, it still is. This is no quiet walk in the park, but rather a 45 minutes onslaught of sheer speed and mayhem - well, make that 43 since the closer is a quiet acoustic outro. :) Cirith Gorgor play a style of Black Metal that can be likened to such bands as Marduk (except in their later, more laid-back material) and Dark Funeral (a style that some people refer to as "norsecore", if that can help you…) What sets these guys apart is how much there is going on. This is not just some non-sensical speed fest; If you pay attention to details rather than just headbang madly (well, don't do that or you'll fuck yourself up pretty quick), you'll find there's some pretty technical playing going on. Of course I'm not implying that the aforementioned bands can't play, but this is a style that quickly got saturated by some crappy bands trying to do the "in" thing - the point is that Cirith Gorgor isn't part of the lot of junk bands you need to avoid in this style, quite the contrary. The vocals are quite adequate for the style, the vocalist sticks to a proven formula and uses his "low shriek" (for lack of a better word) not unlike Marduk's throughout the album. I usually focus on the guitars, but I found the drums to be a major point of interest in this release. The drummer sure wasn't just in for a quick one here, there's quite a bit going on. Too bad the drum sound sometimes sound like he's using cans as a drum kit, but thankfully that sound is only present in some short passages and isn't too annoying.

The one thing I regret is not paying more attention to this release back when I got it, for this is quite an interesting album that gets better with every listen. I'm surprised these guys never really got out of the shadow of better-known bands playing a similar style. There's a hidden "pre-track" which is a cover of Darkthrone's "In The Shadow of the Horns", but the ripping software missed it so it didn't get transferred to my mp3 player. Oh well, I hate hidden tracks anyway. Highly recommended.

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