“ Artist: Cirith Gorgor / Import / Audio CD released 2001-01-01 at Osmose Productions „
Holland's Cirith Gorgor seem to be one of the more overlooked black metal bands, at least in comparison to the big Norwegian names that metal reviewers like me throw around all over the place, and it's a shame because they're certainly one of the more interesting acts. With a strong focus on melody that is never allowed to interfere with the sheer ferocity of their traditional black metal approach, these songs sound a little different to most bands out there, and superior to those who they may have been imitating all along.
One of the interesting aspects of Cirith Gorgor is that the rasping vocals of frontman Nimroth can actually be understood for the most part, which is great if you're into the whole Tolkien/fantasy/anti-Christian thing that they are, and still pleasantly atmospheric if you're not. The guitar riffs of Astaroth Daemonum and Asmoday are suitably catchy, but it's their lead work that really stands out, occasionally reminiscent of melodic death metal bands such as Amon Amarth.
The production job is also as near to perfect as can be, avoiding the polish that would rob the album of its atmosphere but allowing all the instruments to be heard distinctly, including Lord Mystic's bass. The only reason it doesn't get five stars as a definitive example of black metal is because the next album is even better.
1. The Declaration of Our Neverending War
2. Winter Embraces Lands Beyond
3. Through Burning Wastelands
4. Sons of the New Dawn
5. A Hymn to the Children of Heimdall / Darkness Returns
6. Wandering Cirith Gorgor
7. Ephel Duath (A Warrior's Tale)
8. Shadows over Isengard
9. Thorns of Oblivion