This morning's Clyde Caldwell post put me in the mood for some epic 80's fantasy metal. But rather than sharing Cirith Ungol's 1980 release Frost And Fire (which I unceremoniously name-dropped in said post), I decided we should all travel to the future (of the 80's) and revisit their second (and equally balls-kicking) full-length King of The Dead. Like its precursor, Dead sports awesome cover art by Michael Whelan lifted from the cover of a Moorcock novel (the book in question is Bane of The Black Sword, while Frost featured art from Stormbringer), and the album's contents, music-wise, are equal in epic-ness as well.
Can you think of another band as dirty and visceral as Cirith Ungol that could turn 180 degrees and throw a Bach cover at you on side B of their album (it's "Toccata in Dm", and it rules)? Can you think of a better Bro-Mosh anthem than "Master of The Pit"? Can you show me a better use of black leather in a band photo (below)? No, no, and no. Ungol is an anomaly.
Although their label debut came in 1980, Cirith Ungol formed all the way back in 1972, and made it all the way to '92 before calling it quits. That's two solid decades of grimy, Hessian-approved black magic, a legacy of thunder and an apic tale in itself. ELRIC APPROVES.
Dude second from the left appears to be wearing a Cirith Ungol T-shirt. This shit is starting to get uncanny.