Servants of Chaos isn’t a new LP from Ventura, California’s Cirith Ungol, but rather a two-CD retrospective that covers their various releases, starting with their 1978 demo recordings and going up until their last official album, 1991’s Paradise Lost. This was initially released in 2001, but this reissue also comes with a DVD of one of their live performances from 1984. I guess the best way to describe this band, for those who’ve never heard of them before, would to call them Traditional Heavy Metal or Hard Rock. The music, especially the old stuff, has more in common with 1970s Hard Rock than any of the LA Butt Rock/Heavy Metal that came in the ’80s. Though never a top tier band, Cirith Ungol always seemed to have a cult following amongst fantasy nerds and fans of bands like Hawkwind or Jethro Tull. The coolest thing about the band was their album covers. They usually used artwork that once graced the covers of Michael Moorcock’s Elric series and those were invariably awesome. Their music wasn’t the greatest, though. The singer was too whiney and their music was never as powerful as I would have liked. This band was an anomaly in the Metal scene and to this day I can’t imagine where they would belong in my record collection. This isn’t Rock & Roll enough to qualify as Hard Rock, but not really Metal enough to be Heavy Metal. I can’t comment on the live DVD because the label decided not to include it in the review package, so the rating is for the music only.
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