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Brutish Manchild - 80%

Nattskog7, June 3rd, 2022
Written based on this version: 2021, CD, Metal Blade Records (Limited edition, Digipak)

America’s epic heavy metal legends Cirith Ungol return with a new EP to follow their stellar 2020 album.

Samples of engines revving start the adrenaline before powerful guitar and thunderous bass drive forth a mighty riff alongside pounding drums and those glorious vocals that all Cirith Ungol fans will rejoice to hear. Of course last year we got a full length album, so it is a real treat to see these metal titans come back so quickly, clearly with just as much fury in their hearts as the opening songs delivers an epic hell-ride down “Route 666” which is pure old school heaviness with a thick and up-to-date production that sounds absolutely killer from the punishing rhythms to the moody, blues-tinged guitar solos that are gorgeously delivered. Continuing, the punchy and anthemic music does not falter, these veterans whom are seasoned in the crafting of top-quality metal clearly have no shortage of ideas in their arsenal.

Forging forward the monstrously catchy EP delivers a crushing blend of tight headbanging mayhem with those eerie and more sombre sections that have given the bands music a unique and recognisable depth since their debut “Frost And Fire” album carved their place in the heavy metal world. Naturally those doomy moments are contemplative and yet rocking, the band do not lose energy when they slow things down, nor have they ever. Then we see those powerful riffs and daunting drums develop into an assault of pure traditional excellence. Tracks like “Brutish Manchild” have a certain feel that I believe will be extremely cool in a live setting as well as on the record. In fact the instrumentals and vocals feel just as powerful and passionate as ever while the trade-off between rhythmic battery and melodic lead work is so smooth that the EP flies by in a flurry of 4 superb songs that will certainly please all Cirith Ungol fans dying for more. Perhaps not a release that will define the band, but a very welcome and strong addition to their impeccable discography.

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