Cirith Ungol’s debut is 35 years old now but it’s new to me. After just a couple of listens, though, I can safely say… it sounds a bit like Rush. Mainly due to the piercing vocals of Tim Baker but the music reminds me of Fly By Night/Caress of Steel era Rush in feel, if not in compositional or instrumental niftiness. It rocks more straightforwardly, more garage-y like an American entry in the NWOBHM canon. With the exception of Jerry Fogle’s handy guitar soloing, it’s all pretty meat and potatoes but I find the simplicity inspiring. As I listen I’ve instantly got an idea what they’re doing. If I ended up in the rehearsal room I reckon I’d have a good crack at joining in. It makes me want to play and I can’t give it much more praise than that. Time has proven that the albums that give me the guitar-playing itch tend to be keepers. Oh… and how awesome is that cover?
[Cirith Ungol – I’m Alive]