I’m Alive



MUTANT METAL: “I’m Alive” is not only the name of one of Cirith Ungol’s best songs, but also a triumphant statement for the cult metal act. Their reunion in 2016 was an unlikely one, coming after 14 years of inactivity and the death of founding guitarist Jerry Fogle in 1998. It’s not like they received much attention during their initial run, either. Although they developed a small fan base around their ugly amalgamation of doom and traditional metal, especially the minor classic King of the Dead, their sound was far too niche to court mainstream success in the 80s. Thankfully, absence makes the heart grow fonder. Their second go-round afforded them the opportunity to play at larger festivals in both the US and Europe. I’m Alive covers two performances from 2017 at the Up the Hammers Festival in Greece and the Hammer of Doom Festival in Germany (lotta hammers over in the EU, apparently). It’s an hour and 50 minutes of kick-ass classics like “Master of the Pit” and “Join the Legion” performed by a band that picked up right where they left off. Some of the sound quality could be improved, but this two-disc set captures one of the great unsung metal acts of the 80s at their most potent. Long live Cirith Ungol. ~ Jeff Treppel