Review by UnhinderedbyTalent for Cirith Gorgor - Onwards to the Spectral Defile (1999) Review by UnhinderedbyTalent for Cirith Gorgor - Onwards to the Spectral Defile (1999)

UnhinderedbyTalent UnhinderedbyTalent / October 11, 2022 / 0

I must confess to not having heard the debut album by Cirith Gorgor for a good while. A brief look at my spreadsheet where I log all my collection showed me that I had this album as a five out of five rating. SPOILER ALERT – it isn’t. This record had a bit of a cult following back on the old Terrorizer forums and I can sort of see why. The blazing Battles in the North intensity of Immortal, the relentless attack of Gorgoroth and the misanthropic attitude of Marduk all shine through on this record. Similarly, the crude sense of melody deployed by the likes of Sargeist rings around my head for most of Onwards to the Spectral Defile.

That cult status does not strike me as all that valid – certainly in 2022 anyways. Released in 1999, this album dropped long after the heyday of the bm scene and so I hear nothing that I had not heard already from any of the above-mentioned bands. Gorgoroth had peaked long before this record, Marduk lead the way in the intensity stakes as Immortal embraced the more epic aspect of bm in the very same year Cirith Gorgor released this, their debut album. The thought occurs to me that CG just arrived late to the party and wondered where everyone else had gone.

History lesson aside, is OttSD any good? Well, yes, it is. If you like a dose of 90’s scathing black metal with some melody (clumsily) applied, then this is for you. Does the scope of the ambition outweigh the ability to deliver it? Yes, it does. Is the production job a little too high value for the aesthetic they try to portray? Probably. It is still a decent enough an effort for a debut album though and I am being more than a little unkind to it by berating it in terms of historical reference alone. Enjoy this album for what it is and not when it should have been released.

Comments (0)