Released: 2011, Untergang Records
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
For a black metal band who has released so many albums, it's strange that, for me at least, the Dutchmen Cirith Gorgor are a band that have always existed outside of 'mainstream'
black metal circles. Formed in 1993, Cirith Gorgor might not be as recognisable or popular as the likes of 'Mayhem', 'Darkthrone' and 'Emperor', but 'Der Untergang/Победа !!!', the band's fifth
album, originally released in 2011 and only on limited edition vinyl, is testament to why Cirith Gorgor deserve to be recognised with the greats.
The album's focus is war, in particular World war 2, showcased over three stunning chapters.'Marduk's 'Panzer Division' and more recently 'Eastern Front's 'Blood on Snow' just to name a couple, show that war is not an unfamiliar topic when it comes to black metal but never at any point does 'Der Untergang' feel cliché or forced. Lead writer and guitarist 'Marchosias' had written the album over several years and The album's concept brings a sense of atmosphere and meaning when compared to the band's earlier work.
'Der Untergang' kicks off with a tense intro, a mix of samples, chilling voice overs and harsh guitar playing and this is repeated in epilogues after every track. You get the sense of calm
before the inevitable storm, especially notable at the end of the second part of the trilogy. Part II is also noticeable for being the slower part of the album. I use the term slower loosely
of course, the mid-tempo track almost reminiscent of 'Storm of The Lights Bane' era 'Dissection'. It doesn't stay that way for long though with part II's epilogue exhibiting a clever use of
acoustic guitars followed up by 'Levithmong's blistering blast-beats and 'Nimroth's chilling vocals moments later in the the final ten minute opus.
The album itself runs at just over 35 minutes, too short for some I'm sure, but for me it was short but sweet with no sense of dragging on toward the final stages.
The penetrating overall sound of the album reinforces the intensity with just the right mix of heavy polish and traditional black metal sound. Classic black metal enthusiasts may be put off by 'Der Untergang's production but it works well here and is the most well produced and all in all the strongest album of Cirith's Gorgor's growing catalogue. If you haven't listened to the band before, then this is as good a place to start than any.
Review By Andy T