Cirith Ungol Comeback

In short: Cirith Ungol broke up in May 1992. There will probably never be a comeback.

UPDATE: Cirith Ungol is back! 2015.

 

The being called Ungol is dead
its resurrection is doubtful.
But heed it’s teachings oh faithful
for on these memoratic disks contain
the wisdom of the ages
and by your iron fists
may the horror
of false metal be extinguished.
As you now join the swelling ranks of the Legions of Chaos
together we will drive before us
the cringing herd of False Metal
crush their spineless lackeys
and purge the world of their mutant plague!!!

Cirith Ungol’s mission statement

Cirith Ungol split up due to frustration about the music business. For more information about the issue, please read any Cirith Ungol interview after the split up. That does however not mean there are no theoretically chance of a comeback, even if it would mean for a new album or a one gig only. Except for Jerry who unfortunately passed away, they all still loves rock music and they still likes Cirith Ungol.

Greg Lindstrom (guitars) is, as most now knows, still active in playing heavy rock music in his new band Falcon with Perry Grayson and Darin McCloskey, where he also plays some old and rare Ungol songs. Unfortunately not a whole lot of new things has happened with the band since their second album in 2008. He is occasionally active on Cirith Ungol Facebook group and page. In the later years he has also been selling some new and official merchandise on eBay.

Robert Garven (drums) was the driving force for the longest time of any of the band member. He still loves his work with Ungol and also has high regrets that the band disbanded that way. He has not played his drums ever since the band broke up. He did get offered to play with Falcon before Greg got the offer from Perry, but unfortunately he rejected. He and Greg gave a lot of interview in the early 2000’s.

Around the millennium shift, the band did intend to reunite, but Tim Baker (vocals) wasn’t interested in that point of time according to Greg in an interview. Gerrit Mutz (Sacred Steel) was offered to take hand of the vocals, but he said no, because he could never replace Tim. The good news is that Tim Baker still likes Cirith Ungol and he can be found occasionally posting song recommendations and comments on the Cirith Ungol Facebook group and page.

According to an interview with Greg, Michael “Flint” Vijejia (bass) is no more interested in Cirith Ungol. But that interview is some years ago. On the last pic I saw of him, he was in company with Tim Baker and wearing a Tesla shirt, so he obviously and luckily has not lost his musical interest.

Unfortunately Jerry Fogle (guitars) has passed away.

Jimmy Barraza (guitars) is still in contact with Tim Baker and also occasionally active on Cirith Ungol Facebook group and page. In 2010 he posted a few never before seen live video clips dating back to 1991.

Less known is that Vern Green (bass) from the Paradise Lost-lineup is still musical active and currently plays in at least one band – Urban Soul. He highly admires his time in Cirith Ungol. In Nov 2007 he published some never before seen live video clips from The Ventura Theater 1991 show on Youtube. He is also occasionally active on Cirith Ungol Facebook group and page. He is also positive towards a reunion.

Michael Johnson (guitars) is perhaps not the most well known ex-member, but he played guitars with the band at the very end of their career. He is still very musical active in various projects and is also positive towards a reunion.

 

Below are various quotes regarding a possible comeback. Bear in mind that most of these quotes are from early 2000’s. Since then, Rob, Jim, Tim and Flint has been hanging out together in recent times, and all their five albums – including Servants of Chaos – has been re-released.

I wish it was so, all of us have created separate lives out of the ashes of our band.  You have to remember we put so much into it and got so little out when it was over most of the members were not only drained, but shells of their former selves.  I know Tim and I would be up to it and interested but I cannot speak for the others. Sometimes it is better to remember the past than try to dig up the graves of the dead.

Robert Garven, That’s Metal 1/99

Unfortunately with Jerry’s death and the time that has passed since the break-up it seems like a long shot, however I can not say definitely, as “It burns inside of me”,  “It burns inside of me”!!!!!  (Lyrics from F&F)

Robert Garven, Metal Hammer 11/99

This would be a dream come true for me if only it could happen! I don’t even have a drum set anymore!  To get the guys together from different states, to practice to get ready, to get the money to do all this.  It would seem impossible to me.  The only way is for me to win the lottery.  Then I would have enough money to get the band together and start playing again. I understand your desire and I feel it myself. It is just sad when we were together and kicking ass no one wanted us to play anywhere.  That is the tragedy!

Robert Garven, Metal Heart 12/2000

The Corroseum: It has been said that it’s very unlikely we’ll see the band reunited and playing again. Why would this be so difficult? Do you think a resurrection would be more negative than positive for the name of CIRITH UNGOL?

That’s exactly why I didn’t go to see the reformed Thin Lizzy last year. I wanted to keep my Lizzy memories sacred. Bepages, how could they call themselves Lizzy without Phil Lynott? As for CU, we were always a good live band, much more heavy than on record (especially the F & F songs). With a bit of practice, I think we could hold our own and put on a good show.

Greg Lindstrom, The Corroseum interview

The real problem is probably with Tim. He is not interested in Cirith Ungol anymore and he is not willing to cooperate on any project. He was even against the release of “Servants of Chaos”

Robert Garven, The Corroseum interview 

My dreams and nightmares are filled with this thought. Although I have not touched a drum since 1992, I KNOW I could jump on a set and play as if I never stopped. However the pain of the treachery of our past record company dealings makes it hard to walk away from our semi-comfortable lives to become abused and ripped off again!! I know that both Tim and Greg are interested, but the logistics still make it a long shot….

Robert Garven, Metal Nightmare interview 2000

Well, Greg and I have talked about re-recording some of the old material that was lost.  Some of the sounds were pretty cool such as “Half Past Human, A Quarter to Ape”, “High Speed Love” etc.  We thought that we would be able to put them on this double CD but much of the material was either totally lost or deteriorated to far to put out!  However I am not sure that this would be possible. Metal Blade Europe has expressed an interest in a project like this but only if it included Tim.  Tim is not interested in doing anything with the band so this is probably a long shot.  However just like a horror movie sequel there is always a possibility.

Robert Garven, Terrorizer 9/2001

Michael [Whelan] is the finest fantasy artist around. I think maybe some people buy the album for the cover art and throw the record away! The series of Elric paintings gives the albums a nice sense of continuity. And Michael has a couple more Elric paintings that could be used for a new album.

Greg Lindstrom, The Corroseum interview

Maybe if we could get Tim to lay off the cigarettes and Rob could wrangle a drum kit out of  Pearl or Ludwig !

Greg Lindstrom, interview by Patrick Lefevre

I would really like to but like Greg says if the interest was there it would happen.  Unfortunately with Metal Blade not even releasing our new CD in the US and deleting our re-releases there is little if no hope for a reunion.

Robert Garven, True Metal magazine 07/02

Usually I prefer to remember a band at their peak, rather than 15 years later, bald and with beer bellies. Of course, I still look good! With Jerry gone, it wouldn’t be the original CU, but it’s still possible…

Greg Lindstrom, Blood of the Ancients 11/2002

It is amazing as there is not a month goes by that we are not approached about playing at major festivals etc.  When we were together we had to fight for every gig usually playing opening or in the second slot.  It is too bad that we were not offered the same opportunity back then as we would have really blown some peolples minds!!!!  I mainly quit playing as I was so disgusted by the way we were treated by the music industry back then. Since the same people are still in charge of the music bussiness today and since the same bullshit continues to go on I can not see myself being subjected to the abuse all over again. I miss playing and would definitely play for our fans but I think it is rather doubtful.  You have know idea the pain and suffering we went through over the years and what a dark stain it has left on my mind.

I just wish that so many people would buy the CD’s and t-shirts that Metal Blade would come to us a beg us for another CD or to re-unite.  I know this will never happen but it would be nice.

Robert Garven, Blood of the Ancients 11/2002

I wish Rob Garven and Tim Baker would play again, but the sad reality is it’s probably never going to happen.

Perry Grayson 

Unfortunately Greg is the only remaining Cirith Ungol member who has been active in the rock/metal scene over the past couple of decades, so the likelihood of any kind of Cirith Ungol reunion is next to nil. CU will probably remain a cult legend that only played a few gigs outpage of Southern California. I never saw ’em myself, not even the Paradise Lost lineup.

Perry Grayson

I haven’t talked to Tim or Flint in probably ten years, neither of them have shown any interest in a CIRITH UNGOL reunion. And to be honest, I think that twenty-five years of cigarette smoking has taken its toll on Tim’s voice.

I never say never!

Greg Lindstrom, Headache interview, 2005

 

Unfortunately, without Tim there is no comeback at all. I believe while not impossible it is highly improbable.

I can say that I would do almost anything to make it happen. I have a studio, instruments and the will power to make it happen. One thing for sure though, if it even comes close to being like the Story of Anvil, I don’t think anyone would want to do it.

It would have to be done with dignity or not at all.

Vern Green, 20 Feb 2010

 

Never say never, but I am 99.99% certain there will not be a CU reunion. Even though Rob (Garven) and I are still great friends, he’s become very bitter about the whole business page of music making, and he hasn’t touched a drumstick in 10 years. His Ferrari 308GT4 is his passion now! And Tim (Baker) and Flint have shown no interest, either, and I have doubts about Tim’s voice holding up after 30 years of smoking. So I think it’s best for CU to rest in peace. It’s kind of a shame, since we get offers every year to reform CU and play at some of the big metal festivals in Europe. But as far as I am concerned, all my musical effort is going into FALCON, and I’m totally happy with our musical direction. With everything else going on in my life, I don’t have the time, energy, or the incentive to try and resurrect CU.

Greg Lindstrom, BallBuster interview

We have been offered large sums of money to regroup to play in Europe but Tim is not interested and Tim is the one that everyone wants to see, so that has not gone very far. I would be interested in a reunion, but I think that it would be best for our fans if we never played again. We were so good back then, and seeing a shell of what we once were on stage seems pretty depressing to me. Heavy Metal like Formula One racing is a young mans sport, over 30 and you lose your edge!

All I ever wanted to do is play drums and I still dream at night about getting a new set, or the band getting back together. I am haunted and tortured by the ghost of Cirith Ungol, and I am not sure that I will ever find peace.

Robert Garven, Sleazegrinder interview

I would definitely join them any day if they needed a guitar player.

Michael Johnson, 19 May 2010

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