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“This music was made to be played at maximum volume!”

Credits and recording info

  • Tim Baker – Lead Vocals
  • Jim Barraza – Guitars
  • Robert Garven – Drums
  • Vernon Green – Bass (credited, but doesn’t actually play on the album)
  • Joe Malatesta – Guitars
  • Robert L. Warrenburg – Bass
  • Recorded at Goldmine Studios, Ventura, CA
  • Engineered by Ron Goudie, Chris Mcdonald, Jeff Cowan
  • Mixed at Mad Dog Studios, Venice CA By: Robert Feist
  • Assisted by Chris Mcdonald and Dom Tittle
  • Photography: Greg Hazard
  • Personal Management: Goldwater & Associates
  • Jack Goldwater – Jim Rissmiller
  • Road Manager: Dave Lawson, Larry Nolan

After five years, Cirith Ungol are back with a new label, new line-up and new album. Unfortunately, this would also be their last one. Intended or not, many of the titles (Heaven Help Us, Chaos Rising, Fallen Idols and Paradise Lost) seems to describe the difficult situation they were in at that time. The situation finally resulted in the band splitting up. The problem was conflicts with their recordcompany Restless Records. This was not the first time the band had trouble with their label. Turbulence with their previous US label Metal Blade, caused them to change label.

This must be their most varied album. You’ll find the typical Ungolbangers (Join the Legion, The Troll), mighty epic songs (Chaos Rising, Fallen Idols, Paradise Lost), a typical quirky Ungolsong (Before the Lash), radio friendly rock songs (Heaven Help Us, Go It Alone) and a cover of Arthur Brown.

The band were not happy with Ron’s production of the album. Therefore, several of the songs from the album with the bands own production, was made available on the Servants of Chaos-compilation album ten years later, in 2001. The album was unavailable for several years, until it was finally re-released in 2007 on Noble Rot.

The cover

The cover was painted by Michael Whelan in 1976 and is called “Sailor on the Sea of Fate”. This is Whelan’s own favourite out of all of his Elric paintings. The full painting can be seen and bought at the official Michael Whelan website.

moorcock-sailor

The painting was used for the DAW edition of Michael Moorcock’s book The Sailor on the Seas of Fate (Elric of Melnibone saga #2). The book was published in 1976. Available at Amazon.com and eBay.com. There are various editions of the book, and not all editions has the same cover.

 

More about the album in the band’s own words

 

Looking at the album as an outpager, I think Paradise Lost is a very inconsistent album. It has got some of the best stuff CU has ever done (The Chaos trilogy) and the worst (The Troll and the truly vile Go It Alone). Even though Jimmy Barraza is a fantastic guitar player, I feel that he lacks a certain spark of uniqueness that made Jerry so great. And I really prefer Tim’s higher pitched vocals on the earlier albums.

Greg Lindstrom

 

I have to agree with Greg, although he was luckily not in the band “Paradise Lost” was like a nightmare I have never awaken from. We were totally screwed by the record company and the producer took away all of the control and I think destroyed the entire project. If you listen to the version we did of “Fallen Idols” on the new CD I think you can get a feel for what the entire Paradise Lost CD should have sounded like. The sad part of the whole sordid affair is that Restless never meant to do anything to promote the record at all, so I think if we could have made the CD the way we wanted it probably would have been more successful and we would still be together today. Restless to this day refuses to license the record for who knows what reaseon even though at least 3 different companies have shown an interest in re-releasing it!

Robert Garven

 

I was to go in with only the little f**king click machine to record the drum tracks, no bass… no guitar.. no nothing to play with but this little piece of shit!!  Next the other members followed suit except Ron did not want the other members of the band in the studio.  (I guess he didn’t want us to contaminate his vision of what we thought was our album !!!!) So each band member went in did his part alone.  I was really upset about the vocals cause I had coached and cheered Tim through the last 3 albums, Guess what I wasn’t allowed in while the vocals were done. I hope you can get the picture of how warped and terrible this whole album was done. Not only this but the best 20 seconds of the album Ron cut out because while he was producing the album he fucked up and the part which I thought was the most killer part of “Paradise Lost” was spooled out on the studio room
floor.  I was very pissed about this !!! And still am !!

Robert Garven, interview by Patrick Lefevre

 

The best 20 seconds of music we ever wrote and or played was cut out on the mix down by Ron Goudie (the producer of “Paradise Lost”) because he micro-managed the recording sessions badly and forgot how the song went. I’ve said it before but this CD could have been the best we ever did but with Flint quitting and the overproduction and loss of any control by the band it was I think the worst. For instance, none of us were allowed in the studio while the others recorded. I played the drums to a forced click track without any emotion. When we protested we were threatened with the plug being pulled so we soldiered on. I cried when I heard the final mix….

Robert Garven, Diabolical Conquest interview

 

Lets say it was not the best of times for the band. We did, however, write the best music we ever did, only to be destroyed by the producer of “Paradise Lost”, and the time it took to get the project off the ground. One of our roadies in the last days, I’ll call him “Dave”, helped break the band up by giving false advice to Jimmy, who, like Flint, could not see the big picture. We had met the bass player for Heart who was living in Ojai ,and he came and saw us a couple of times. He was interested in producing our next CD. I called Restless and told Ron Goudie who signed us and produced “Paradise Lost”  about this new development. Within a week, we received a letter saying that Restless was passing on its option to do any more albums with us. My theory is that since Ron worked for the company, he paid himself, lets say $30,000, to produce our album. Since he was the only one that made any money on the deal, removing him from the equation meant that it made no sense to keep us around. As a page note, when Brian decided to re-release the CD’s in the US and Europe, they contacted Restless to see if they could get the rights to re-release “Paradise Lost”. It turns out the attorney we had at the time, Evan Cohen, advised us to sign a contract where we gave ALL of the rights for not only the album, but also the music to Restless Records forever. The contracts were very complicated, and we had no knowledge what we doing at the time. Restless Records has refused to allow anyone to this day to re-release the CD, and we cannot understand why. They would have at least made a little money off a band that they had thrown away, so no one has figured out why they have refused every attempt to re-release this CD. I believe that it is because of spite. I thought it sucked anyway, so I have no regrets.

Robert Garven, Sleazegrinder interview

 

Restless Records did nothing for the band in the way of promotion or touring. They had me contact Roadrunner Records in Europe (who released our first 2 records) to try to convince them to release “Paradise Lost” in Europe. The owner I think was named Cess Wessels or something, refused to release it saying that it was outdated. It is funny as it is the CD that everyone wants and it is still unavailable! I have tried on several occasions to get PL re-released but with no luck. Several companies were very interested in re-releasing it, however Restless Records would never return their phone calls or e-mail.

Here is the complete story of what happen before, during and after “Paradise Lost”:
After OFIH was released we kind of knew that M.B. either didn’t have the money or interest in the band to follow through with what we needed, so the waiting game started again. We had written the most unbelievable set of new songs and we were ready to release them in 1987 when the band broke up, but the demo versions (I think I destroyed the tapes) of what was later to be Tim’s trilogy “Paradise Lost” were 10 times better than the album you know of by that name. I was personally so disappointed in the album that when I came home and listened to it the night it was completed, I actually cried, thinking of all these wasted fucking years trying to get this whole fucking thing off the ground, all the REAL blood, sweat and tears and here we are fucked again. It was almost more than I could take as an artist.

What happened next is the downfall of the band as I envisioned it. Jerry, impatient with his 15 years in the band and my relentless pushing of all involved getting every one to keep up the grueling work even though there was never any pay back, left the band. Flint, Tim and I tried to talk him out of it to no avail. We had found a really good guitarist named Jimmy Baraza who we wanted to bring on board so that Jerry could concentrate on his leads and we could play all the double leads we were writing in all the new (and old) songs. Somehow Jerry must have felt that we were trying to replace him although nothing could have been farther from the truth.

Next we signed with Restless which actually were the shattered remains of our original label Enigma who had been bought by Capitol because they were impressed by all their poser type bands. After Capitol bought them and the men dressing like women thing started to die out (who would have guessed:) Enigma filed for bankruptcy. I don’t know or care about all the sordid details but they ended up in an abbreviated company called Restless. We were so desperate at this time and really had nowhere else to go, so I talked this creep Ron Goudie into signing the band. It took at least 3 years for all the shit to settle at the record company after their breakup with Capitol so this whole time we waited. I showed up at the band room one night and Flint’s stuff was missing. He had decided to join a garage band thinking that our career was as doomed as the planet we live on. After six months he returned only to leave again right as soon as the album was to start to be recorded. I can’t fault their decision but if Jerry and Flint would have stuck it out, #4 would have been a lot better CD and we may have finally got the recognition that we deserved.

Anyway, I put ads in the local music stores and got a call from two guys who were in a local band in Santa Barbara. They came down and we decided they would be better than nothing. The deal was they’d help us record our album and they would get to put some of their songs on it. The guitarist Joe Malatesta’s song was “The Troll” and the bass player Bob Warenburg’s song was “Heaven Help Us”. Although these songs really were not our style we really had no choice.

I showed up at the band room one night and Ron Goudie brought in a little box which was to be my little friend for the next fucking six months! It was a fucking electric metronome. I was to play along with it every day until I could learn to keep a “beat”, this way the album was to be professional (in his opinion). Every time I complained about this kind of bullshit he would kindly remind us that we could stop the whole thing at any time if we couldn’t follow his orders, it was just as well with him. Anyway here is the true disgusting story how we were forced to record our fourth album.

I was to go in with only the little fucking click machine to record the drum tracks, no bass… no guitar.. no nothing to play with but this little piece of shit!! Next the other members followed suit, except Ron did not want the other members of the band in the studio. (I guess he didn’t want us to contaminate his vision of what we thought was our album!!!!) So each band member went in did his part alone. I was really upset about the vocals cause I had coached and cheered Tim through the last 3 albums. Guess what, I wasn’t allowed in while the vocals were done. I hope you can get the picture of how warped and terrible this whole album was done. Not only this but the best 20 seconds of the album Ron cut out because while he was producing the album he fucked up and the part which I thought was the most killer part of “Paradise Lost” was spooled out on the studio room floor. I was very pissed about this!!! And still am!!

To make a long story short Bob got some kind of religion, and Joe left to do something or another. Both left before the album was even released, which made us look bad in Restless’ eyes. Tim, Jimmy and I were so pissed at what we thought was a betrayal so we pulled their pictures from the album.

Anyway I put another ad the local music stores and got a call from a guy called Vern Green who also unfortunately had some religious beliefs, so right after we got cut from Restless he quit the band, then Jimmy quit. The sad thing about Jimmy, he was one hell of a guitarist but once again he didn’t have what it takes to have followed it through. It is really a shame but Tim and I were looking at each other one night at our band room and we just decided after 22 years of being f**ked over we had had about enough. I sold all our equipment and my drums paid off our bills and Cirith Ungol was officially deceased.

Robert Garven, The Corroseum interview

 

This is the Straw that Broke the Camels Back and was truly “Paradise Lost”

I was one the founding members and drummer of Cirith Ungol. This was our last album. We were treated so poorly by the record company that it broke the band up after 22 years. We had little or no artistic control over the production of this album, and even though we paid a big time lawyer $$$ to review the contract, we unknowingly sold the rights to album forever. When all our other CDs were re-released by Metal Blade of Germany, Restless the company that owned the rights to Paradise Lost, refused to let this cd be re-released. We were not even contacted by the current company releasing it, and will not receive any royalties from its sale. I even tried to contact them and received no reply.

To add insult to injury our singer Tim Baker went to a local store and had to buy a copy of the CD. I urge you not to buy this CD and instead look for our other remastered CD’s “Frost & FIre” & “King of the Dead” & “Servants of Chaos” these are still in print in Europe (only!) and they were the only projects that we had artistic control over.

I was so upset by this project and its production and aftermath I swore “That I would never touch another drumstick or play drums, if it meant being in the same business as these people”. Even though we have been offered many reunion tours and dates I have kept my oath, and expect that I will keep it until death…

Playing drums and Cirith Ungol was my life and passion and it is sad that such a great band with such untapped talent and potential had such little support while other bands with so little talent became huge commercial successes.

Sincerely,

Robert Garven
Ventura, CA
(1 out of 5 stars)
Review at Amazon

 

The reason this album sucks is that we had zero control over the entire project! The songs that dont fit were not written by band members, and each member were not allowed in the studio while the other members played their tracks. I was forced to play the drum tracks first and with a click machine with no other members playing. I cried when I heard it and it spelled the death of the band. Thanks Ron Goudie (the producer) and Restless Records. I hope there is really karma…….

If we had had full control over the album and Flint was still in the band it would have been our best, it enede up being our worst. Our demo tracks of the album were 10 times better than this lavish production which was a waste of time, ours and yours, sorry…… go back and listen to the first two! 😉

BTW Jimmy was a hell of a guitarist, our dream was for him and Jerry to play double leads, but it was not to be.

Rob Garven
Ventura, CA
14 dec 2006

Metal-Archives-review (rating: 50%)

 

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Created June 24, 2015 / Updated August 3, 2015
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