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Frost and Fire

FaF

Tracklist

  1. Frost and Fire
  2. I'm Alive
  3. A Little Fire
  4. What Does It Take
  5. Edge of a Knife
  6. Better Off Dead
  7. Maybe That's Why
  8. Cirith Ungol (live bonus track)

Credits

  • Tim Baker (vocals)
  • Jerry Fogle (guitars)
  • Greg Lindstrom (guitars, bass, synthesizer, vocals)
  • Michael "Flint" Vujea (bass) *
  • Robert Garven (drums, vocals)
  • Randall L. Jackson (executive producer)
  • Brad Vance (remastering for 1999 reissue)

Editions

 

 

 

 

Frost and Fire is the debut album by the heavy metal band Cirith Ungol. Its music is generally faster and more simplistic than that of King of the Dead, which saw the band adopt a doom metal style influenced heavily by progressive rock. The album was produced by Cirith Ungol. Originally released by Cirith Ungol on Liquid Flames Records in 1980, the album was re-released in 1981 by Enigma Records, re-released again along with King of the Dead on one CD by One Way Records in 1995, and finally re-released again in September 1999 on Metal Blade Records. A bootleg picture disc version of this LP, limited to 500 hand-numbered copies, also exists.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CF

Fun fact: The legendary swiss black/thrash/experimental metal band Celtic Frost took their name from this album. They took the "Frost" from "Frost and Fire" and changed "Cirith" to "Celtic".

 

Of course we know about it. We even were supposed to play support for Celtic Frost shows in L.A., but their management didn't want us! Sad, because you must know that we were always better live than on LP, we have over 1000 gigs behind us!

-Robert Garven, Iron Pages interview 1994 (approx. translation from german)

 

 

 

 

The cover


stormbringerThe coverart was created by Michael Whelan for Michael Moorcocks fantasy books. It is entitled "Stormbringer" and has inspired Deep Purple's "Stormbringer", Hawkwinds "The Chronicle of the Black Sword", Magnum's "Stormbringer", Blue Öyster Cult's Black Blade, Blind Guardian's "Fast to Madness" and many more.

 

At the time we wanted a "Sword and Sorcery" theme cover called "Berserker" by Frank Frazetta, a famous sword and sorcery artist, but it was taken by the country rock band MOLLY HATCHET! I was reading Stormbringer by Michael Moorcock at the time and was thinking, "man this is the ultimate cover art!" I never thought we could use it but I contacted the publisher who got me in touch with Michael Whelan, who is one of the few people in our entire music career who was honest, friendly and kind, and we got to use it. I think we were the first album cover he had done at the time and we really wanted to use all his Elric series on our covers which we did! I told him that I always wanted to buy the painting for berserker the cover of #1 (Stormbringer) from him if we made it big but we never did. He was quite successful then, but now he is probably the world foremost fantasy artist/painter/illustrator and his paintings cost a lot of money. It's funny, DEEP PURPLE had an album named after the book and we got the cover. BLUE OYSTER CULT also had a song, "Bane of the Black Sword" which was based on Michael Moorcock's writing.

-Robert Garven, Metal Nightmare interview 2000

 

To me, Elric is a classic anti-hero. He deplores all the evil in his world, and tries to fight against it, but in the end, he cannot overcome it and even unwittingly aids the forces of chaos.

-Greg Lindstrom, Tombstone interview 09/2001

 

The 1999-remaster has the title "Frost and Fire" on the front, as seen here.

 


The band in their own words

 

* A note about the credits

Actually, Michael didn't join the banduntil after we recorded the "Frost And Fire" album in December 1980. I played bass on that record, but we put Flint's name on the album so people would recognize him as a band member when they saw us live.

-Greg Lindstrom, interview by Patrick Lefevre

 

I wish we could have gotten a heavier sound, but were all still learning how to use the studio. We definitely would have liked to put “Last Laugh” and “Hype Performance” on the album, but we basically just ran out of money to pay for recording time. Remember, we paid for everything on  “Frost And Fire” ourselves, from the recording time to the shrinkwrap.

-Greg Lindstrom, interview by Patrick Lefevre

 


I'm partial to F & F, I just wish we could have gotten a heavier sound on the album, but we were on a very limited budget and we were all still learning how to use the studio. The sound I imagined in my head was much heavier.

-Greg Lindstrom


We wanted to make it big, but all of our music was so heavy and dark, we thought we would use our most commercial material on Frost and Fire, so that we would get air time and stuff. Although all the lyrics and some of the music on Frost and Fire were written by Greg, almost all of our songs over the years were a collaborative effort, some times "I" would even hum out parts until we got it right. Everything had to be perfect, sometimes leading to fist fights over riffs. Anyway, it just turned out Greg's songs had the more commercial sound. After Frost and Fire came out it was only played a couple of times on the LA radio station KLOS because everyone said it was way too heavy..... So we figured FUCK IT!!! If they think that is heavy why are we holding back? Let's show them something really heavy!!! We wrote about thirty songs with Greg that have never been released, some not even on tape. It was only understandable that we put some on King of the Dead. Greg did not leave until after Frost and Fire, so we were writing songs up to the day he left.

-Robert Garven

The cover is painted by Michael Whelan and called Stormbringer. According to Greg, it is one of the best album covers.


One reviewer in Kerrang! called Frost And Fire the worst heavy metal album ever recorded! I think a lot of critics at the time just didn't know who to compare us to and tended to dismiss us. But the fan reaction from all over the world was great. Unfortunately, our albums didn't have very good distribution and were often hard to find in stores. And that's part of the reason I quit the band. I felt I had reached a turning point in my life after graduating college and spending 10 years in the band. It was more than a year after Frost and Fire had been released, and sales were decent, but nothing was really happening for us, and I felt it was time to move on, which I did with much regret.

-Greg Lindstrom


We used to walk around neighborhoods knocking on doors and offering to wash peoples' cars! The first 3000 copies of "Frost And Fire", as well as the recording costs were totally paid for by the band.

-Greg Lindstrom, The Corroseum interview 


I think the confusion lies with “Frost & Fire”, which we wrote to get noticed and popular and so it was intentionally all of our most accessible or radio friendly or commercial songs. We wrote and played heavier songs before and after but that album was meant to launch our career. Unfortunately it was considered too heavy by the radio stations in LA, and though it did receive much underground and college airplay it was not apparently what we needed to succeed. After Greg left we said well, why try to appease an audience that we were to heavy for anyway so we made a conscious effort to make the next album much heavier and gloomier. 

-Robert Garven, Diabolical Conquest interview

 

Question: What are your ten most valuable records from a collectors view?

My ten remaining sealed copies of the original Frost & Fire LP on Liquid Flames Records! I'm not sure how valuable they are

-Greg Lindstrom, interview


1980, USA, EPIC/TRUE METAL WITH 70S VIBES AND MORE SOUL THAN SLY AND THE FAMILY STONE!

-Darkthrone, from their list of album recommendations in the booklet for the F.O.A.D. album.

 

The Tales that Speak of "Frost & Fire"

As co-founder and drummer of Cirith Ungol for 22 years I feel I need to respond to some of the reviews here.

A previous reviewer mentioned that "Frost & Fire" sounded thrown together. The real truth is that we had been in the band for 9 years already and "Frost & Fire" was our attempt to get "commercial" airplay and find success with what we considered some of our more accessable music and yes radio friendly music! When the local LA station KLOS played it once and considered it too heavy, we decided to go for broke with our second album and pulled out all the stops. I disagree with some of the reviewers and think Tim's singing is not only excellent here and that "Frost & Fire" has some of his best vocals. This album features his highest pitched and clearest singing. Anyone who does not call it sining has to compare it with some of todays death metal. "'Im Alive" was one of our all time best songs, which we started almost every set with. The LA Times said that Pearl Jams "Alive" was a blatant rip off of our song, which is debatable.

I also think the title track "Frost & Fire" is excellent with a great middle break and solo and that "Better off Dead" has a great bass line and some of Tim's greatest singing range. This is all said looking back with a historical view that only I of all the reviewers can comment on being there the whole time. Jerry's solos are amazing and his passing was very tragic and sad.

This album has to be listened to many times to appreciate the lyrics, songwriting and performance as a whole not separate parts and to understand as opposed to it being thrown together is was a calculated attempt to obtain a major label contract during a time that only bands with catchy songs that would get any radio airplay were signed. Although i think "King of the Dead" was more representative of the band I am most proud of this album because not only was it our first but it was graced by the unbelievable cover illustration of Michael Whelan's epic portrait of Elric of Melnibone holding Stormbringer high above his head. This was a dream of ours and after so many years of struggle it was our reality. And yes our music can never be worthy of this great artists work!

Considering we produced, self recorded and paid for the entire project and that we were one of if not the first independent band to put out their own album before the wave of indie productions during that time, I think "Frost & Fire" "King of the Dead" & "Servants of Chaos" are a mandatory listen.

That said "King of the Dead" is my favorite and the last album which we had total control over. I am proud that we are mentioned in the same breath as bands that were epic and hope you all appreciate what we were trying to acomplish at a time when only big label bands had any chance of distribution or airplay.

Unfortunately for you the listener you never got to hear the other 20 or so odd songs that never made it to print such as: "Half Past Human - A Quarter to Ape" & "Brutish Manchild" but then that is another story for another day............



Robert Garven
Ventura, CA
March 2008

Amazon-review (5 out of 5 stars)




A Little Fire



Lyrics

Lying awake in the dead of night
Listening to my heart beat away
Wishing I wasn't alone here tonight
But wishing just gets in the way

I just want, I just want a little fire [2x]

The night's so cold when you're all alone
At least it's always been cold to me
And the clock ticks away, ticks away, ticks away
And the clock settles in around me

I just want, I just want a little fire [2x]
Fire

You might be wondering just how it feels
Well I hope you never know
'Cause I know exactly how it feels
It's all I ever know

I just want, I just want a litte fire [4x]
Fire, fire

 

Written by Greg Lindstrom


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Frost and Fire

Greg's lyrics on Cirith Ungol's Frost and Fire are very introspective, and I relate to them a lot. Maybe we've been through similar things growing up.

-Perry Grayson

 

 

A fanvideo by Mÿche Worth:



 

Lyrics

The tales that speak of frost and fire
The Frost Monstreme and the Fire Divine
The frost preserves and the fire destroys
Like pouring rain on the sands of time

I feel it burning and I feel the freeze
The frost, the fire, it burns inpage of me

The tales that speak of frost and fire
The guardian angels and the demons of night
The power preserves and the Beast will destroy us
Like gathering darkness in the circle of light

I feel it burning and I feel the freeze
The frost, the fire, it burns inpage of me, yeah

I feel it burning and I feel the freeze
The frost, the fire, it burns inpage of me

The tales that speak of frost and fire
Tales of all the souls that fell
Words that burn and words that chill us
Like laughter kinding in the heart of Hell

I feel it burning and I feel the freeze
The frost, the fire, it burns inpage of me
It burns inpage of me, it burns inpage of me

Written by Greg Lindstrom

 
I'm Alive

Alive

"'Im Alive" was one of our all time best songs, which we started almost every set with.

-Robert Garven, Amazon-review


The LA Times said that the song “Alive” by “Pearl Jam” was a blatant rip-off of Cirith Ungol's “I'm Alive”.

-Robert Garven, Diabolical Conquest interview 

 

I’m Alive” is a favourite of mine, because the music and lyrics of “I’m Alive” really combine to evoke a melancholy mood

-Greg Lindstrom, Headache interview, 2005

 

Lyrics

I shiver when I remember
The things that I have seen
I know the light, I know the Night
I have walked with things unseen
I have been a king invincible
I've been the poorest of the poor
I've pulled the mighty from their thrones
And laughed at Death's own door

'Cause I'm alive, I'm alive
I'm alive, I'm alive

I roamed the world in search of life
Death followed in my wake
I searched for truth, I want the truth
And learned more than I could take
I've walked the roads of mystery
And it's aged me much too soon
I've paid the piper and I've paid him well
But he still calls the tune

I'm alive
I'm alive
I'm alive
I'm alive

I shiver when I remember
The shadow of the past
The lonely ways, the lonely days
When every breath might be my last
I lost my heart, I lost my soul
By every hand betrayed
But I've still got strength, I've still got life
And that will never change

'Cause I'm alive, I'm alive
I'm alive, I'm alive

I'm alive
I'm alive
I'm alive
I'm alive
I'm alive

 

 

Written by Greg Lindstrom

 
What Does It Take

Has been covered by Solemnity.

 

Lyrics

I think I'm losing my innocence
I'm out to get what I can get
I'd put it down to experience
But I haven't had any yet

What does it take to get to you? [2x]

Maybe it's better him than me
A pretty picture but I don't wanna see
With different faces and different names
They all seem different but they're all the same

What does it take to get to you? [2x]

Look through me like I'm not there
You always act like you just don't care
You always see what you wanted to see
Why don't you take a better look at me?

What does it take to get to you? [6x]

 

 

Written by Greg Lindstrom

 
Edge of a Knife

This song has probably the bands most quoted lyrics;  "I've got my rock 'n roll haircut  /I've got my rock 'n roll jeans". Lindstrom's second favourite of this album after I'm Alive.


I think of Edge of a Knife as our Rockabilly Song. Ha! Don't forget the solo in this song is great!

-Robert Garven, Steel Conjuring interview, 2000

 

Lyrics

It seems I'm always frustrated
When I should be satisfied
But as long as I'm frustrated
I know I'm still alive
I've got 20/20 hindsight
But I won't live in the past
I like to look up at the sky
When I'm flat on my ass

Edge of a knife, edge of a knife
Maybe that's what they mean by real life
Edge of a knife, edge of a knife
Maybe that's what they mean by real life

I've got my rock 'n roll haircut
I've got my rock 'n roll jeans
Just to make me feel like
Someone I'd rather not be
I don't care if you laugh at me
It's better than beeing ignored
Anyway, I'm used to it
That's what fools are for

Edge of a knife, edge of a knife
Maybe that's what they mean by real life
Edge of a knife, edge of a knife
Maybe that's what they mean by real life
Edge of a knife, edge of a knife
Maybe that's what they mean by real life
Edge of a knife, edge of a knife
Maybe that's what they mean by real life

Maybe I gotta get hurt
Maybe that's what I need
'Cause I got music in my bloodstream
Sometimes I just can't seem to bleed
I don't care if you laugh at me
It't better than beeing ignored
Anyway, I'm used to it
That's what fools are for

Edge of a knife, edge of a knife
Maybe that's what they mean by real life
Edge of a knife, edge of a knife
Maybe that's what they mean by real life
Edge of a knife, edge of a knife
Maybe that's what they mean by real life
Edge of a knife, edge of a knife
Maybe that's what they mean by real life

Edge of a knife, edge of a knife
Maybe that's what they mean by real life
Edge of a knife, edge of a knife
Maybe that's what they mean by real life

 

 

Written by Greg Lindstrom

 
Better Off Dead

better off deadOh, there was a movie called "Better Off Dead" which also came out after the album.

-Robert Garven, german Scream Magazine 11/99

 

I have not seen this 1985 movie, but I guess it is not inspired by the song and that it has nothing to do with the song either.

 

Lyrics

I'm tired of beeing the odd man out
I speak with a whisper and feel with a shout
I feel out of tune, I feel out of key
I feel like I'm missing a part of me

I've got a lot on my head
And my condition's read
I think I'm better off dead
Sometimes

Some people say that lightning never strikes twice
But I've been hit more than once in my life
I've been taken in so many times
A thousand promises, a thousand lies

I've got a lot on my head
And my condition's read
I think I'm better off dead
Sometimes, sometimes

Sometimes I take a look at the world
And sometimes I take a look at the girls
I'm just a spectator, I don't get involved
I've got too many problems of my own to solve

I've got a lot on my head
And my condition's read
I think I'm better off dead
Sometimes
I've got a lot on my head
And my condition's read
I think I'm better off dead
Sometimes, sometimes

 

Written by Greg Lindstrom

 
Maybe That's Why

Even though it has lyrics, it is an instrumental. There are no vocals on this song! The original demo version of it had bass, drums and vocals, though.

 

It was a love song Greg wrote. The original (I have on my unreleased tapes) was the most unbelievable instrumental you can imagine. It didn't come out near as good on the LP. Greg had written the lyrics for it but we decided not to use them, there is not much mystery to this, but it is the most asked C.U. question ever.

-Robert Garven, Steel Conjuring interview, 2000

 

 

Fanvideo created by beyondtheveilofdeath, 2010:

 

Lyrics

I don't know how you really feel
I just know you've been hurt
Wish i could say what i really feel
But i know you need more than words
To say everything i wanted to say
I'd have to write a book
But you can say so much more
With just a signle look

Chorus:
Maybe tha'ts why, maybe that's why,
i love you...

Close my eyes and i see your face
My heart stars beating your name
Look in your eyes and i melt away
I know i'll never be the same

Chorus

Now here's the moral of the story
I know it's easier said than done
Believe in your dreams, believe in yourself
No matter, no matter what comes
You've got the power, you've got the strength
I know you're gonna pull through
And just in case it matters
Remember that i believe in you

Chorus

 

Written by Greg Lindstrom

 
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