Iron Fist Magazine

CIRITH UNGOL “We’re still children of the devil”

After 25 years, California metal masters CIRITH UNGOL have hauled their undead corpses from an untimely grave. IRON Fist scribe J. BENNETT spoke with drummer and co-founder Rob Garven about life, death and resurrection.

Originally printed in Iron Fist Issue 19

It’s a Tuesday evening in late August, and Cirith Ungol are sweating their balls off in a Ventura, California practice space. “Some previous band blew up the air conditioner so when we come in here at night it’s like 100 degrees,” drummer Rob Garven explains. “We were gonna fix it but it’s like $10,000, so we bought a fan instead.”

A few weeks after we speak with Rob, Cirith Ungol will play their first show in 25 years when they headline the Frost and Fire Festival, a weekend-long metal extravaganza in Ventura that will also feature appearances from elder statesmen Grim Reaper, Omen and Ashbury alongside young guns Midnight, Visigoth and Night Demon. For Rob and his bandmates — vocalist Tim Baker, guitarist Greg Lindstrom and guitarist Jim Barraza (with Night Demon main man and festival organizer Jarvis Leatherby filling in on bass) — it’s pure vindication for a career plagued with label calamities, poor timing and bad luck. The band slugged … Read More


Formed in 2014, from a mutual appreciation of NWOBHM and ’80s heavy metal, Lucifer’s Chalice is comprised of Iron Fist’s very own KShevil (also of Winds Of Genocide and Uncoffined) on drums, CW on rhythm guitar and vocals, SRM on lead guitar and DH on bass. Following a couple of live shows, the band are now ready to release debut album ‘The Pact’ via Bandcamp, which was recorded in July 2016. KShevil describes it as “35 minutes of heavy metal darkness”.

Speaking of the band’s sound, she tells us “From the day the idea for the band was conceived, it was to pay homage to NWOBHM and old US heavy metal circa 1979 – 1984, and write and play songs in the vein of Angel Witch, early Iron Maiden, Witchfinder General, early Judas Priest, early Omen, early Metallica (’82-’84 period), Diamond Head and early Mercyful Fate. Nothing more, nothing less; just create some good old ’80s sounding heavy metal with dark and sinister lyrics. So we definitely had a very specific sound in mind from the start.”

Despite the band’s collective love of all things ’80s, as individuals, they all come from completely different backgrounds with an eclectic mix of tastes. KShevil and … Read More


In a statement echoing Iron Fist’s own sadness and anger toward horrific orders passed by the USA’s newest president in his first week of office, online streaming community Bandcamp have announced that all proceeds from music sold on Friday, February 3 will be donated to the American Civil Liberties Union, who are “working tirelessly to combat these discriminatory and unconstitutional actions”.

Bandcamp founder Ethan Diamond’s letter called out President Trump for his actions, writing, “Last week’s Executive Order barring immigrants and refugees from seven Middle Eastern countries from entering the United States is not simply immoral, it violates the very spirit and foundation of America.”

With its tagline of “Discover new music and the artists who make it”, Bandcamp has become Iron Fist’s go-to source for so many of the bands you read about in our pages, so if you want to support them this Friday (and we urge you do) here a few bands we recommend.

THE ORDER OF THE SOLAR TEMPLE (CANADA) Soundtracking a new era of Satanic Panic, Matt Emery told us in Iron Fist #16 that “All I can say is that I wear my influences on my sleeve. It’s both a blessing and a curse, there’s a lot of ‘70s … Read More



It’s clear that the inaugural HRH NWOBHM festival has piggy-backed on or at least benefited from Brofest’s ability to persuade long-defunct bands to reform. Of the army of acts on the two-day line-up, many have already trodden the Brofest boards. But a good idea is a good idea, and the bands themselves are unlikely to care whether they’re revisiting their glory years in Newcastle, Nuneaton, Newport or – for the next 48 hours – right here in Sheffield. While London has a proud NWOBHM history of its own, it’s somehow fitting to witness this particular event taking place beyond the rapacious event horizon of the Capital. Even during the winter of discontent from which the NWOBHM sprang, the regions – in this case the former mining and heavy industrial hub of South Yorkshire – laboured under an investment and infrastructure deficit when compared to London and the South East in general. Sheffield may have come a long way since 1979, and avoided being nuked a la ‘Threads’, but in the frozen half-light of a December dusk, it’s all too easy for the mind to time-hop back to the bleaker days of Saxon’s ‘Hungry Years’.


As … Read More



It’s been a long time since since King Diamond played a theatre show in London. The last time was a sweltering night in June 2006, yet almost a decade to the day he’s back and this time he’s not some cult, underground curiosity. Years of touring the big international festivals and a surging interest in traditional heavy metal has meant the corpse-painted, baby-wielding, ghost-believing raconteur has become a Danish cultural icon on a par with moody gothic crime dramas, bacon baps and controversial doodles of religious prophets.

The King, as he’s affectionately known in Iron Fist circles, does not elicit the kind of fair-weather fan merely intrigued by his kitsch theatrics and soaring voice, they are devotees and tonight, The Forum, a grand proscenium arched arena worthy of the Mercyful Fate mainman, has gathered the familiar and the frenzied into its halls. What is so great about intimate theatre shows is that while festivals are 30,000 strong, the few – in comparison – that are here tonight are the dedicated ones and you can feel the energy brewing in the queue snaking around the venue.

In the run up to the concert the rumours of … Read More


Gothenburg-based heavy metal maniacs Night Viper are the one of the latest heavy metal exports to come out of Sweden and have released a debut album that is an energetic affair. The up-tempo ’80s heavy metal of early Maiden and Priest collides with the galloping speed metal of ‘Kill ‘Em All’-era Metallica and a duelling twin guitar attack that features the ever-productive Tom Sutton (The Order Of Israfel, Horisont, ex-Church Of Misery). We caught up with Tom to find out more about this exciting new band.

When did the idea for Night Viper first come about? “I have often wished that Metallica and Slayer could have held off from maturing for just one album more each. I love their second albums and what came later too, but I love the freshness of that almost rock ‘n’ roll style of thrash metal that they both had in the beginning. I’d often thought I’d like to do something with that kind of vibe, although I doubted I’d ever get around to it. At one point I was going to ask Sven, the drummer from Antichrist, to just do a single with me so I could get it out of my system. I couldn’t be … Read More


Former Motörhead manager Tom Doherty has joined ranks with Plastichead’s Steve Beatty to launch a new record label, Dissonance Productions, it has been announced.

The label, which launches next month, will be distributed by Plastichead and Beatty’s new American arm, Abstract Distribution and will focus solely on established artists and back catalogue, many of which are rarely off the stereo at Iron Fist UK.

Concentrating on reissues from across the extreme metal world, including Venom, Nifelheim, Tiamat and Sacrilege, Dissonant will also unearth some gems from the NWOBHM age that are long overdue re-releasing, including albums by Angel Witch, Satan, Diamond Head, Quartz and Soldier.

Beatty says: “I’m excited by the label, we have unearthed some real gems and we are signing some great acts that I am honoured to be working with. Old friendships are being renewed and new partnerships found. It’s old school and I love it.”

Doherty adds: “It’s a great start for the label and we have some amazing releases being scheduled. The label will stand out as a key player in this market, I feel a real shot in the arm with what we have coming up.”


Fans of witchy, haunting traditional metal, come take THE OATH, a new band formed by Linnéa Olsson of Sonic Ritual and DJ/Promoter, JOHANNA PLATOW SADONIS, who explains the creation of this new vision and the making of their debut single ‘NIGHT CHILD/BLACK RAINBOW’

Johanna Platow Sadonis is known to the Fist through her work as a heavy metal promoter and DJ in Berlin, so when we found out that she’d started a new band with Sonic Ritual guitarist Linnéa Olsson we couldn’t wait to hear it. “The stars aligned when Henke [Palm, Sonic Ritual/In Solitude] wrote me a mail that Linnéa had moved to Berlin and was looking to play. He suggested that we should meet. I say the stars aligned ‘cos he did not know I was looking for a guitarist at the time. I’d never met her but the moment we sat down it was sealed. We have so much in common. People ask if we are sisters all the time and in a magical way we are. Soon after my boyfriend, Simon Bouteloup, quit as bassist for Aqua Nebula Oscillator in Paris and moved to Berlin to join us. On a magical side note, before meeting me, Linnéa … Read More

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