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


We’ve been enjoying our recent C90 series. Okay, fair enough, it’s hardly original. What music magazine has not, in one form or another, asked musicians to create a playlist of bands rarely off their turntables? It’s a classic and we have no shame. But this one is especially exciting as it’s actually happening. This is not a fictitious mixtape of songs and bands that inspired the artist, this is a list of songs and bands that the artist – none only than King Fowley of the mighty Deceased – has covered and gathered together on the aptly-titled ‘Metal Massacre 31’ with his equally mighty band October 31. Out on November 25 via Hells Headbangers King kindly explained his reasons behind each cover and offered us the first full stream of the album to get your teeth into. If you’re a sucker for those early Metal Blade compilations and love early American heavy metal from Hallows Eve to Omen then this will get your engines revving. All hail King Fowley. All hail ‘Metal Massacre’ compilations. All hail propa ‘eavy metal.


Metal Massacre 31 by OCTOBER 31

1. ‘Cross My Way’ by DEATH DEALER “This is track 2 from ‘Metal Massacre 4’. A killer French Canadian … Read More


While we tend to bathe in our own homeland’s glory, let’s not forget that the United States had a great history of heavy metal too. During the 1980s, legends were forged in every state, city, neighbourhood, and OMEN is one of the best bands of that era with three landmark albums (‘Battle Cry’ from 1984, ‘Warning Of Danger’ 1985 and ‘The Curse’ 1986).

Formed when Kenny Powell left Savage Grace in 1984, the band were featured that year on Metal Massacre IV and catapulted themselves into the heavy metal pantheon. The band have sporadically attempted to recapture that initial spark, playing live as much as they can in front of rabid fans who worship their early heavy metal, proto power metal mastery, but now in 2016 they’re back again with a new album ‘Hammer Damage’.

Getting a not so favourable review from our own website, Kenny got in touch to put the record straight and get a re-appraisal. We sent Andreas Andreou to beg our pardon…

Omen founder, guitarist and main songwriter, Kenny Powell, has a lot to tell us about the controversial new album Andreas, thank you for giving me a chance to maybe clear the air on the making of ‘Hammer … Read More


Formed in 1983 by guitarist Kenny Powell, Omen were part of a thriving scene that included the likes of Fates Warning, Jag Panzer, Helstar, Shok Paris, Virgin Steele, Liege Lord and Queensrÿche. Dubbed power metal years before it became a term of abuse, these outfits played a muscular, aggressive style far removed from the AOR and glam which dominated America at the time. Influenced by British bands and the culture of old Europe, Omen’s epic tales of sword and sorcery never brought them major success, but in terms of kudos, respect and sheer cult worship, they’re as good as Gods. Like many bands of their era, Omen lost their way as the years rolled by and fashions came and went. More than once they tried – and failed – to change with the times. But it takes more than a couple of dodgy albums to wipe out the golden legacy of their early days and in 2013 – thanks in no small part to the Internet and a few thousand Greeks – Omen’s popularity is at an all-time high. Currently hard at work on a brand new album, guitarist Kenny told Greg Moffitt about the highs, the lows and the lessons learned…

How did your … Read More

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