Witch’s Game By Robert Garven
The band started in 1971 and is all that is well documented. In 1981 we were working on high quality, full-size album demo in an attempt company attention. We were in search for a cover for the album I was reading Michael Moorcock’s Stormbringer, at the time and it seemed an impossible dream, but we thought that it would be one the best album cover ever. I contacted DAW books, who put me in touch with Michael, leading to a life-long friendship with who I consider the premiere fantasy artist of our generation. We were fortunate to use Michaels “Elric” series on our four studio albums.
In early 2017 we learned about an animated movie, “Planet of Doom” a movie about the exploits of a hero “Havlar the Brave”, who seeks vengeance aboard a witch-born chopper, journeying across a psychedelic landscape, on a quest to defeat the deadly beast Mördvél for the slaying of his beloved bride. The movie has a group of artists working alongside a group of bands, for each segment of the movie.
We were intrigued by all of this because of our song, “Doomed Planet”, on our third album One Foot in Hell. We contacted the producers and they were interested in using “Doomed Planet” for the closing credits in the movie. As luck would have it, one of the original bands dropped out and the producers asked if we would compose a song for a segment in the movie. We had never worked on a soundtrack before and it seemed not only a challenge but a project right down our alley. Seeing the calibre of those involved we knew we wanted to be part of this. The band worked closely with the producers to make sure that the song would fit the storyline and timing of the animation. Everyone is stoked with the way it turned out, and looking forward to the finished movie in 2020.
With the exception of ‘Servants of Chaos’, we were extremely lucky to have been able to use Michael Whelan’s unbelievable Elric series on all our studio albums, and we plan to continue that tradition. For this single, we wanted something that would lend itself to the song and the movie. Michael had a very crazy Witch painting, which we saw and loved immediately. He modified the original a bit to fit the song, changing a few details, such as adding tarot cards to her hand.
Cirith Ungol’s lyrical approach was and is profoundly influenced by the high fantasy literature of J.R.R. Tolkien (from whose Lord of the Rings opus we derived our name), Michael Moorcock, Robert E. Howard, H.P. Lovecraft, and others in the sword & sorcery and Horror genres. We have also blended in themes of Doom based on the real-life story of where we are headed as a species, and our effect on this planet, we have so blatantly abused. We all have been influenced by movies and myths, however, we are trying to forge music of our own creation. Our fixation is on HEAVY. Music is only dangerous to those who seek to control others.
Interview by Alex Milazzo – Copyright 2019 © Heavy Music Artwork. All rights reserved.