Ventura, CA’s CIRITH UNGOL, one of the most underrated bands from the early ’80s metal scene, released four albums between 1980 and 1991. The group is known for lyrics based on fantasy (particularly sword and sorcery) and is considered one of the earlier epic doom and power metal bands.
Their first album, Frost and Fire, was closer to a hybrid between 1970s hard rock and metal with songs written by then bassist and guitarist Greg Lindstrom, but from King of the Dead and onwards they played a progressive rock influenced kind of doom metal with song lyrics primarily written by vocalist Tim Baker and drummer , however the compositions were usually composed with the inclusion of all the members.
The name CIRITH UNGOL is pronounced “kirith ungol” and is an Elvish phrase meaning “pass of the spider”, which is something that Lord of the Rings fans will surely recognize. The name is, of course, indicative of the band’s fantasy-oriented lyrics, themes and beautiful album artwork.
In the spirit of R-rated animated films like Heavy Metal and the works of Ralph Bakshi, Riff Lodge Animation (the studio behind the mind-blowing music video for Conan’s “Throne of Fire”) are creating an EPIC feature-length fantasy/science-fiction film titled “The Planet of Doom”, created entirely by both artists and bands within the doom/stoner/psych/metal genres. Set for release in 2020 and subtitled as “An Animated Tale of Metal and Art”, “The Planet of Doom” features a worldwide assembly of 17 respected artists and animators and 18 revered bands and promises to present a colossal compendium of underground culture and this generation’s ode to counterculture. On June 22, Ripple Music will release First Contact: Music From The Original Soundtrack ‘The Planet of Doom’, a teaser EP including four of the film’s featured groups: Mos Generator (USA), Messa (Italy), Vokonis (Sweden) and Slomatics (Ireland).
Written by art director/producer David Paul Seymour and adapted into a screenplay by animator/director Tim Granda, “The Planet of Doom” is one continuous tale broken up into 15 chapters, each interpreted by a different artist and band team-up. The film contains no spoken dialogue, opting instead to tell the tale via the lyrics of the soundtrack’s original music. In the film, the titular hero, Halvar The Brave, 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 Planet of Doom” is a tribute to heavy music and the art that accompanies that type of music.” says Seymour. “With this film, we’re seeking to encapsulate the music and art community that Tim and I are a proud part of with one epic body of work. We are also naturally bringing in all sorts of fringe countercultures who’ve attached to this same community: bikers, skateboarders, comic book, and sci-fi fantasy fans. It’s a really vibrant and diversified community, and we’ve certainly brought in the right ambassadors to represent it properly.”
“One of the things we loved about Heavy Metal was the format. We really dug how the style of art changed from one sequence to the next, as if you were reading an issue of their magazine,” adds Granda. “But rather than use a plot device like the “Loc-Nar” to tie a series of unrelated segments together, we wanted to stick to one story that’s split up into a series of chapters, with each being told by a different band and artist.”
The complete list of artists and bands contributing to “The Planet of Doom” reads like a who’s who of the modern day underground scene. Contributing artists include David Paul Seymour, Skinner, Pascal Blanche, Ian Bederman, Maarten Donders, Adam Burke, Alexis Ziritt, Dave Olteanu, Burney, Justin Mohlman, Mikey McKennedy, Matt Stikker, Jason Cruz, Simon Berndt, Gorgeous George, Brian Profilio, Tim Granda, and Forrest Cavacco.
Bands and musicians that will appear on the film’s soundtrack include Cirith Ungol, Wo Fat, Ufomammut, Mos Generator, Slomatics, Elephant Tree, Vokonis, Phillip Cope (Kylesa), Slow Season, Messa, Summoner, Space Witch, Destroyer of Light, Mother Crone, and Tim Granda.
First Contact: Music From The Original Soundtrack ‘The Planet of Doom’ track listing:
1.) Mos Generator “Sword of the Sea’
2.) Messa “Serpent Libido”
3.) Vokonis “Runa”
4.) Slomatics “Jagaer”
Pre-order First Contact: Music From The Original Soundtrack ‘The Planet of Doom’ at this location.
David Paul Seymour and Tim Granda are available to speak with interested media. To chat with the artists and/or request a review copy of First Contact: Music From The Original Soundtrack ‘The Planet of Doom’, simply contact Carl Schultz at ACTION! PR.
“The Planet of Doom” channels spirit of “Heavy Metal” movie.” – Heavy Metal Magazine
“Now THIS is an animated movie I’ll take my kids to! Fuck Frozen, it’s all about “The Planet of Doom”!” – Cvltnation
“I could gush and go on and on about the admirable undertaking that is bringing so many artists and bands together…It’s a massive, comprehensive project.” – The Obelisk
“The Planet of Doom”…looks so damn epic and manly that it just shot right to the top of the list of my most hotly anticipated animated films.” – Dread Central
Check out what’s been goin’ on behind the scenes over at the mighty The Obelisk!
Check out the interview with The Planet of Doom writer David Paul Seymour and director Tim Granda on the Into The Void Radio podcast! Also treat your ears to lots of killer deep cuts from our movie bands: Cirith Ungol, Orchid, Conan, Wo Fat, Mos Generator, Order of the Owl, Slow Season, The Well, Summoner, Goya, Mother Crone, Scorpion Child, and Ironweed!
We at TPOD couldn’t be more excited to finally reveal that ’80s metal legends CIRITH UNGOL have joined the film as one of our bands!!! Being fans of CU since high school, we approached the band excitedly and found these guys were super into our project and were genuinely stoked on it. Big thanks especially to singer Tim Baker. A very cool dude indeed. Welcome aboard, Cirith Ungol!