Heavy Song of the Week: Cirith Ungol Unleash the Speed on “Velocity (S.E.P.)”

Heavy Song of the Week is a feature on Heavy Consequence breaking down the top metal and hard rock tracks you need to hear every Friday. This week, the top selection goes to “Velocity (S.E.P.)” by Cirith Ungol.

Cirith Ungol are making the most of the final months of 2023. First, the cult heavy metal band announced three select US concerts. And now they’ve announced a new album, Dark Parade, and its ripping lead single “Velocity (S.E.P.).”

The track sees the band tweaking their signature power metal sound ever so slightly. Lead licks and chugging riffs form the basis of the song, as frontman Tim Baker’s vocals boom and echo in the periphery of the mix, creating an unsettling atmosphere. It’s a fierce and faster song for Cirith Ungol and more NWOBHM-sounding overall — the result of a simple change in technique by guitarist Jimmy Barraza.

“While talking with Tim and [drummer] Rob [Garven] about what kind of song was needed, a decision was made to stop doing the galloping chugs, as done many times on previous albums, and start doing down-picking chugs while keeping some sort of tie to the Cirith Ungol sound,” Barraza said via the band’s press release. “Straying toward a Sabbath or Priest vibe is not far off and happens subconsciously.”

Honorable Mentions:

Myrkur – “Mothlike”

“Mothlike,” the latest single from Myrkur’s upcoming album Spine, is another example of Amalie Brunn’s shift toward a more varied and career-spanning sound. Cinematic atmospherics and prominent piano put the emphasis on Brunn’s voice, while industrial textures and the use of distorted guitars are reserved for specific moments of tension and release throughout the arrangement. She’s using all of her tools, and the results are sonic glory.

Corey Taylor – “Dead Flies”

Corey Taylor called “Dead Flies,” the closing track on his new album CMF2, his “magnum opus,” and the lengthy track is certainly the most ambitious piece of music on either of the singer’s two solo albums. Here, Taylor indulges his love for Alice in Chains with a very Jerry Cantrell-esque dark-to-light gradient that runs throughout the song, as sparse and depressive verses unfold into soaring, climactic choruses.

Twin Temple – “Be a Slut”

While not necessarily heavy in the musical sense, Twin Temple are definitely metal in image and ethos. The Satanic R&B duo tout a Motown sound — as heard on the lasciviously titled “Be a Slut” — and a mind for all things blasphemous. There’s true cross-genre appeal here, as it’s conceivable that R&B fans who hate metal and metalheads who don’t fancy R&B can find common ground with Twin Temple’s witchy soul music.