Album Reviews

Bedemon – Child of Darkness Review

bedemon_cover

Released: 24th February 2015

Released By: Relapse

Genre: Doom

Links: http://bedemon.com/

 

Line Up:

Randy Palmer – Guitars

Bobby Liebling – Vocals

Geoff O’ Keefe – Drums

Mike Matthews – Bass

 

Tracklisting

1.Child of Darkness

2.Enslaver of Humanity

3.Frozen Fear

4.One-way Road

5.Serpent Venom

6.Last Call

7.Drive Me to the Grave

8.Into the Grave

9.Skinned

10.Through the Gates of Hell

11.Touch the Sky

12.Child of Darkness II

13.Time Bomb

14.Nighttime Killers

15.Axe to Grind

 

Before we get into the body of the review, this one requires some background. This is a reissue of a collection of demoes and rehearsals which was originally released around 2005 by Italy’s Black Widow label. It was the one of a plethora of releases related to a renewed interest in Pentagram.  Bedemon was a project of one time Pentagram guitarist Randy Palmer which he had before joining Pentagram in 1974 and had enlisted the help of Bobby Liebling and Geoff O Keefe of Pentagram to record his doom laden tracks.

The majority of the tracks – all but three on this collection are from 1973/74 and the final three are from 1979. These tapes have been heavily bootlegged over the years and after the tragic death of Palmer in 2002 a decision was taken to release these tapes. The band was never meant to be a live band but really a vehicle for Palmer’s songs. The quality of the recordings are still bootleg as they were recorded live in a rehearsal studio with the vocals and solos dubbed later. Bearing that all in mind the tracks themselves stand up well. Sabbath were only a few years old at this point and along came Palmer with these doom riffs that were akin to Sabbath but more sinister “Enslaver of Humanity” even the title was years ahead of its time, the riff is heavy and the backing solid with Liebling providing that voice which had not quite developed into the unique property it became.

There are some lighter moments here like “One-way road” which has more of a boogie feel to it. “Into the Grave” has very little in the way of distortion on the guitars but still retains that eerie heaviness. I can imagine how heavy this would have sounded with a full production and more time allowed to expand on the sound. During 2001 the guys had regrouped with a view to writing more Bedemon material then tragedy struck. Bedemon carried on and released a record in 2012 with a new line-up and album honouring the memory of Palmer; this is a great collection of early doom which will be mostly directed towards the connoisseurs and collectors.

 

Written by David Mcallum

Rating    David    7/10

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