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Armageddon - Armageddon CD (album) cover

ARMAGEDDON

Armageddon

 

Heavy Prog

3.30 | 75 ratings

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VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Review Nš 84

Armageddon was a band formed in 1974 who released only one album, their self-titled debut album "Armageddon", in 1975. The choice of the name Armageddon was very symbolic and it does symbolise the site of the last final and epic battle between the good and the evil in the end of times or the positive and negative. Armageddon is somehow a super group due to their line up formed by Keith Relf (vocals and harmonica), Martin Pugh (electric and acoustic guitars), Bobby Caldwell (vocals, drums and percussion) and Louis Cennamo (bass). Relf had been the lead singer of Yardbirds throughout the 60's, which was a band with three of the best guitarists of all time Eric Clapton, Jeff Back and Jimmy Page. In 1969 he had been also one of the co-founders of Renaissance. Unfortunately, he was tragically killed by an electric shock, at home in 1976, when he plasticizing is guitar. Pugh had been the lead guitarist of Steamhammer. Caldwell had been the drummer of Captain Beyond. Cennamo had been the bass player of Renaissance and Steamhammer. Due to the dying of Relf, this project was unable to continue and "Armageddon" ended up being the only work released by them. "Armageddon" was well received by critics and fans, but due to the band didn't tour extensively, it sales suffered. However, due to the tragic death of Relf, somehow "Armageddon" became a cult album.

"Armageddon" can be listed as hard and progressive rock, though I believe that the hard rock sound is more obvious on it. In fact, four of the five songs have over 8 minutes long and suggest a progressive act, and it's true that the longest songs wander outside the usual standard rock song format, but much of the length is taken up by jam sessions and extended guitar solos. So, this album is mostly a hard rock affair with some great riffs, excellent guitar solos and a Caldwell's great drumming work. It was Caldwell's driving with his hard hitting beats that pushed the group into a heavier direction, which probably we wouldn't expect. These were probably influences of Captain Beyond. This is a deceptively complex, multi-layered album that demands multiple listens. It's an intriguing blend of bruising proto-metal riffs, progressive rock and heavy psychedelic blues. It really became a truly good album of the 70's.

"Armageddon" has five tracks. The first track "Buzzard" written by Pugh, Caldwell and Relf is an excellent opener to the album. The song has a very great heavy guitar sound by Pugh with the use of wah wah pedal, a very strong bass line by Cennamo and they're very well accompanied by the powerful drumming of Caldwell. This is really a very good song. The second track "Silver Tightrope" written by Pugh, Caldwell and Relf is my favourite song on the album. It's a very beautiful and long ballad with a very nice guitar's sound. Once more we have here a great job of Cennamo and Caldwell. The third track "Paths And Planes And Future Games" written by Pugh, Caldwell and Relf is a very powerful song. This is a song with a nice and energetic heavy sound with great individual performance by all band's members. Despite coming on the same line of "Buzzard" it's a less creative and imaginative track. The fourth track "Last Stand Before" written by Pugh, Caldwell, Relf and Cennamo is a good song, also heavy, once more very well performed by all band's members, and this time with good harmonica of Relf. Despite being a good song, in my opinion is a little bit repetitive and less imaginative. The fifth track "Basking In The White Of The Midnight Sun" is divided into four parts: "Warning Comin'On" written by Pugh, Caldwell and Relf, "Basking In The White Of The Midnight Sun" written by Pugh, Caldwell and Relf, "Brother Ego" written by Pugh, Caldwell, Relf and Cennamo and "Basking In The White Of The Midnight Sun (reprise)" written by Pugh, Caldwell and Relf. This is the epic song that should be the best song on the album, but it's my less favourite song. It's true that it's also a good song very well performed, but for me is, as the previous song, sometimes repetitive and with bored moments, which became very tedious, despite some good parts.

Conclusion: I know of this album since the time it was released, although I only bought it a few years ago. I must say that in those times, this album had some success among some of my best friends who liked heavier music. I confess that I personally have always been a man more connected to the symphonic genre. Anyway, I always had a very eclectic musical taste. "Armageddon" is a good hard rock album, very heavy for those days, with good guitar driven, a very interesting bass line and also with a very good drumming job. I think it's a very unique working and I must say that I always liked the cover of the album. "Armageddon" has, in my humble opinion, two great songs, "Buzzard" and specially "Silver Tightrope" and a very interesting song "Paths And Planes And Future Gains". But, the rest of the album is also good but it's more vulgar, repetitive and also has less imagination for my taste. However, "Armageddon" is an obscure album made by an obscure band in the 70's that deserves to be better known and appreciated. Perhaps it was the tragic dying of Relf that made the album lives so many years in such obscurity. It's now time to be discovered.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

VianaProghead | 3/5 |

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