Armageddon - Armageddon

(CD 1975/2009; 41:20; Esoteric Recordings ECLEC2150)

The tracks:
  1- Buzzard(8:16)
  2- Silver Tightrope(8:23)
  3- Paths And Planes And Future Gains(4:30)
  4- Last Stand Before(8:23)
  5- Basking in the White of the Midnight Sun(11:24)
      a- Warning Comin' On
      b- Basking in the White of the Midnight Sun
      c- Brother Ego
      d- Basking in the White of the Midnight Sun (Reprise)

Keith Relf Website                Esoteric Recordings

With a name of Armageddon you might expect a lot of racket and heavy musical artillery. In this respect, the opening song Buzzard doesnít disappoint. A Lemmy sound-alike from Motorhead-fame spews out his text, while the band excels in Budgie-like up-tempo rhythms. Then something remarkable happens at the end of the song: a mouth-harp takes centre stage which is not customary in hard rock. These references are no accidence as both Motorhead and Budgie had their highlights in the seventies, the time the debut and only album of Armageddon was released.

Silver Tightrope is a folky song which gives the listener some rest before Armageddon really starts in tracks like the rocker Paths And Planes And Future Gains with a nice guitar solo and the suite Basking In The White Of The Midnight Sun. Taking a closer look at the musicianís names, it becomes apparent whatís going on. Armageddon was founded by ex-Yardbirds front man Keith Relf, so blues influences are inevitable. He was joined by guitarist Martin Pugh (Rod Stewart, Steamhammer), bass player Louis Cennamo (Renaissance, Colosseum, Steamhammer) and drummer Bobby Caldwell (Johnny Winter, Allman Brothers Band, Captain Beyond).

Itís both funny and sad to listen to this album. Itís funny, because Relf was not only the founder of the Yardbirds, but also of the symphonic prog band Renaissance. In no way, the music of Armageddon resembles the latter. Itís sad, because Armageddon is the last musical achievement of the genius Relf. Some time after he recorded this album, he electrocuted himself. Maybe that was the reason Armageddon inconspicuously disappeared without leaving a trace, until Esoteric Recordings unearthed this album. Thank you for that.

***Andrť de Waal (edited by Peter Willemsen)

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