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17 Nov 2016

Armageddon “Armageddon” 1975 US/UK killer Heavy Prog

Armageddon  Garden City 1974

Armageddon  “Armageddon” 1975 US/UK killer Heavy Prog with Keith Relf {Yardbirds)
Armageddon rare heavy prog rock album armageddon released on a & m records in 1975 .with keith Relf on vocals and harmonica .just played the record and it ……… 

Okay, that was kind of a rude joke. As most fans of this underappreciated, short-lived ‘70s hard rock band know, the group had to break up because singer Keith Relf electrocuted himself while playing guitar in his home in 1975. 'Tare a large shame too, because their one album is REALLY good!!! Keith started life in the mid-60s as the singer for the Yardbirds until they turned into a Dread Zeppelin tribute band, then he left that dying outfit to form Renaissance (which was probably not much to be proud of, although their debut album certainly has some very good art rock tunes on it) and finally he settled on Armageddon, a “supergroup” featuring guys who had played with Captain Beyond (!), Steamhammer (??), Johnny Winter (?!?) and Rod Stewart (SUCKS!). 

The album is excellently good! The electric guitars are EXTREMELY loud in the mix, playing hard rock that’s about as hard as, say, Aerosmith but seems harder because, again, the guitars are REALLY darned loud in the mix. The songs are all very long (only 5 tunes on the whole album!), but delightfully diverse, from the punk speed apocalyptic “Buzzard” to the “Love Hurts”-style shimmer balladry of “Silver Tightrope” to the proto-thrash “Paths And Planes And Future Gains” to the Funkmaster Jenkins “Last Stand Before” before closing with the crackly blues hoedown hybrid “Basking In The White Of The Midnight Sun.” The songs are certainly repetitious, but not dull. The riffs are just too cool to seem repetitive! Very neat vocals from Mr. Relf too - his voice has gotten huskier since his dorky Yardbirds days and, mixed slightly below the screaming guitars on most of the album, he sounds like just another instrument. 

A dulcimer perhaps! Or a tubafor! 

What’s a tubafor? 

To go fuck yourself! 

I don’t think this album has been released on CD so I need you to buy a $400 turntable before you can hunt down the self-described “highly sophisticated, tangibly moody and breathlessly intense” album in a used record store and enjoy it. Thanks, cocksmith! 

Damn. I wish I knew words like “tangibly moody.” All I can ever think of to say is “kickass metal” or “Sit on my face, Senator Clinton, you two-dollar whore.”…Mark Records reviews……….. 

This is one of those bands I honestly never heard of until recently. They referred to themselves as a “supergroup” as they were former members of such bands as STEAMHAMMER, RENAISSANCE, THE YARDBIRDS and CAPTAIN BEYOND. I read the names of the four band members but didn’t know any of them. I really think this project was totally about making some money (nothing wrong with that) instead of out of love for the music.The band themselves never really gelled as some were into drugs and some weren’t. Keith the singer was already busy planning a new group after the record was released. Unfortunately Keith was killed while playing an electric guitar in the bath tub.The band broke up shortly after that. This is an album I should love considering the heavy style plus that those great sounding drums and guitar, but it just doesn’t click with me. The vocals are a little weak at times although Keith did have some serious health issues including breathing problems which may account for why they seem so low in the mix at times. 
“Buzzard” is such a great opener with the relentless guitar and pounding drums. Vocals after 2 minutes. Scorching guitar 4 ½ minutes in. “Silver Tightrope” is a long (8 ½ min.) ballad although the guitar after 7 minutes is a nice touch. “Paths And Planes And Future Games” has a nice heavy sound to it as vocals join in.The guitar is all over this one. 

“Last Stand Before” is a catchy track with some incredible drumming. Harmonica from Keith as well. Great tune. “Basking In The White Of The Midnight Sun” is where the vocals really seem distant. More excellent drumming and guitar. I like the way the harmonica and drums dominate 8 minutes in. Vocals return with the previous melody to end it. 

I haven’t given up on this one. I will continue to listen to see if my rating should stay where it is. Love the album cover on this one. ….. by Mellotron Storm …… 
Good comrades of Rock'n'Roll, I’m back for our beloved temple Mojo Risin 'to add a new jewel to our precious treasure. The Armageddon band was formed by vocalist Keith Relf, ​​who occupy the ranks of the Yardbirds, Reinassance and Medicine Head, guitarist Martin Pugh (Steamhammer), drummer Bobby Caldwell who was part of the crew of Captain Beyond and bassist Louis Cennamo (Stemhammer, Reinassance). In 1975 he saw the light this namesake without much recognition, something in the United States but not enough, then Keith and Louis leave Armageddon side to form Illusion in 1976, but Mrs death took Keith Relf to be electrocuted in the bathtub while he is playing the electric guitar … that Keith was thinking. 

Apparently this project was the Armageddon of Keith Relf itself, the struggle between good and evil, between the Rock follow this or leave it . It is said that was a bit tired of fighting with the record, spinning, not get where he wanted to be … he had his fellow Yardbirds, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page at the top and was lost between band and band taking no more than a couple of albums with one, some solo single and others. But he felt something different Armaggedon, capsized in the project and, despite the great work they created, did not get further than to give a few concerts and disappear. It had to be screwed open gap between so many good and more band reach the height of the volcanic groups of the '70s. 
Today I listen to these albums “lost” and often think, ostia bitch! and these people where is it ? because they have only this record, because neither God knows if they were the ostia !. Of course, if it were not so it would not be the same, have, would remain good as are the Rollin or Pink Floyd with all its magic, but you want me to say conpañer @, I love to walk about the streets of 70 where you never know what you’ll find, it is another kind of magic (better or worse). In the bowels of the disc you’ll find a Hard Rock Progressive bluesrock with soul, good guitar playing with lysergic point and in some subjects a harmonic of those that appear when you think it could not be better. The album makes me much, without detracting want the rest of the album have to tell you that the part that gets me is the end, this suite starting on the fifth issue until it closes the disc and is a non - stop acidic guitars tucking in your brain and reminding you that love this music. 
Well now I get your point, I hope you enjoy the album. 
Health and Rock'n'Roll for everyone s! Tracklist 1- Buzzard 2- Silver Tightrope 3- Paths and Planes and Future Gains 4- Last Stand Before 5- Basking in the White of the Midnight Sun 6 A) Warning comin 'on 7- B) Ego Brother 8- C ) Basking in the White of the Midnight Sun (Reprise)….. 
I was glad to find this album available on CD because I had been a fan of The Yardbirds since my high school days and I knew of Keith Relf’s involvement with Armageddon. What I didn’t know was that former Captain Beyond drummer Bobby Caldwell was also on this album. So that was a thrill to discover since I loved his work on the Captain’s debut album. 
As the story goes, Keith Relf left The Yardbirds along with Jim McCarty because they wanted to get away from the heavy direction Jimmy Page was taking the band and Relf was interested in doing more acoustic-centred work. He formed the original version of Renaissance with McCarty but after two albums he left and went on to produce for a few bands. One of his last productions was an album for Steamhammer and along with two of the members of that band, Relf left for California. There the three found Bobby Caldwell who had played in Captain Beyond alongside Iron Butterfly alumni Lee Dorman and Larry Reinhardt and Deep Purple MK I vocalist Rod Evans. They formed Armageddon and recorded this one-time album. 

“Armageddon” is listed as both hard rock and progressive rock, though I believe the hard rock sound is more obvious. The fact that four of the five songs are over 8 minutes long would suggest a prog act and it’s true that the longer songs wander outside the standard rock song format, but much of the length is taken up by jam sessions and extended guitar solos. 

This album is mostly a hard rock affair with some great riffs, excellent guitar solos and Caldwell’s phenomenal drumming. I do find the songs less engaging than Captain Beyond, however. Maybe that’s because the Captain’s debut was mostly short and blistering rockers and avoided long instrumental solo sections. Only “Silver Tightrope” steers clear of the hard rocking groove the band have going for most of the album. It is slightly reminiscent of Led Zeppelin’s “The Rain Song” but for me it’s much less enjoyable because “The Rain Song” builds and progresses while this song just maintains the same slow flow. The gentle electric guitar riffs seem to go on for a couple of minutes more than necessary. 

The other four tracks “Buzzard”, “Paths and Planes and Future Gains” (two very awesome guitar riffs here), “Last Stand Before”, and the four-part “Basking in the White of the Midnight Sun” are focused on hard rocking guitar music which to my ears sounds, very generally speaking, similar to Led Zeppelin’s “Presence” album, particularly the song “Nobody’s Fault but Mine”. The music has that funky blues sound and the guitar sound similar as well. Real gritty distortion is only used between the 8:30 and 9:30 minute mark of “Basking…”, at the end of part c) “Brother Ego”. 

As Relf played harmonica with The Yardbirds, it’s not surprise to hear a little bit of mouth harp here as well. It fits in with the music well enough. The weakest point, I am afraid to say, is Keith Relf’s vocals. It’s not that his singing is particularly bad (except at the opening of “Silver Tightrope”) but it doesn’t have the power required for the music. Furthermore, I find his vocals a bit lost in the mix, meaning that the music seems louder than his voice. There is, however, one point that I am not clear on and that is who is doing the vocals at the beginning of “Buzzard”. It sounds like someone is trying to imitate a young Lemmy Kilmister. When I first heard this I couldn’t imagine that this was Keith Relf singing and I still can’t as the rest of the album is sung in his recognizable voice. 

It’s unfortunate that Armageddon collapsed soon after the album was released but more so is the tragedy that Keith Relf died by electrocution soon after returning to the UK. I wonder if he would have taken part in The Yardbirds reunion that occurred with Jim McCarty and Chris Dreja in the 1990’s or if he would have been part of the Box of Frogs project in the 1980’s with McCarty, Dreja, and Yardbird’s bassist Paul Samwell-Smith? 

So here it is anyway. Armageddon’s one album. Quite a good listen for many reasons and almost worth three and a half stars in my opinion. But I don’t take this album out to listen to so much now that I am familiar with it….. by FragileKings …….. 

This is the first and only album of the American band Armageddon (although its lead singer is English) well, to understand the history of this band must go back to The Yardbirds , a prodigious band of the early 60s that housed legends in his way (as Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page and Eric Clapton) and eventually ended up becoming Led Zeppelin in 1968. the vocalist of this band was Keith Relf which we could define as a man “beat” of his generation, he liked the blues , the music of the roll animals, kinks, beatles .. but all this psychedelia and heavy music that was coming was not for him, so in 1968 left the new Yardbirds Jimmy Page and left his post to Robert Plant . He was giving his old ways by various groups of “progressive Baroque” without much success, including Renaissance (which was its founder) or producer groups as Medicine Head and the height of 1975 he decided to do something different, more ambitious your project so that they gathered these several good musicians, former members of Renaissance, Rod Stewart , Allman Brothers , Cactus , Rick Derringer , Captain Beyond , Steam Hummer and Johnny Winter .. to this wonderful album. What these musicians have in common? They were prodigies but “failed” failed to make their way to success, people like Relf were spent grapes in the mid-60s, they did not fit too, his story reminds a bit the first vocalist of Deep Purple Rod Evans precisely also Captain Beyond ended. Formidable groups but with such good music, so conceptual, long songs that did not just broadcasting, not congealed and less with the recent arrival of the era of Glam and New Wave. There were also issues with many sound effects without session musicians what to complicated touch them in concert as in the case of the first disc of Motörhead “On Parole” of which I spoke last year and with a very similar situation to this album auqnue the biggest problem they had in summary was the first year he came second and the type of music. 
These musicians decided to Armageddon in 1974 and could only get this lp because unfortunately Keith Relf (vocals) died electrocuted with a guitar amp in 1976 (sometimes made rhythmic and bass guitar) very bad luck, a fucking shame because if you listen to this album .. this album is .. as I say … has something magical. Engages far is very good, has space rock ( progressive + psychedelic) , blues , hard rock , could be considered heavy metal also good guitar solos, many effects, is conceptual (whole issue revolves around the nuclear apocalypse and war cold ), his music is as if we mixed a lot of good bands of the early 70s, it’s an album that was a bit late but just in time .. I quote a paragraph that I really blog friend “I liked risin mojo sound "that was the one who gave me to know for the first time this wonder: …….. 

Armageddon’s lineup reads like a who’s who of 70’s heavy rock royalty. It features vocalist Keith Relf of the Yardbirds and Renaissance, Martin Pugh, lead guitarist for Rod Stewart’s An Old Raincoat Will Never Let You Down, and Steamhammer, Bobby Caldwell, drummer for Captain Beyond and Johnny Winter, and Louis Cennamo, who was the bass player and bandmate of Relf’s in Renaissance and Pugh in Steamhammer. 

Armageddon was the last band to feature the Yardbirds’ Keith Relf. He had founded Renaissance after the dissolution of the Yardbirds in 1968, and left Renaissance after two albums (actually half way through the second album) - to produce bands like Medicine Head (for whom he also played bass), Hunter Muskett, and Saturnalia. 

Pugh Sennamo had broken up Steamhammer in 1973 - they then decided, with Relf (who’d assisted them in the production of the final Steamhammer album) , to leave England for L.A. They tried out a few drummers in California, and decided on Bobby Caldwell to complete the Armageddon lineup. 
According to the booklet in the Repertoire Records CD re-issue of the album in 2001, Pter Frampton and Dee Anthony recommended the band to A&M records, and it was likely because he was their top selling act at the time that they signed the band. 

Although the band’s debut album was well received by critics and fans, the band did no tour to support it, consequently sales suffered, and Relf returned to England due to poor health shortly after the album was released. He died shortly after returning to England, when he was electrocuted while playing guitar, although he did record one more song: "All the Falling Angels” that is included on an album by Illusion called Enchanted Caress. (Illusion was the original name the members of Renaissance chose when they reunited, as the Annie Haslam incarnation of the band that existed at the time). 

After Armageddon folded, bassist Cennamo reunited with his Renaissance bandmates (the aforementioned Illusion) and later worked with Jim McCarty in the bands Stairway, and Renaissance Illusion. Drummer Caldwell returned with Captain Beyond for an album and tour……………. 

I confess I was surprised by this latest discovery, because I did not expect to find something so good and I was once again taken by surprise by a new English band for me, already known from many other hard rock fans. Today I can better understand why England, London its capital in the 1970s was considered a rock mecca whose bands that come are the forerunners of hard rock, heavy metal and progressive, a fact that shows no embargoes that seventies rock scene was full good bands that were simply forgotten because many not recorded more than three albums that in the case of longer lasting. 

In this case it fits the Armageddon that left an excellent studio album, required on the shelf of any collector self-respecting, for here the journey is a hodgepodge, ie one that is born mixing hard rock, blues, progressive and jazz. The band was formed by Keith Relf one of the founders of The Yardbirds (big band blues British rock, passed by masters of the six strings as Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and later with Jimmy Page is to turn into one of the biggest bands of rock the world Led Zeppelin). After Keith Relf output of The Yardbirds, along with other former members like Jim Mccarty and Paul Samwell-Smith created the Renaissance band whose sound was affiliated with the progressive and the first fruits of the new creation were the Renaissance albums (1969) and llusion (1971) marks the last work with the most important members of the group. 

But the tireless Keith Relf decided he should continue giving wings to their desires and decided to set up another band joining first drummer Bobby Caldwell (Captain Beyond member) and then reaching the other members as bassist Luis Cernnamo (former Renaissance and Steamhammer) and guitarist Matin Pugh (ex-Steamhammer), but still lacked something very important for this super newly-formed group can shine, a contract with a record label and how Cennamo bassist was a great friend of Peter Frampton at the request drummer he interceded for the group next to his manager and record label and the end result was that the band signed to a & M Records. 

Have all set the group sent to the Olympic Studios located in Barnes a neighborhood of the London suburb, England the heart and soul of the seventies rock and all the time they were admitted to compose and record their first studio album the group put out all his experience and showed that the record that was about to be born in those times was the result of a meeting of geniuses who used and abused than it already had in hand, namely the blues, hard rock, progressive They twined and this merger was born a powerful and unparalleled strong sound was entitled to Armageddon name whose name was given also the first album that was the shelves in May 1975. 

Summarized five electrifying tracks the albumn Armageddon showed a group whose creative potential seemed to be inexhaustible, as tracks like as the instrumental “Buzzard” whose over eight minutes where guitarist Martin Pogh not vascilou sending extremely intelligent guitar riffs very well accompanied by low sequenced of Cennamos whose growing and strong battery dictating the direction and rough and accurate vocal Relf make it vibrate and crack. in the sequence is the beautiful ballad Silver Tightrope where the group emulated the sound quieter and captivating Led Zeppelin, reaching a dreamy atmosphere that captivates and excites right away, as Relf voice elevates your corner with combining echoes with electric acoustic guitars . 

In the third track “Paths And Planes And Future Gains”, the group attacks giving stoned in just over four minutes whose highlights are the instrumental variations which guitarrrista one more time up on left with riffs and harmonious solos that will leading the entire piece finally this is one of those songs that shows the value of Martin Pugh and direct plays in the face of the jig as the guy was underestimated. In “Last Before Stands” is another of those that excite with its growing pace hard / blues alternating acoustic guitars with electric, marked the plurality, that is, the versatility of the group culminated in the creation of great classical riffs, piercing that has much to say and the only interpretation of Keith Relf with his delirious vocals creating amazing harmonics and its strong rhythm section supported by beautiful harmonica melodies express the sense of what is the Armageddon rock and their intentions. 

Closing the album is the track “Basking In The White Of The Midnight Sun” an intertwined set by the hard rock and the progressive divided into three parts: a) Warning Coming On, which is a short start, ie an instrumental introduction with a just over a minute to drop a powerful blues first rock marked by frantic guitar rhythms accompanied by rapid soil, b) Brother Ego is already marked by rhythmic footprint marked by beautiful lysergic guitar solos on the stalk and harmonica Keith Relf also spits fire in his virtuoso solo, and the battery Caldwell stands out for powerful rítmca section and the closure of this range comes the part the third part which is a repetition of the title and comes with a furious instrumental, fast and strong. 

The album when it was released got positive response from critics and fans, but sales have not mirrored the furor with the premiere, because the band did an extensive tour to promote the album was also released in Brazil at the time (but those relating to acceptance results and the bandage are unknown and for those interested in acquiring them just access the internet or attend the nearest specialist shop in your home). But luck seemed to be abandoning Keith Relf who was forced to return to his home in England due to health problems that acometeram during his walk up the winding rock road, and as always the abuses linked to drugs and alcohol began to destroy the group and because of this no longer cast newest material. 

And to make matters worse Keith Relf says goodbye to the stage and left the life to come to join the rock history due to a guitar that had been poorly grounded and so was electrocuted as he touched her, and so precociously reached the end a promising band and their adventures around the rock world, but that at least leaves to his his legacy, the testimony of a brilliant time and golden whose main objective of groups beyond the obvious (success, money and others), was seeking to innovate , differentiate and show their ability in this case has been fulfilled until the last second of this beautiful record. 

And to you who are starting your journey through the world of rock and is just beginning to discover the bands, styles and classic albums write down there in your book this disk because it is crucial to understand the ways that heavy rock comes taking in recent years, so and the fact that if you already tired of always hearing the same names in rock and want something new, differentiated you can find here a new path, or a new sound to enjoy unhurried, because it is a classic album that unfortunately was hidden and now appears to receive the treatment they deserve and have secured their place among the great…..Rock 'n’ Roll Maniac………. 

Line-up / Musicians 

- Keith Relf / lead vocals, harp, harmonica 
- Martin Pugh / electric, acoustic guitars 
- Bobby Caldwell / drums, vocals, piano, assorted percussion 
- Louis Cennamo / bass, electric bowed bass guitars 

Songs / Tracks Listing 

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. 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)

johnkatsmc5, welcome music..







Cassette Deck

Cassette Deck