The Lost In Rock And Heavy Metal: Armageddon

Written by: AndMetalForAll
Published: 09.12.2012
Armageddon was an intended supergroup formed in 1974, created by drummer Bobby Caldwell (former Captain Beyond), singer Keith Relf (former Yardbirds and co-founder of Renaissance), bassist Louis Cennamo (former Renaissance and Steamhammer) and guitarist Martin Pugh (also formerly Steamhammer). This unlucky supergroup had a short history to tell to the world; although talented and then known to most of the rock fans, Armageddon's legacy lasted only two years with their disbandment in 1976 after managerial problems and the shocking death of influential member Keith Relf. Any information, of this supergroup found on the internet is only possible because of the patience of many progressive/psychedelic rock fans; there's so little information available because there is so little to tell. Two years and one studio full-length album aren't sufficient to make an extensive article about what could have been one of the top groups of the 70's.

Armageddon's lineup


The four members found themselves "unemployed" after leaving their respective bands. After forming Renaissance and leaving it due to frustrations with the music business and being tired of touring, the rock 'n' roll hall of famer Keith Relf was determined to create a rock band with a sound like no other; Martin Pugh (guitar) and Louis Cennamo (bass) left Steamhammer and Bobby Caldwell left Captain Beyond, and the four men met in Los Angeles in order to form Armageddon. In 1975, the band released their debut studio album entitled Armageddon that is, one of the greatest progressive rock albums in the 70's.

Armageddon was the result of the union of these four talented musicians who came up with an album very close to perfection. Great progressive rock bands already existed but this album had something special; Rush already had a different sound preparing the grounds to be the best band of all time alongside Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd; Captain Beyond (mentioned previously in this series of articles) formed in 1972, had a sound more psychedelic; King Crimson were in the middle of becoming one of the greats with a more smooth sound and many others could be mentioned. Independently of the existing bands at the time, Armageddon were still able to create something different: their sound was progressive, it was psychedelic but it was also more aggressive, more heavy metal. Armageddon was able to create a sound that combined progressive/psychedelic rock with a more extended version of rock: heavy rock. The result is an album filled with great rock compositions, amazing guitar solos, great vocal performance, and excellent instrumental arrangement. Most of the songs extend beyond the eight-minute barrier without being boring (although it's a very lengthy album it has only five songs).

Filled with lots of diversity, the album starts with the fast-paced "Buzzard". With "Buzzard", Armageddon sets the mood for what is going to be a great progressive rock moment, as they came up with excellent and inspired songwriting; it balances the album with "Silver Tightrope", progressive rock ballad that, in my opinion, came up in the album way too soon (it would be better after the first and second tracks). This song is very smooth and is quite different from the rest of the album. Like any progressive/psychedelic rock album of the 70's this album had to have a track with over eleven minutes and "Basking in the White of the Midnight Sun", the fifth and last track, is one of the best moments on Armageddon. It's a track divided in four different songs with different tempos and they combine to make "Basking in the White of the Midnight Sun" an epic progressive rock moment. All of the tracks, have a purpose like any other great progressive/psychedelic rock album.

Artwork of Armageddon


On a scale of 10 this album must be a 9/10: great performances, very good songwriting, instrumentally superb, Armageddon is an example to the progressive era of the 70's!


Armageddon track list:
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: Warning Comin' On/Basking in the White of the 'Midnight Sun/Brother Ego/Basking In The White Of The Midnight Sun Reprise



It's a pity Armageddon isn't known to the fans of rock. I even doubt that the people that lived in the best decade of music, the 70's, are able to recognize Armageddon as a supergroup, very few can. Armageddon is in my view one of the greatest albums of the 70's in the progressive rock scene. Each Armageddon member make one of their greatest performances. After knowing the bands and the members of this band and what they are capable of, it seems to me that the result was the best possible. All four members are great musicians, Bobby was a great drummer, filled with creativity, one of my favorite drummers of this decade, previously performed in Captain Beyond (a band in which he played superbly); Keith Relf, the hall of famer, with a very smooth voice but also more aggressive when necessary (another death that made the world of music a bit poorer). All the members were already known from previous bands and had recognized talent. This band didn't fail because of them, instead they disbanded in 1976 because of managerial problems and the tragic death of Keith Relf by accidental electrocution on May 14, 1976. In spite of having two amazing managers, Dee Anthony (Frampton, Humble Pie, and Emerson Lake & Palmer) and later Jerry Weintraub (Frank Sinatra, Bob Dylan), the fact of the matter is that the band played only two live shows in their existence making the band's promotion and sales revenue a bit difficult.

Armageddon is in my opinion one of The Lost In Rock And Heavy Metal; they didn't even appeared on the "main stage" because they weren't given the right chances. In two years of existence, only performing twice is a real "kick in the crotch", breaking up because of managerial problems is nothing more than undeserved for this supergroup that had talent, ambition and a great debut album to start their career.







Hope this article can help the readers to extend their taste to some of the good rarities the music world has to offer.


 
Guest article disclaimer:
This is a guest article, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.




Comments

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AndMetalForAll - 09.12.2012 at 21:30  
Highlights: "Buzzard", "Silver Tightrope", "Last Stand Before", "Basking In The White Of The Midnight Sun"
NocturnalStalker - 10.12.2012 at 18:01  
I'll be sure to check this album out. This article provoked my interest.
AndMetalForAll - 10.12.2012 at 21:07  
Written by NocturnalStalker on 10.12.2012 at 18:01

I'll be sure to check this album out. This article provoked my interest.


Thanks for the interest, always try to inform "the audience" with my articles. The album is really great, and Armageddon is a rarity.

greets,
kual21
Mindheist - 13.12.2012 at 22:09  
Rummaging through the dusty books of metal for forgotten sounds is what metalheads need to do these days. Unfortunately, only a handful does it now, and you my friend, you're one of them. I have read your article to its entirety, not because I had to, but mostly because it was a fun read and a rewarding experience. I'll make sure to check Armageddon out even though I'm more into folk metal.

Thank you for your articles and please keep them coming
AndMetalForAll - 13.12.2012 at 23:01  
Written by Mindheist on 13.12.2012 at 22:09

Rummaging through the dusty books of metal for forgotten sounds is what metalheads need to do these days. Unfortunately, only a handful does it now, and you my friend, you're one of them. I have read your article to its entirety, not because I had to, but mostly because it was a fun read and a rewarding experience. I'll make sure to check Armageddon out even though I'm more into folk metal.

Thank you for your articles and please keep them coming


Thanks for your reply and support, count on me my friend for that mission lol..

greets,
kual21
Bad English - 15.12.2012 at 02:36  
Im idiot I never heard about this before, just tryd it awesome
AndMetalForAll - 15.12.2012 at 13:50  
Written by Bad English on 15.12.2012 at 02:36

Im idiot I never heard about this before, just tryd it awesome


There are many bands that most people don't know. That's why I created this section.

Thanks for reading..
Bad English - 15.12.2012 at 14:01  
Written by AndMetalForAll on 15.12.2012 at 13:50

Written by Bad English on 15.12.2012 at 02:36

Im idiot I never heard about this before, just tryd it awesome


There are many bands that most people don't know. That's why I created this section.

Thanks for reading..


its rue but I must know this band since before metal on classc rock stadions I was listening oldies, 70's and actualy non of radio ever talk about this band and its so weird
Good band
Bad English - 15.12.2012 at 14:01  
Written by AndMetalForAll on 15.12.2012 at 13:50

Written by Bad English on 15.12.2012 at 02:36

Im idiot I never heard about this before, just tryd it awesome


There are many bands that most people don't know. That's why I created this section.

Thanks for reading..


its rue but I must know this band since before metal on classc rock stadions I was listening oldies, 70's and actualy non of radio ever talk about this band and its so weird
Good band

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