At the time of the original incarnation of Black Sabbath, they were not a well respected band. Hard to believe now, and it was hard for a pair of upstart American musicians by the names of Randy Palmer and Bobby Liebling to believe even then. They were among the first to be heavily influenced by the band that would spawn an entire new genre of music, these two creating the Black Sabbath influenced bands Bedemon and Pentagram at a time when it was unfashionable and commercially unviable to do so. It would take fifteen years from Pentagram's inception for audiences to catch up and for the band to make their vinyl debut, Palmer never lived to see his band secure an album release. But he did manage to record what would be the band's only official release of original and new material, albeit that new material is now actually ten years old. But it is new to us. And we're lucky to have the chance to finally hear it.
Symphony of Shadows is full of morbid anthems and fatalist mantras. It is a labor of love, a heart and soul affair. It's True Doom with hard-edged arrangements around 70s riffs and hopeless lyrics.
The main riff from "Eternally Unhuman" sounds like it was written in the 70s and the rest of the song embellished and expanded upon in the 90s, early 00s, which is not a bad thing at all. I bet half the bands I listen to wish they could work that way and sound like they try. Again, not a bad thing. Bedemon was in a unique position to actually do so. But really, I'm struck by how modern this album sounds. Maybe that's the wrong word.
Metal, especially Doom Metal, is not a genre of music that lends itself easily to trends or changing fashion. It is a lifestyle, a worldview, and it isn't about fitting in. It is a kind of music that isn't easily placed, timewise. What's good now will sound good twenty years from now and vice versa. This is the kind of album that defines that ideal. It is timeless.
I don't know, I guess it doesn't really matter if they're treading new ground or not, sometimes you just want something to sound familiar and good. That's how I like my Traditional Doom, I know what I want to hear, I know what to expect when I put it on, because it's what I'm in the mood for. This is that kind of album. Songs like "Saviour", "Lord of Desolation" and "Kill You Now" I'm always in the mood for.
Put it on, I'm in the mood for some good old Traditional Doom.
Reminds me of: Altar of Oblivion, Argus, Black Sabbath, Candlemass, Dusted Angel, Pentagram
My Rating: 4/5
Genre: Traditional Doom Metal, Heavy Metal
1). Saviour (4:23)
2). Lord of Desolation (7:00)
3). Son of Darkness (4:25)
4). The Plague (5:04)
5). D.E.D. (7:27)
6). Kill You Now (3:35)
7). Godless (9:38)
8). Hopeless (9:39)
9). Eternally Unhuman (7:40)
Total run time: 58:43
Release Date: October 23, 2012
The Obelisk interview
Suggested listening activity for fellow non-stoners: Playing in traffic
GET IT HERE