This was a sort of hard rock supergroup. Relf had previously been with The Yardbirds, Renaissance and recorded two solo 45s in 1966. Cennamo and Pugh had been with Steamhammer and Caldwell had played with Captain Beyond and The Johnny Winter Band. Their album is now a minor collectable, which has been likened to T2. Given the experience of the musicians it's disappointing and filled with boring minimalistic guitar riffs and flat melody lines. There are some good instrumental breaks but only Buzzard, a hard rockin' number with fast Ritchie Blackmore-like guitar work which culminates with some bluesy harmonica from Keith Relf and the slow, melodic Silver Tightrope are worth a listen
Keith Relf (vocals, harmonica)
Martin Pugh (guitar)
Bobby Caldwell (drums)
Louis Cennamo (bass)
1 Buzzard 8:16
2 Silver Tightrope 8:23
3 Paths and Planes and Future Gains 4:31
4 Last Stand Before 8:24
5 Basking in the White of the Midnight Sun 11:26
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)
Armaggedon was, unfortunately for devotees, a 1975 one-album wonder of edge-of-the-galaxy rock industry heavyweights including Martin Pugh of classic, early UK blues/rock/prog pillars Steamhammer, who literally rips a hole in the sky with his incendiary and biting guitar attack. Pugh hurtles effortlessly from rapid-fire riffing one minute to smoothe, spaceman-like fluid notes of acoustic/electric guitar bliss.
Bass chores were manned by pioneering British bassist Louis Cennamo, who was (at least) one of the first bassists to use a bow... and DAMN those atmospherics he got! Cennamo's early work with Renaissance and then Steamhammer give a strong indication of what he's capable of, and this album does not fail to execute at levels higher than most can ever hope to achieve.
Singing and playing harmonica with blues power and otherworldly distance was Keith Relf, who found early fame with the Yardbirds in 1960's UK. Relf, who just after recordings was found dead in his bathtub with an electric guitar, gives the performance of a lifetime, and sadly, his last. What a way to end a career and life in the spotlight of musical freedom. Relf's time with us may have been too short, but what he gave us in his last outing is one for the ages.
But what is a great rock band without a great drummer? Enter one Bobby Caldwell (not the 70's pop singer), who cut his teeth with Johnny Winter and later helped propel Captain Beyond's legendary self-titled 1972 progressive, metallic/space rock gem to the further reaches of rock-bliss nirvana. Caldwell's immense talent for creating dazzling back and cross-beats, while thunderous runs that defy cranial capacities launch this rock monument to speed/prog/rock ecstasy. And, as with all power/chemistry rock bands, Armaggedon had the arsenal for victory with surplus in tow. Despite sounding a bit dated at the time of release (1975), sounding and styling more like 1972, Armaggedon fills a huge crack in the void of rock where earth meets space and time/destiny sound a chorus that rock cannot ignore.
Highly recommended! One of the best, infernal heavy rock prog albums of all time!
Rip from CD 256@ (full artwork included)