So, basically for the rest of time, whenever anyone talks about this collection - being reissued and remastered by Pentagram-loving Relapse a decade or so after it first saw the light of day - or Bedemon, or probably just even Pentagram, I’m going to quote my friend Mark, who listened to it before I did (and with whom I made 4- and 8- track recordings myself once upon a time) and told me succinctly that it sounded like it was recorded on a potato.
Which is actually fair enough - but lets get real, no one is checking this one out or judging it for its recording quality; we’re going after it for its historical significance. Pentagram being one of the founding fathers of Doom proper, a side project with three original members (sometimes touted itself as the actual first doom band) – um, yeah, we’re all gonna listen to it. Frankly its just fucking neat. We’re nerds for that kinds stuff. And it is fucking good. There’s Pentagram in there unquestionably, and the roughest most unpolished of doom. Simple, nearly painfully slow riffs at times (but oh, we love that pain, do we not….). But quite a lot of uptempo stuff ala Pentagram as well. There is some seriously impressive, blazing guitar on these tracks from the late Randy Palmer. One would expect no less of course, but the skill and accomplishment is even more pronounced/showcased on such a primitive recording. It is a serious loss to heavy music that we never got to hear him play and do more and be recognized outside the Pentagram camp. What a talented and influential player, much more so than most people probably realize. But at the very least, with Pentagrams rise from the ashes over the past decade or so, that name will carry on and garner more of the recognition it deserves. And Bobby sounds great (filtered through the potato, of course) singing predominantly in his deeper register for these Bedemon recordings, rarely if ever touching the higher , bluesier, soulsier (yeah, I just said that) stuff you hear in Pentagram and in later years. Interestingly these formative doom songs may be the shortest ones I have ever heard - 17 tracks weighing in at about 55 minutes…. My how things have changed.
There are a few points where I lose the plot a little and things sort of blur together. Not every single tune here is exactly life-changing, but considering what we’re actually listening to - essentially the garage recordings of a band that never broke that were an offshoot of a band that barely broke….. well, let’s just say even the least engaging tracks blow mine and Mark’s old 4-track recordings out of the fucking water. The caliber of the recording will keep this a historical document and something cool and special, rather than a favorite or go-to album, for me a least, but that in no way diminishes what this is and represents.