.

Bedemon - Child of Darkness


by Matt Hensch

.
"Child of Darkness," even if the music it contained were not incredible, holds prominence for its historical significance. These are the demo tapes of Bedemon, a squad formed in the 1970s in the pits of Arlington, Virginia. Bedemon most notably featured Bobby Liebling and a select few others who would have some role in Pentagram, be it ephemeral or enduring. The beauty of Bedemon and "Child of Darkness" is something more than the solid retro doom which lives and breathes in these songs. While these factors are pivotal, "Child of Darkness" has an atmosphere and sound quality that are today often imitated, but not without sacrificing a massive chunk of authenticity. Hearing these tapes is almost dreamlike.

The influence of the classic groups who seeded this style are almost palpable, especially Black Sabbath, whose doom metal roots are tangled in the atmosphere. Bedemon operates under an oppressive and murky umbrella, a stranger's hard and unforeseen punch in the gut. These songs stretch a wide gamut, but seldom deviate from the negative and shadowy Bedemon aura prowling the riffs and haunting the lyrics. You can nearly touch the doomy influence of Black Sabbath dripping through the dense, crawling rhythms and Bobby Liebling's vocals. Different dynamics of Bedemon's style differentiate the doom metal template, showing influences tipping the scales in favor of 70s rock. There is a definite presence of accessibility lingering in the haze, as some tracks ("Time Bomb," "Into the Grave") shed the murk for a more manageable frame of mind.

The band's chemistry exploring the compilation's multiple states is a marvel, really, as the rhythm section is profound between Liebling's wailing and the thick riffs rolling out of the abyss. Bass lines and drum fills bridging the gap with groove are everywhere, and augment the sheer might of Bedemon's efforts. The band sounds heavier than an anvil on your toes lurching through the driving bulldozer of doom that is "Drive Me to the Grave" and the rhythmic power of "Touch the Sky," though "Into the Grave" sticks out as one of the compilation's finest tracks as well. Bobby's lyrical themes explore death, anti-religion, horror, tough life-the goods of doom. These dark words are brilliant in the surrounding, serving as the hot fudge on the doom sundae.

But if I'm going to single out the best part of these tapes, it has to be the sound quality. "Child of Darkness" under another lens might be tagged sounding utterly abysmal, with wonky balances and hazy instruments smearing against an uncooked quality. Given how Bedemon operates, the recording equipment of demo tapes in the 1970s (which couldn't have been much), and the general murkiness of doom found in every inch of "Child of Darkness," it makes sense. Total sense. Bedemon's tale beyond the demos that compile "Child of Darkness" has little worth mentioning. However, the fifteen songs lurking in the atonal chamber that is "Child of Darkness" are lethal enough to startle, and substantial enough to be revered.

Bedemon - Child of Darkness
Rating:

Share this article

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google+ Pin it Share on Reddit email this article