Theirs is doom a decade in the making, and yet, with the buzzsaw lead that rips a hole right through “The Plague,” mysterious Virginian doom forebears Bedemon sound organic and classic. The recording of their new album, Symphony of Shadows (Svart Records) is rough and that only adds to its heavy ’70s sensibilities — the undulating riff that seems directly built out of Black Sabbath‘s “Electric Funeral” should be enough to give an exact idea of where the band is coming from.
And it’s been a hard road to get them here. Bedemon — guitarist Randy Palmer, bassist Mike Matthews, drummer Geof O’Keefe (a founding member of Pentagram) and vocalist Craig Junghandel — recorded the basic tracks for Symphony of Shadows in April 2002, with Matthews and O’Keefe handling the majority of the guitar leads. Just a few months later, Palmer died in a tragic car accident and the band was completely derailed. They decided to persist and finish the incomplete recordings, interpreting Palmer‘s songwriting from the basic tapes of riffs and the lyrics he’d left behind, but between mourning, recording vocals, mixing, various other personal shakeups and life in general, a full 10 years passed between the recording and the release.
In that regard, though, the timing couldn’t be better. Bedemon‘s restored 2005 collection of oft-bootlegged early ’70s material, Child of Darkness — on which the band was fronted by Bobby Liebling — helped bring the band critical and audience acclaim like they’d never known before, and while I don’t necessarily think you can fairly say a record that arrives seven years later is capitalizing on the momentum of its predecessor, at very least the doom heads Symphony of Shadows is looking to reach won’t have to be told who the band is or reminded of O’Keefe‘s foundational contributions to some of the earliest of the American works in the genre. That’s bound to be a leg up.
More importantly, Symphony of Shadows is of quality enough to stand on its own, and “The Plague” gives a more than solid indication of the means by which it does so. Please find the track on the player below, and enjoy:
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Bedemon‘s Symphony of Shadows hits iTunes/Amazon on Aug. 25, the same day it’s out in Continental Europe, through Svart. A Sept. 5 release follows for the UK and the record is primed to hit North American shores on Oct. 23. For more info, check out Bedemon‘s site, their Thee Facebooks, or the label’s page. Thanks to Svart and Nathan T. Birk for permission to host “The Plague.”Tags: Bedemon, Bedemon Child of Darkness, Bedemon doom, Bedemon Geof O'Keefe, Bedemon Pentagram, Bedemon Svart Records, Bedemon Symphony of Shadows, doom metal, Geof O'Keefe, Geof O'Keefe Pentagram