In the beginning there was Black Sabbath. There was also Bedemon, but no one knew of them. And the world of Doom went about its business, for Bedemon were not the droids that were being looked for. Yet, the world of Doom was to realize its mistake and to come to know and love those that created the Bedemon, for their line up boasted none other than Pentagram’s Bobby Liebling, Geof O’Keefe and occasional member Randy Palmer. So, it all worked out alright in the end. Certainly better than it did for the Stormtroopers.
Child of Darkness is a collection of demos and recordings the band made in the early 70’s, remastered and reissued by Relapse. It will surprise none to learn that this collection of proto-metal tunes is very close in sound and style to the works of the aforementioned infamous forefathers, though with tunes bluesier and less riff based, and with Liebling’s a cleaner tone to Ozzy’s.
Whether you see this as a curio or an essential purchase will depend on how deep your love of Doom is, and how interested you are tracing the lineage, as this line up (in this guise) and this collection of songs didn’t see the light of day until 2005, other than odd tracks on mythical bootleg records and tapes.
Even though this suffers in places from poor source audio quality (some of the tracks are notably warped or distorted), that doesn’t detract from the overall experience, and in fact, enhances the feeling of authenticity; overdriven dark blues that would form the basis of an entire genre a generation later. The simple but oh-so-effective laid back groove of ‘One-Way Road’ is a three minute template for desert rock and on the more considered ‘Into The Grave’ you can hear the origins of the sounds that would inspire and drive Monster Magnet.
Child of Darkness is a collection of good, dark and heavy bluesy proto-metal tunes from talented musicians who, while not having the same global impact as Sabbath, would nonetheless go on to make an indelible mark in the history of this beautifully ugly mutant we call metal.