Album: Bedemon, Symphony of Shadows
Label: Svart
Release: August 24, 2012 (Europe), October 23, 2012 (US)

Even before listening to Symphony of Shadows I knew it would intrigue me simply because of the odd backstory of the group. They formed back in 1973 and amazingly, 2012 marks their only release of new material. The reason this album really came about is because the original singer was Bobby Liebling who went on to be the mastermind behind Pentagram.

Bedemon released a demo in 1986 and then promptly broke up. In 2001 a journalist was doing a story about Liebling and contacted the other three members of the band which then prompted someone to put together a compilation of odds and ends that they had recorded, which saw the light of day in 2005. But in the meantime, guitarist Randy Palmer thought there was enough interest in the band to record a new album and they did so in 2002. Then Palmer was killed in a car accident and the disc never saw the light of day. But last year, the remaining two members took the tracks recorded back then, hired vocalist Craig Junghandel and went into the studio to finish the tracks up and release them – hence Bedemon’s first full album of new material in Symphony of Shadows. If that ain’t a long and roundabout way to get to your first album, I don’t know what is.

Sadly, it’s a shame that this very well may be the only record since it was really completed as a tribute to Palmer as it’s a damn fine slab of doom metal, which should be expected based on their roots. But it’s one of those records that could have been released in ’78, ’84, ’98 or today and still sound right in time with the ever rotating circle of doom that brings back the vintage sound over and over again. Now Junghandel isn’t Bobby Leibling (but who is?) and his vocals are way too high in the mix which buries the powers of the guitars but all the pieces together hold their own against their peers. Based on the history with Pentagram it’s natural to compare the two and while it doesn’t match the best releases from them, I’d put tracks like “D.E.D.” and “Lord of Desolation” up against the majority of Pentagram tunes any day.

Even forgetting where these guys came from and taking the album at face value, for what it is and mostly records ten years ago and fan of vintage doom metal should enjoy this very much and of course get a slice of history as well.

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Album: Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell, Don’t Hear It…Fear It!
Label: Metal Blade/Rise Above
Release: August 28, 2012

If you aren’t a history buff first let me tell you that the name Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell isn’t a completely out of the blue random name. Sir Cloudesley Shovell was an English Admiral of the Fleet who died in the Scilly naval disaster of 1707. Why you’d choose that as a name for your band is odd but hey, to each his own.

Fans apparently don’t like saying the full name either as they call them The Shovell instead, so keep that in mind because if you aren’t a fan already then you will be after listening to this album. I don’t know that I would ever expect some killer doom metal out of an album with a dude in a bird head on the cover but that’s what’s inside. The record has psychedelic moments as well (and that, I would expect) and an overall vibe equal to the first Black Sabbath record. Power chords and feedback reign supreme on Don’t Hear It…Fear It! with bongs surely surrounding the band during recording.

There are a ton of twists and turns on the disc from track to track and with tunes like “Scratchin’ & Sniffin'” and “Mark of the Beast,” three or four stylistic shifts in the same song. “Devil’s Island” is the tune that takes you directly back to Sabbath, while “Killer Kane” lays a more modern sound down over top of that bombastic vintage doom.

With the right push, Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell has the chance to make a name for themselves. The name and the cover alone are going to intrigue the hipsters to take a listen. The vintage sound is going to attract both adults and college kids that want to look smart and the overall vibe is going to attract the metalhead like me, the classic rock dude and the indie douchehole. There’s a whole mess of people that are going to comment about how strange these guys are but don’t buy it. Sure, they freak out and sure, the vocals can be unconventional at times. But Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell is simply a psychedelic doom band with unharnessed urges to rock the fuck out. They really aren’t that weird. But, they are that good.

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Album: Korpiklaani, Manala
Label: Nuclear Blast
Release: August 14, 2012

Finnish folk metal rules!

Nostaa oman pintiÁ¤ maailman suurin Suomen Band! Band, joka julkaisee sÁ¤Á¤nnÁ¶llisesti albumin mielestÁ¤ni ajatus hyvin vuoden suoritettava kuiva mutta Hitto Jos Korpiklaani ei jatkuvasti parantaa.

Olen melko varma ettÁ¤ kuuntelet Korpiklaani on paras voit tuntea samalla ottaa metalli tietueen. Minulle kaikki eivÁ¤t KÁ¤ynnistÁ¤ kuoppaan mutta sijaan heittÁ¤Á¤ mutkia, tanssi arm haaran samalla kulutukseen tarkoitetun viileitÁ¤ Muki Halvat ruokajÁ¤tteen vapaata appendage kanssa. Ja tÁ¤mÁ¤ on kaikki musiikki haitari ja viulu ja laulanut kielellÁ¤, ettÁ¤ en ymmÁ¤rrÁ¤.

Jotkut Manala versiot tulevat bonus levy kaiken sung englanniksi, mutta en ole koskaan kuullut, ettÁ¤ yksi ja minÁ¤ tiedÁ¤ vaikuttaa siihen, ettÁ¤ haluan. Kun olet aikaisemmin laulanut englanniksi ja ole kuulosti niinkin, tÁ¤mÁ¤ tietue on tehdÁ¤ Hitto hyvÁ¤ sen alkuperÁ¤inen suomeksi ettÁ¤ kÁ¤yttÁ¤jÁ¤n syytÁ¤ vaivata bonus levy. Todella outoa osa tietueen tietoja on, ettÁ¤ se kuulostaa aivan kuten muut kahdeksan Korpiklaani tietueet ja vielÁ¤ rakastan sitÁ¤ edelleen. Alusta loppuun on niiden catchiest albumin mutta todellisuudessa se on hyvin pitkÁ¤lti sama kuin kaikki-luettelossa. Raskas folk vaikuttaneet juttuja myyttinen liikennevÁ¤lineisiin ja kulutukseen. Ja ymmÁ¤rrÁ¤t sanoitukset vai ei, itse asiassa vain Haluatko pÁ¤Á¤stÁ¤ ylÁ¶s, tanssi ja Osu yhdessÁ¤ mukeja yÁ¶tÁ¤. Se on todella Omituisin kÁ¤site minulle tÁ¤mÁ¤n pojat kanssa, koska mikÁ¤Á¤n ei, mutta kaikki on yksinkertaisesti fucking upeita. Manala on yksinkertaisesti loistava tietueen, vaikka sen on kuull.

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Albums currently on the potential best of 2012 list:
Baroness, Yellow & Green
Christian Mistress, Possession
Denial of God, Death and the Beyond
Goatwhore, Blood for the Master
Human Toilet, Human Toilet
Jorn, Bring Heavy Rock To the Land
Kadavar, Kadavar
Korpiklaani, Manala
Mongrels Cross, The Sins of Aquarius
OSI, Fire Make Thunder
Satanic Bloodspraying, At the Mercy of Satan
Terrorizer, Hordes of Chaos
Ufomammut, Oro: Opus Primum
Woods of Ypres, Woods 5: Grey Skies & Electric Light

About the Author

Dave Steed

Dave Steed is all about music; 80's and metal to be exact. His iPod will shuffle from Culture Club to Slayer and he won't blink an eye. He's never heard Astral Weeks but thinks "Dazzey Duks" by Duice is the bomb. It's an odd little corner of the world he lives in.

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