The ground work for Armageddon's s/t debut from 1975 was already somewhat laid out with Steamhammer's Speech(1972) as the band was left as a power trio with Martin Pugh on guitar, Louis Cennamo on bass and the late, great Mickey Bradley on drums from the Mk.II Steamhammer. Steamhammer's first three albums were in the vein of progressive blues rock but Speech took took a 90 degree turn just before hitting the sun's photosphere melting experimental/hard rock/prog into exploring the new frontiers of far away galaxies. This is where Cennamo introduced the bow to the bass. This album seems to have found a black hole and is basically lost in the proto-metal realm.
Forming from a sun's solar storm a few later Armageddon's s/t debut(1975) is casted in plasma with turbulent and dynamic forces. Joining from the interplanetary magnetic field Keith Relf(Yardbirds, Renaisance) and drummer Bobby Caldwell(Johnny Winter, Captain Beyond) find Martin Pugh and Louis Cennamo from another solar cycle.
Pugh's guitar work is radiant with scorching chords, riveting riffs and manic solos to floating acoustic passages. Keith Relf's vocals never sounded better but it is his harmonica interludes with Pugh's guitar that are stellar and even taking it solo to take some of wieght off Pugh's shoulders.
Matching Pugh at warp speed is drummer Bobby Caldwell. Caldwell takes it to another light speed from his fantastic show on Captain Beyond's s/t debut and on par with Mickey Bradley's technical drumming.
The album opens up with a proto-metal classic "Buzzard", ripping flesh from bone to the soaring "Silver Tightrope", a break from the relentess onslaught but comes back with Pugh's "Paths and Planes and Future Gains", reminescent more of Steamhammer blues formula. Relf's harmonica duelling with Pugh's guitar is smashing in the "Last Stand Before". The epic four part suite "Basking In The White Of The Midnight Sun" puts in motion all the interstellar sub-genres related to proto-metal in a celestial sphere.
Armageddon was one of the few pieces of vinyl from the proto-metal sub-genre that did stay in print for a relative period of time and was easy to acquire even after it was deleted by A&M. After acquiring the Black Sabbath catalogue 25+ years ago Armageddon was the next LP I had picked up and shortly after Steamhammer's Speech which was available as a German import on the Brain label which opened the flood gates to my relentless pursuit of these obsure/rare albums of proto-metal/heavy psych/hard rock artists.