Friday, May 8, 2009


Captain Beyond's self titled first album from 1972 is a classic of early psych metal. It features the original vocalist of Deep Purple Rod Evans, Iron Butterfly guitarist Larry Reinhardt and bassist Lee Dorian, and Johnny Winter drummer Bobby Caldwell. This is an amazing release. Heavy, aggressive, euphoric, hippie metal with menacing prog rock undertones. They sound like a deranged mixture between several popular bands of their time. There is the dark riffing of Black Sabbath and Pentagram, the speed and spaciness of Hawkwind, the acid-drenched euphoria of Blue Cheer, the bluesiness of Jimi Hendrix, the heavy vocal harmonies of Cream, and the early prog-metal of King Crimson. They mix all of these sounds that into something that is completely their own. Captain Beyond is overwhelmingly vicious and face melting, even when they are trying to be mellow. Every track is not perfect on here, but this album works well as a whole. All of the tracks bleed together seamlessly, and there are recurring musical and lyrical themes throughout the album. The musicianship is raw yet focused. The music ventures from fuzzed out heavy garage psych to frighteningly focused bizarre, time signatures and dissonant chords, often at the drop of a hat. The vocals remind me of Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, and Pentagram's Bobby Liebling. As a whole, Captain Beyond's first album is a blinding burst of early psychedelic metal. It's influence is still being felt today. Monster Magnet has something to owe to the unbridled, spacey euphoria of their sound to Captain Beyond. Note Monster Magnet's song ''Twin Earth" . The riff is almost identical, and this song was in a a way an open tribute to Captain Beyond. Orange Goblin's doom laden hippie biker metal riffing also owes some debt to this band.

Here's "Mesmerization Eclipse" and "Raging River of Fear". Enjoy.

Mesmerization Eclipse - Captain Beyond

Raging River Of Fear - Captain Beyond

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