Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Kingdom Come & Lord Baltimore
Genres: Pop, Rock, Metal
Full Title - Kingdome Come/Sir Lord Baltimore. This 1994 reissue combines both of the Brooklyn-based outfit's two albums (originally released in 1970 & 1971) onto one CD, with the 16 tracks rearranged in the order in which... more »
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Full Title - Kingdome Come/Sir Lord Baltimore. This 1994 reissue combines both of the Brooklyn-based outfit's two albums (originally released in 1970 & 1971) onto one CD, with the 16 tracks rearranged in the order in which they were originally intended to be heard. Polygram. 2004.
An early Metal masterpiece
Crypt | Arkham | 01/08/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Everyone knows the three main Proto Metal bands; Sabbath, Purple, and Zeppelin. But how many have heard of Baltimore? When I first heard this album I was floored first of all by it's heaviness and it's raw fury, and second by the fact that it seemed to be more influential than I could have thought!I hear elements in SLB's music that had become familiar to me through bands like Iron Maiden, Dio, Judas Priest, Kiss, The Cult, early Metallica and even Deep Purple and early Van Halen. For instance; it's hard to believe that songs like Kingdom Come, Hellhound and Ceasar LXXI were recorded in 1970/71. They sound like they could have come straight out of the NWOBHM scene 10 years later. Tell me that Iron Maiden didn't rip Hellhound off in Murders In The Rue Morgue. Tell me Metallica didn't do the same with Woman Tamer in Metal Militia. The Fuzz Tone on this album (these albums) screams and shreds. Very dirty and "60's-ish" on the first album, and cleaner, more controlled (though no less heavy) on the second. The drums pound and the vocals roar. This guy could sing!! If they had become bigger and released more albums, he would definitely have been included in the Ultimate Metal Singer cannon. So if you're a fan of true Heavy Metal, you won't be disappointed by this cd. It may even become one of your favorites."
John Garner | N.Y. | 02/12/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"As the drummer & lead singer of this band I' ve yet to receive a penny .With known sales of over 350,000 sales of Kingdom come back in the day. Not to mention the 1994 release of the double CD thats been selling.For the record let it be known that all those songs were written by myself, Dambra, Justin & Appel,contrary to what the album reads. I must say with all the internet action we get, plus being included in the HEAVY METAL ENCYCLOPEDIA, just someone would ask ' I wonder if they got paided."
Sabbath couldn't have even pulled THIS off!!!
M. McKay | Downey, CA United States | 12/02/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Oh sure we all know the Sabs are the kings of metal but it's usually just sludge fest after sludge fest with them....no real hyper-tension. Wait till you hear these guys! Sir Lord Baltimore was one of the heaviest of all early metal bands. Don't get me wrong...it doesn't completely sound like the latter day metal of Iron Maiden or Judas Priest but this is definitely hard hitting stuff for 1970-1971...SLB was ahead of the times!!!!
This CD collects their only two records, "Kingdom Come," and their self-titled sophomore release. Lead singer AND drummer John Garner was a pretty incredible vocalist, he could sing a metal ballad like Dio (listen to "Lake Isle of Innersfree" from the first album). However on most of the songs, especially on the first album, he yells and screams nearly all of the lines and doesn't do the best job at it. This may be quite grating on your ears the first time around but he WAS a SINGING DRUMMER and this WAS the BEGINNINGS of heavy metal. You can't really say that heavy metal vocalists IMPROVED over the years.
Louis Dambra was an awesome guitarist...VERY HENDRIX on some of the tracks featured on the first album. The album was recorded at Hendrix's unfinished Electric Lady Studios so, hmmmmm, makes you wonder. Gary Justin's bass playing was like a cross of Jack Bruce meets the funky style of Mel Schacher from GFR (check out the break Justin and Garner play near the end of "I've Got A Woman"). Garner was a powerful drummer, not a Moon or Bonham, but darn good. Coupled with the fact he sang lead while bashing away is all the more impressive because you have to have some muscle and stamina to do that, especially when your band is as heavy as SLB!
Mainly all the songs from the first record, "Kingdom Come," are all speed demons. There is even elements of SPEED METAL and PUNK on a few like "Hard Rain Fallin," my favorite from the first that has a MC5 aggressiveness. "Lady of Fire" is a goofy bouncy punkish track that sounds ahead of it's time....lovely song about Garner meeting up one night with a prostitute. "Aint Got Hung On You" is out of control with Garner's vocals SO over the top I actually ammussed myself by imagining a sock puppet singing it! No joke!
The tracks from their second album from 1971 are more mature in structure due to the added presence of Joey Dambra. Alot of the songs sound more like latter day metal...your eyes will bug out when you hear the incredibly Sabbath-like "Woman Tamer" or "Lo and Behold." The song "Caeser LXXI" (or however you put those letters together) is WAY ahead of it's time...even a bit of a Iron Maiden/Metallica/Danzig riffing in there. The centerpiece of the album is the 10+ minute "Man From Manhattan." A conceptual piece speaking of the first coming of Jesus on earth then switching to...the comming of the Anti-Christ?!?! I'm not sure but it's an epic of a song! A lot of reviewers (not here necessarily) have heaped criticism on this particular song but REMEMBER this was 1971 and the Jesus Movement was starting up. A lot of rock bands were dabbling in biblical topics around this time because it was either in fashion to do so or because they had their own spiritual convictions about the era in which they were living. I'd sure like to know where "Where Are We Going" was recorded...it's a live track and it sounds like the band has a pretty enthusiastic crowd there to see them. It's not one of the best songs on this collection though.
Get this CD! If you like everything else from this period like the mighty Zep or the mighty Sabs...you will love this album. They should have gotten more recognition than they did...WAY MORE! I'm glad I discovered it and can now pass on what I've experienced to someone who's curious. Thanks for reading!
EPILOGUE 5/17/08 - Since I wrote this review I have become My Space buddies with John Garner himself and he's answered a few of the questions I asked in this review. He told me that the pseudo-Christian lyrics found in "Kingdom Come" were unintentional (he is now a born again Christian) and that "Man From Manhattan" was not about the coming of the Anti-Christ. It was about a new Jesus Christ coming on the scene in 1971 and he gets treated the same way Jesus did in 33 A.D.; this was actually the idea of their producer. Garner is re-issuing the two albums on one CD himself and for a limited time you can get a copy signed by Mr. John Garner! Also Jimi Hendrix was NOT present for any of the "Kingdom Come" sessions but he DID phone Eddie Kramer during one of the sessions and the band had to keep the sound down while Eddie took the call! WOW!"