Buried Treasure: Light Of Darkness

Light Of Darkness By Light Of Darkness, Philips, Germany, 1971. £280

UK rock band Light Of Darkness’s only album (released only in Germany) captured their blend of heavy progressive blues in all its raw glory. They might not be one of the more innovative bands of the period – and are comparable to other semi-obscure UK favourites from the period such as Writing On The Wall, Red Dirt, Stackwaddy and the much-loved Edgar Broughton Band – but this self-titled album will definitely be of interest to fans of early underground hard and heavy sounds.

Light Of Darkness comprised three Scots and a German drummer. Bassist Mike Reoch and guitarist Byron Grant relocated to Hamburg in the late 60s and settled into the thriving German club scene, playing in several bands before joining forces with vocalist and fellow Scot John Latimer and Manfred Bebert to form Light Of Darkness.

Opening with the grinding, fuzz-drenched chords of Movin’ Along, the record gets off to a steamrolling start. John Latimer’s snarling, Beefheart-inspired vocals are perhaps the album’s defining element overall, making it something of an acquired taste. His choice of melodies often have a rhythmic vibe comparable to early Ozzy; the verse in Ain’t No Place has a distinct Fairies Wear Boots flavour, while album highlight Freedom Fight brings to mind Sabbath’s take on Evil Woman with Captain Caveman on vocals. Worthy of note is their excellent, dirgy rendition of the Tony Joe White classic Soul Francisco.

Classic Rock 215: News & Regulars

Lee Dorrian

Lee Dorrian is best known as a former member of grindcore band Napalm Death and later frontman of doom metal band Cathedral. Currently a member of stoner metal supergroup With the Dead, he founded his own record label, Rise Above Records, in 1988. They've released albums by Ghost, Twin Temple, Orange Goblin, Pentagram, Sunn O))) and many more. He writes the Buried Treasure column for Classic Rock magazine, about rare underground rock records.