Charisma - Beasts and Fiends. 1970 USA

Charisma were a band from the Hartford, Connecticut area, and were very typical of the confused American year of 1970. I speak of this often, and it basically means that bands were throwing any and everything against the wall hoping it would stick - or in practical terms - obtaining radio airplay. And Charisma falls in line with their mix of blues, hard rock, progressive, psych, and old fashioned rock and roll. It's a mess basically. But some of these albums had gems in the midst of the ordinary, and that's where we come in. Charisma has a strong Hammond organ and overall keyboard presence, and there are a couple of tracks that display this in an instrumental progressive rock format ('Street Theatre', 'Ritual Dance of the Reptiles'). There are other very good proto-prog/bluesy numbers in 'Leopold's Ghost' and 'The Age of Reptiles'. The rest is take it or leave it...

... And then there is the title track. Believe me folks, it is worth the price of the CD just for this piece of mesmerizing insanity. Sounding like a most incongruous meeting between Comus, Uriah Heep, Stark Reality, and Funkadelic - a bizarre kindergarten story made for the Public Broadcasting Service on LSD. Whoa. I wasn't ready for that. Amazing.

Personal collection
CD: 2008 Wounded Bird

The CD on Wounded Bird states a 1970 copyright date, and this is corroborated on Discogs. Typical bare bones CD from Wounded Bird, with lyrics for 4 of the 5 tracks and album credits. Sure would like to know the story behind the title track...

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