VINYL OF THE MONTH: The Damnation of Adam Blessing [Re-Issues]

VINYL OF THE MONTH: The Damnation of Adam Blessing

S/T and The Second Damnation
(Exit Stencil/Universal Music)

When Exit Stencil Recordings told us they had restored two forgotten Damnation of Adam Blessing LPs and were going to re-issue them on vinyl, we nearly fainted. The majority of today’s consumers might not be aware these recordings ever existed, but for those lucky few of us who’ve either had original pressings lovingly tucked away in our collections, or (in many cases) nth-generation bootleg copies handed down from music geeks like the Holy Grail of undiscovered psyche rock, this is indeed a blessing. Sorry, can’t resist a good pun.

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What we have here are both the self-titled debut album from The Damnation of Adam Blessing, and the follow-up LP, Second Damnation, both fully restored from the analog master tapes over a two-year period by Eliot Kissileff. If you haven’t heard either of these before, you’re in for a treat.

One of the most immediate things you’ll recognize is that while, yes, this is a product of its time (the first album was released in 1969), the psychedelic rock here doesn’t sound nearly as dated as other albums of the day. Sure, lead single “Cookbook” does offer advice to “feed your mind,” but other than that, it’s quite a fun, intense, and melodic trip through some good old rock and roll.

Sonic clarity is the real standout here. These records flat-out sound fantastic, so kudos to the entire team at ESR and Universal for the work that went into these releases. Artwork has been lovingly restored, as well, including the phenomenal “let’s plug in our instruments in this meadow” gatefold for Second Damnation.

Even if the ’60s aren’t your bag, these Adam Blessing LPs sound startlingly contemporary in places. Mixed with the unprecedented clarity of the restored transfers, we recommend rock fans of all ages check out these two amazing releases.

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