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Necromandus picture
Necromandus biography
In 1968 two West Cumbrian bands, JUG and HEAVEN, broke-up. Members from both bands, BARRY DUNNERY (lead guitar), DENNIS McCARTEN (bass), FRANK HALL (drums) and singer BILL BRANCH formed a heavy progressive blues outfit they called HOT SPRING WATER. They were briefly renamed TAURUS and then settled on NECROMANDUS after a radio show asked for band name suggestions. In 1972 after extensive gigging, they caught the eye of BLACK SABBATH guitarist TONY IOMMI who began managing the group.

In early '73 NECROMANDUS, under the guidance of IOMMI (who also produced and added some guitar to the title track), recorded the album 'Orexis of Death' at London's Morgan Studio. A deal was arranged with Vertigo and the band began opening for Sabbath as well as Tony Kaye's BADGER. Sadly the album was never released in its time, though NECROMANDUS continued receiving praise and support, Ozzy Osbourne initially wanting them for his 'Blizzard of Oz' album.

Hailed as "the second Sabbath" but with a prog edge, Melody Maker called NECROMANDUS "a sort of Black Sabbath play Yes' greatest hits". A reasonable but not terribly accurate description though the band's sound did remind of the Sabs, the technique and pseudo-classical arrangements made them a touch more ambitious.

-- Atavachron (David) --

Why this artist must be listed in :
Another talented heavy progressive band overshadowed by bigger acts, finally allowed their moment thanks to these re-releases on Audio Archives.

Orexis of Death, studio album (1973, first released 1999)
Necrothology, reissue with bonus material (2005)
Live, live album 1973 (2005)

NECROMANDUS Videos (YouTube and more)

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NECROMANDUS discography

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NECROMANDUS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.94 | 33 ratings
Orexis of Death
3.77 | 13 ratings

NECROMANDUS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.29 | 5 ratings

NECROMANDUS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

NECROMANDUS Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings

NECROMANDUS Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Orexis of Death by NECROMANDUS album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.94 | 33 ratings

Orexis of Death
Necromandus Heavy Prog

Review by FragileKings
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I am reviewing the Rise Above Relics reissue of "Orexis of Death" and "Live" (not listed on PA) and I'm going to start right off and say what my biggest complaint about this compilation is: not enough music.

Hey, there are 70 minutes of music on this CD but that's not enough? No. Because, you see, there are tracks missing. The original vinyl release of 'Orexis of Death' finally saw the light of day in 1999, 26 years after it was meant to be released (a 1991 version appeared under the name of Quicksand Dream apparently), and this vinyl album had 10 tracks. Later when 'Orexis'' was released on CD, two tracks were omitted for whatever reason: 'Intro' and 'I've Been Evil'. Next there came 'Orexis of Death Plus' which still omitted the two tracks but added 'Judy Green Rocket' in demo and live recording versions. Finally the missing tracks became available on 'Necrothology' along with some other previously unreleased tracks which were 'Curly Sea Slug (live)', 'Orexis of Death (alternative version featuring Tony Iommi)', and 'Nightjar (extended version)'. When Rise Above Relics decided to reissue 'Orexis of Death' along with 'Live' on a single CD, they gave us this with about 70 minutes of music but just around 29 minutes of studio recordings only. Surely they could have added 'I've Been Evil', a song of 6:20 judging by the version on YouTube and possibly 'Intro' as well, no? I would have preferred the complete studio catalogue on one disc and if necessary and second disc of all the live recordings, or just some live recordings added to the studio disc to fill it up.

So, that's my beef: at least one essential album track is missing. Now what about the music?

As the 40-page booklet (one of the good things about this CD) says, Necromandus might well be described as Black Sabbath sing the greatest hits of Yes. Actually, they don't often follow the really heavy sound of Black Sabbath though lyrically their themes are not cheery like Yes' often are. Necromandus prefer to play more complex jazz-rock with shifting rhythms and riffs more like Yes (their debut album often comes to mind) but in songs that are not as long. Fans of proto-metal take note: this band doesn't pound away like Black Sabbath, Iron Claw, or Pentagram. Their music follows a more complex route most of the time. If you listen to 'Nightjar' on YouTube you'll easily get the impression that these guys really rock out on the heavy guitar. But the other songs mostly jump around between some fast and mildly fuzzed guitar and jazz-influenced riffs and slower, more progressive- sounding structures. The vocals remind me of an older brother version of Ozzy Osbourne at times but again don't lean too heavily on the Black Sabbath side. According to the CD booklet, when they toured with Yes, Steve Howe was very impressed with Barry Dunnery's speedy fingers on the fretboard.

Because the studio tracks take up just under 30 minutes, I felt a little disappointed to hear 'Mogidisimo' because the dual acoustic guitar faded out so soon when it sounded like something really good was coming together. 'Mogidisimo (reprise)' begins in exactly the same way but carries the piece of to nearly a minute and a half before fading out. I think they could have just done this as a two-minute acoustic instrumental instead of teasing with track one and including only the first 32 seconds of the composition.

The live album is not so good with respect to recording quality but it's better than a lot of contemporary recordings I have heard. There's a bit of talking to the audience too which is always kind of fun to listen to. I like the introduction to 'Nightjar' where vocalist Bill Branch tells the audience to feel free and bash their heads on the tables.

Overall this is very good progressive rock with the odd tendency to venture into proto-metal territory. I'd love to have the missing tracks from the studio album but 'Necrothology' is not cheap to buy now and nothing is on iTunes either.

I recommend this album to those who enjoy 70's rock with some jazz, some proto-metal, and lots of prog blended together. The album artwork and the CD booklet are great, too!

 Live by NECROMANDUS album cover Live, 2005
2.29 | 5 ratings

Necromandus Heavy Prog

Review by toroddfuglesteg

2 stars A live recording from this rather obscure band from Cumbria.

Necromandus was an obscure band who sounded like a crossbreen between Cressida, Yes and Black Sabbath. That is also the case on this live album. That and a lot of folk rock too.

The sound is pretty bad throughout and this very much feels like a bootleg. But it has been offically released, whatever that means these days. Necromandus big problem was the lack of some truly great songs although they were great on their instruments and their sound was also great. The details of their music is being drowned out on this shoddy live recording. But it is still pretty obvious this was a good band in their heydays.

Bad sound means this is a collector's items for their fans and not for the rest of us. The casual listener should go for their studio album only.

2 stars

 Orexis of Death by NECROMANDUS album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.94 | 33 ratings

Orexis of Death
Necromandus Heavy Prog

Review by toroddfuglesteg

3 stars One of the hidden gems in the heavy prog genre.

Necromandus was from Cumbria in the north west of England. Cumbria has and is still fostering a lot of good prog and heavy bands. There was a very healthy live scene in Cumbria and the like of The Beatles, Black Widow and in particular Black Sabbath was touring this area quite extensive. I doubt if Black Sabbath is playing Cumbria next year though. And their connection to Necromandus is quite important because Tony Iommi took Necromandus under his wings and managment.

I got the impression that I was in for a heavy slab of metal when I saw the band name and album title. I was wrong. Necromandus has been described as a crossover between Black Sabbath and Yes. A good description in my view. Necromandus is a bit more mainstream and also includes influences from Cressida, Fruupp and The Beatles in their sound and music. There are also some US west coast rock (Eagles) and folk rock in their sound too. The music is surprising melodic, but not soft as in pop.

The problem this band faced is the lack of any killer tracks on this album. Hence the obscurity of both the band and this album. But a song like the rather haunting beautiful Homicidal Psychopath is a great song. The rest of the material is good too and this makes this an album I am sure many in PA would really enjoy. Probably more than I do enjoy it. Check it out.

3.5 stars

 Orexis of Death by NECROMANDUS album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.94 | 33 ratings

Orexis of Death
Necromandus Heavy Prog

Review by Prisonburg

5 stars Now here is an album I find very good, best, and beyond perfect (almost, like 98.9%). It's heavy, but also has that emotion and drama that's very rare and scarce in the hard rock/heavy metal world. It's only once in a while you hear an album that has the soul, passion, and great charactor that captures your mind. It's like the more you listen to it, the more music comes out and for some reason, the music never runs out of lust nor magic.

The track I find most favorable is "Morgidisimo". Once you hear the dark classical sound of that song, it can really feal your soul and draws you in to it. Another track that's good is the "Orexis Of Death" track. Although not that heavy because I LOVE heavy stuff, it has the driving force and drama that can also pull you in to it. But what's even more cool about it, is that TONI IOMI from Black Sabbath has actually produced this album.

Well unfortunately, I havn't really heard that much songs on it exept for "Morgidisimo", Orexis Of Death", and "Nightjar". I usually hear those songs on YouTube and there's not much material I've discovered yet from this band. But one day, I will find that Orexis Of Death album and listen to every one of their songs and demos. Now get out there an Listen, Learn, and most of all, Listen AND Learn!

Thanks to Atavachron for the artist addition.

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