Once hailed as the "Second Sabbath" by venerated British music weekly Melody Maker, Necromandus were an extremely obscure and, ultimately, quite unsuccessful proto-metal outfit (otherwise known as heavy progressive blues, at the time) from West Cumberland that formed from the ashes of two earlier bands, Jug and Heaven, circa 1970. Consisting of singer Bill Branch, guitarist Barry "Baz" Dunnery, bassist Dennis McCarten, and drummer Frank Hall, the group actually went by several names, like Heavy Hand, Hot Spring Water, and Taurus, before adopting Necromandus based on a radio station poll. But by 1972, all of their hard work and local gigging had come to naught, and it would ultimately take the patronage of Sabbath's Tony Iommi, who signed the group to his own Tramp management agency, to elevate Necromandus out of the pub rock trenches. Iommi also financed and produced the band's debut album, Orexis of Death, recorded at London's Morgans Studio, with a view of releasing it through the Vertigo label in 1973. But the record was shelved indefinitely after guitarist and driving force Baz quit in late 1973, and would in fact only see the light of day almost 20 years later! In the meantime, Necromandus had quickly folded rather unceremoniously, and all those involved were rarely heard from again (rumors suggest some members rehearsed with old friend Ozzy Osbourne in the early days of his solo career) until those early songs were finally released, along with a smattering of long-forgotten demos, live tapes, and outtakes.
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