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The story of Necromandus begins in 1968 with the breakup of two West Cumbrian bands Jug and Heaven. Members from both bands, Barry "Baz" Dunnery (lead guitar) and Bill Branch (vocals) from Jug, and Dennis McCarten (bass) and Frank Hall (drums) from Heaven, formed a heavy progressive blues outfit they called Hot Spring Water. They were briefly renamed Taurus before settling on Necromandus after a radio show asked their audience for name suggestions.
Heaven had supported Earth (soon to become Black Sabbath) at the Towbar club at Nethertown in west Cumbria and had become friendly with them. Black Sabbath had a lot of their early success in Cumbria and after Necromandus had supported them several times Tony Iommi became so impressed with them he became their manager.
In early 1973, Necromandus, under Iommi's guidance, recorded the album 'Orexis of Death' at London's Morgan Studio. Iommi also added some guitar to the title track.
A deal was arranged with Vertigo and the band began opening for Black Sabbath as well as Tony Kaye's Badger. Dunnery left the band in 1973, and as a result the album was shelved by Vertigo. It was not released until 1999. The album was re-released in 2005 under the name 'Orexis of Death Plus...' and included two unreleased bonus tracks. It was also reissued in 2010 in its standard form, but with their Live album included.
Frank Hall and Baz Dunnery were reunited for a time in Cumbrian band Nerves. In 1976 Baz Dunnery went on to play in Violinsky with John Marcangelo (formerly with the Invaders) and played on their hit single "Clog Dance". Dunnery and Hall also played together in the new wave of British heavy metal band Hammerhead, although Dunnery's stint was brief.
Bill Branch, Dennis McCarten and Baz Dunnery have now passed away. The only surviving member of Necromandus is Frank Hall.
Bill Branch, Dennis McCarten, Baz Dunnery and Frank Hall
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