- Bill Branch / vocals
- Barry Dunnery / guitars
- Dennis McCarten / bass
- Frank Hall / drums
3. A Black Solitude
4. Homicidal Psychopath
5. Still Born Beauty
6. Gypsy Dancer
7. Orexis Of Death
8. Mogidisimo (Reprise)
Don't be fooled by the album cover and the title. If your expecting a slab heavy, doom laden, riff tearing Sabbath-esque assualt or akin to that of Pentagram or Supernaut you're not going to find it here. Orexis Of Death, originially recorded in 1972-73 is more in line of hard progressive rock/heavy prog though it does exude a medievil gloom/doom ambience at times, it is closer to the sound and style of early Wishbone Ash (Wishbone Ash, Pilgrimage and Argus) and Jade Warrior's first three albums and obvious influences from King Crimson and Gentle Giant with a brush of Black Widow.
Back in the "old days", relatively speaking, the '80's to be more precise when I was in the ravenous relentless quest (contentment wasn't in my vocabulary then) of collecting vinyl there was many myths and legends attaining to rare, obscure, limited/private pressings and even unreleased recordings from the sub-genres of proto-metal/heavy psych/hard rock of the early '70's that were wrongly and rightly attributed without much merit; in perspective, a conclusion I came to after years of aquiring and hearing much of these albums. Rumours would be probably a better word to use as these much hyped lost "gems" in a lot of cases were unwarranted and for the most part there was reasons why: bad production and sound quality; small independent (regional) labels; limited, if not no label promotion and finicial backing (even instances from the major labels as well); and simply put - weak material. On the other hand there was instances of unfortunate circumstances and this album is a perfect example.
The band was managed by Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi and with him producing the band laid down the tracks but in 1973 Sabbath was huge and very busy thus Iommi kept putting off the final steps to get the record of the shelf and then guitarist Brian Dunnery decided to leave the band and Iommi axed the single and album slated for release as he believed the band "didn't have it" without Dunnery. After listening to the album I can hear why he did come up with that assessment...somewhat. No doubt Dunnery's talent are apparent.
Fast forward to 1999 and the album was finally released. I heard it from the guys down at my fav vinyl shop that it had been released and put in my order for the album. Some six weeks later it arrived from the UK...shockingly priced. After the first listen I was completely surprized though not disappointed. This was excellent hard progressive rock and very well produced. Not what I was expecting. How in the hell did this album get shelved, I asked myself. I think this album would of done well if released in 1973 with having the name of Tony Iommi associated on it and with the support of the Vertigo label. Baffling. Anyway, it doesn't really matter. It's terrific.
The album was rereleased again in 2005 titled Orexis Of Death Plus, remastered and with bonus tracks and other compilations have been released since and one label has released it in unison with live tracks. I will say that thier discography is somewhat confusing.
^^^ Excellent write-up Joe . Like you I can't get my head round this one being shelved for so long, it's a cracker of an album. Great stuff.
It's somewhat paradoxical Sox in that Iommi and the big Vertigo label would of surely got this album the exposure and the distrubition but decided to sit on it. I can't understand Vertigo not going ahead and releasing it though it probably, I'm guessing, came down to Iommi's decision. I was racking my brain (what's left of it) yesterday trying to put a name to the band/vocalist that sounds so similar to the vocalist on this album to stick in the review. Finally it came to me last night - Kierren White from British prog/blues rockers Steamhammer.
Originally Posted by Prime
Another really well written review Joe. Looks like i've got an album to check out.
More of a genuine, straight forward and sensible review this time around Prime. No wankery and bombastic BS.
Originally Posted by DaKillerWolf
Love this band. Have both studio releases and the very hard to find live recording. Nice review ,Joe.
How's the quality of the live album Wolf? Some of these labels press such very limited numbers and in no time they become hard to find and expensive. Nothing has changed in that regards. OOP=$.
The live album sounds pretty good. In fact they just released it as a double format 2 for one CD along with Orexis Of Death. It's call Orexis Of Death Live. It's actually their debut
Quicksand Dream that is super hard to find these days.