This past Halloween marked a break in the fog obscuring yet another exciting prospect from the deep diggers and detail sticklers at Numero Group. The past few years has seen the label expanding the scope of their offerings and this one is set to be quite the departure from their formative fare, so much so that one might even be tempted to inquire after what they've been smoking. If the above cover art and the sample, below, of the amateur Dungeons & Dragons campaign sketches promised to be incorporated into the overall packaging are any indication, I'd wager that they got a hold of some good ol' stuff! Slated for a February release, Warfaring Strangers: Darkscorch Canticles compilation of lost 70s smokers I can really do with -- this is a direction I'd love to see the label explore further. I'm chuffed to bits for their Purple Snow Minneapolis Sound comp dropping in early December, but this sixteen-sided die seems just as destined for niche-interest veneration as their WTNG 89.9: Solid Bronze collection.
See full details below the map as well as two full preview tracks streaming via Numero's Soundcloud page.
From Numero Group:
One year ago, Medusa’s mysterious First Step Beyond LP emerged from its Chicago forge, marked by a golden 48.5, heralding The Numero Group’s delving into the Stygian caverns of America’s hard rock underground. Out of shrouded depths were summoned a horde of 16 bands whose sole release justified their entire rock & roll mythos. But Darkscorch would be more than a simple aural landscape: It melds amateur D&D artwork with stout chunks of stoned basement rock, grafting physical music artifacts into an imagined world. The final product, in its vinyl manifestation, is ensconced in an embossed, foil-stamped Wibalin weave- bongwater-soakage not included. The CD edition follows suit, foil-stamped by licks from the fire-lake of Eldara.
This music hails from an occluded realm, somewhere just beyond the pot-addled minds of its creators. Lyrically, the Darkscorch Canticles trifle with themes most grave: crippling fear, pagan hostility, paranoia, power addiction- even necromancy. Satan’s name is openly invoked, alongside Sauron’s. In this collection, medieval Bonham thunk and febrile Iommi guitar leads crowd out the bluesy Americana that foregrounded those bands, replacing hippie pastoralism with mythology, armored conflict, sorcery, and doom. Within, the impact of Black Sabbath on US shores and heartlands is revealed as a bludgeoning previously undescribed. These worried, warlike canticles occupy a miniscule niche in the American underground of self-released rock, but their appeal is more broad today than in any previous era.
1 Air – Twelve O’Clock Satanial
2 Wrath – Warlord
3 Stonehenge – King of the Golden Hall 04 Triton Warrior – Sealed in a Grave
5 Junction – Sorcerer
6 Stone Axe – Slave of Fear
7 Wizard – Seance
8 Stoned Mace – Tasmania
9 Arrogance – Black Death
10 Sonaura – Song of Sauron
11 Dark Star – Spectre
12 Inside – Wizzard King
13 Space Rock – Dark Days
14 Medusa – Black Wizard
15 Gorgon Medusa – Sweet Child
16 Hellstorm – Cry For The Newborn