Week of July 31, 2005


Norbert Breuer - Guitar, Vocals
Walter Sturm - Guitar, Vocals
Fistus Dickmann - Keyboards
Dieter Ose - Keyboards, Bass
Detlev Hakenbeck - Bass
Gerd Libber - Bass
Harald Bernhard - Drums

Tips zum Selbstmord (Best Prehodi 60.634) 1972
CD: Garden Of Delights, CD 094, 2004

Famous for their eponymous album which is sought-after by collectors worldwide, Necronomicon came from Aachen, a city near the borders of the Netherlands and Belgium. They adapted the name Necronomicon from an H.P.Lovecraft novel and built up a spectacular live repertoire during 1971. It featured complex heavy progressive song arrangements with awkward German lyrics that dealt with ecological problems, the threat of a nuclear disaster, the end of mankind and pure despair. A demo recording of a performance at the Mensa, Aachen, 1971, was unearthed by the archaeologists at Little Wing and released as parts one and two of their lavish 4LP + Book Necronomicon set (LW 1010/11/12/13) in 1990 in co-operation with the band. Part one consisted of previously unheard compositions; part two - of different versions of the songs that later would appear on their only album: “Tips zum Selbstmord”. Necronomicon proved themselves to be a band with the same seriousness and sense of large scale works as the most extreme of Italian bands. Sadly, the technical quality of these early recordings was on the same level as certain bootlegs and the performance - a bit rough in places. Even so, this historic document is absorbing.

With the economic support of a friend, Necronomicon set off to a semi-professional studio in the Netherlands to record (in March and April 1972) what has become the ultimate collector's item for purveyors of German progressive rock: “Tips zum Selbstmord”, released in a lavish multi fold-out cover, in the shape of a cross. The highly talented drawings were done by Harald Bernhard and pictured tortured bodies and painful faces, building up an intricate whole, reminiscent of some nightmarish Hieronymus Bosch work (but no fantasy monsters!). Few would deny that this is one of the best and most unique German records of the early seventies. The sinister atmosphere of both the music and lyrics are evident.

There were biting guitar leads throughout, shimmering, painful vocals, a garage organ trying to battle with Bach, sudden shifts of tempos and moods, including passages of more primitive heavy garage rock. For the want of hotter comparisons: imagine the best elements of vintage Uriah Heep with the lyrical awareness of a political rock band like Floh de Cologne. Perhaps this is the music that Wagner would have created if he had lived in 1945 and experienced the bombing raids over Germany, freaked out in the sixties and decided to be a rock musician and then had bad trips for years to come thanks to the daily news on TV! Remarkably enough, the album was recorded on just two tracks, approximately recorded live in the studio. It was released in a limited edition of 500 copies and is probably THE most sought after German record. The odd copy that turns up sells easily for 1,700 DEM or more. It is cheaper to purchase it as part three of the Little Wing 4LP box! From 1972 to the end of 1973, the group worked on new material with a revised line-up: guitar player Walter Sturm quit to join Rufus Zuphall, Fistus Dickmann was replaced by Dieter Ose and Detlev Hakenbeck - by Gerd Libber. Some of the new compositions lasted for sixty minutes! In fact, such material proved to be almost impossible to play live, and the songs were consequently edited down to a length of 10 to 15 minutes. As such, they were recorded live in their rehearsal room in 1974. Walter Sturm had now returned to the band. Little Wing compiled 45 minutes from the only remaining source, a low-quality cassette. It's only interesting for collectors as another historic document of their development. The desperation had now faded to mere resigned statements about mankind's cynical nature, and as such they were now closer to other refined political rock bands.

Taken from Cosmic Dreams at Play - A guide to German Progressive and Electronic Rock by Dag Erik Asbjørnsen, Borderline Productions, ISBN 1-899855-01-7

Necronomicon are back with a new album, Haifische (2012)!

To the Necronomicon web site

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