Warfaring Strangers: Darkscorch Canticles - Various Artists on 2LP from Numero Group
With Warfaring Strangers: Darkscorch Canticles, the impacts of Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath on US shores and heartlands is revealed as a bludgeoning previously undescribed. 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. From legions of occult-obsessive 1970s bonehead teens, we summoned a horde of 16 bands, cloaked in eons of tortured obscurity, whose sole release amounts to a blistering chapter ripped free of rock’s lumbering mythos.
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. 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.
One year ago, Medusa’s mysterious First Step Beyond LP emerged from its Chicago forge, numbered in gold, sheathed in the black faux-velvet of a centaur’s nutsack, heralding the Numero Group’s first dive into the Stygian caverns of the American hard rock underground. But Darkscorch Canticles hail from no simple aural landscape: Numero 048 melds amateur D&D artwork with stout chunks of stoner basement rock, grafting physical music artifacts into an imagined world.
Eye-crushing band logos dominate the cover art for Warfaring Strangers: Darkscorch Canticles in false pen ink, all of it ensconced in an embossed Wibalin weave, foil-stamped by licks from the fire-lake of Eldara.
Warfaring Strangers - Darkscorch Canticles Track Listing:
1. Air - Twelve O'Clock Satanial
2. Wrath - Warlord
3. Stonehenge - King of the Golden Hall
4. Triton - Warrior
5. Junction - Scorcerer
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. Stone Axe - Snakebite
13. Inside - Wizzard King
14. Space Rock - Dark Days
15. Medusa - Black Wizard'
16. Gorgon Medusa - Sweet Child
17. Hellstorm - Cry For The Newborn