Ian Cussick - 1993 Necromancer

EricEric USA
edited December 2020 in year-1993

ARTIST: Ian Cussick
ALBUM: Necromancer
LABEL: Line Records/Nite Flite Records
SERIAL: 9.01283
YEAR: 1993

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: image image
LINEUP: Ian Cussick - lead & background vocals, bass, electric & twelve string guitars, tambourine * Jens Skwirbies - keyboards * Ritchie Kuck - lead guitar overdubs * Jo Zipf - drums * Gunter Deek - harmonica

TRACK LISTING: 01 Necromancer (Intro) * 02 Necromancer * 03 Material Things * 04 White Mountain (Prelude) * 05 White Mountain * 06 The Warrior * 07 Hyannis Port Blues * 08 Cascade * 09 Mercedes Benz * 10 Heaven * 11 If I Could Fly Away * 12 Necromancer (Reprise)



One of melodic rock's unsung heroes; Scotland's Ian Cussick has released an impressive array of solo albums but rarely gets a mention in the usual AOR media, something we aim to fix with this review.

An early member of Lake who briefly replaced John Lawton in Lucifer's Friend as well as notable work with Tollhouse and Dussenberg, Cussick's career has for the most part been centered in Germany where the majority of his albums have been released to varying degrees of success and where he continues to tour recently co-headlining a small hall jaunt with Bobby Kimball.

From what I can tell 'Necromancer' is Cussick's last studio album, although he has released a couple of live discs in the years since. In case you were wondering a Necromancer is a conjurer or magician with great powers and there's an undeniable feeling of hope, optimism and the wonder of magic running through the majority of the disc which is sweetly dedicated to Cussick's late father.

The Songs

Pinpointing the 'Necromancer' sound think Alan Parsons Project, Chris De Burgh and John Parr but Cussick is his own man and stacked up next to his earlier releases it holds up pretty well although I have an issue or two with some of the material.

Opening the set with a grand Scottish atmosphere including dramatic synths and spoken word intro sets the stage for the up-tempo title track although I'm baffled by Cussick's 'rap' on 'Material Things' which as you can imagine, sounds horribly out of place and ruined what could have been a corker.

Much better is 'White Mountain' with a melody line that's simply gorgeous and the atmospheric 'The Warrior' is windswept Highlander rock at its very best. From here the disc takes an odd turn into the straight blues-rock of 'Hyannis Port Blues' and even stranger yet is the inclusion of the live track 'Mercedes Benz'.

While it's a good example of Cussick's on-stage energy; I get the feeling he might have been short of tunes although 'If I Could Fly Away' and the reprised title track shore up the finale making for a patchy, but ultimately pleasant listen.

In Summary

These days Cussick has been involved with a publishing business and now calls Austin, Texas home. A long way from Scotland or Germany for that matter and after almost two decades the discs released on Line and its subsidiary Niteflite are still easy to obtain.

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