During the Renaissance period, necromancy was a form of black magic, where sorcerers and witches attempted to manipulate death by casting spells and summoning evil spirits.
Suggestion credit: Wayne - Crockett, TX
J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings was a likely inspiration for this song, as The Necromancer is a character in his book The Hobbit.
This song is comprised of three parts:
I. Into Darkness
II. Under the Shadow
III. Return of the Prince
By-Tor, or in this case "Prince By-Tor", appears to battle for freedom and Slays his foes in part III, Return of the Prince. By-Tor made his debut in Rush's previous album Fly By Night in which he lost the battle with the Snowdog. Check out the Songfacts for "By-Tor And The Snow Dog."
Neil Peart explained: "I guess he's like all of us - sometimes good, and sometimes he's bad!"
Suggestion credit: Mike - Mountlake Terrace, Washington, for all above
Steven from Houston, TxEddie, Syosset, NY Nailed it! The Necromancer IS the music industry. Evil and pervasive. Nothing but crap being recorded now. Pretty faces and empty music. RUSH was, is and always will be brilliant. Which is why the machine that is the Hall of Fame (shame) took so long to induct them. RUSH played their music on their terms in their time. God bless them. They deserve everyone's ultimate respect, even if you aren't a fan.
Giantess_dee from Leicester, United KingdomTolkien was probably the inspiration for this song, but it's stretching a point to say it's "based on Lord of the Rings". For one thing, Sauron is only referred to as "The Necromancer" once in the whole of LOTR (though that name is used for him throughout The Hobbit). For another, Sauron was never aware of Frodo and Sam's approach until after they had reached Mt. Doom.
Claude from Kingston, MaWillowdale is Geddy Lee's hometown.
Allison from A Little Ol' Town In, MiThis song definatly showcases Geddy's voice and Alex's guitar!
Probably one of Rush's best unknown songs of all time
Wavy from Tucson , Az"BROODING IN THE TOWER WATCHING OVER HIS LAND"--Geddy just NAILS that.
Jeff from Chicago, IlNot every fantasy song is based on the Lord of the Rings.
"The Necromancer" is just about the members of Rush (THREE travelers, from Willowdale, where the band originated from) fighting an evil wizard. Nothing more.
It's badass, but it's not a literary reference.
Kent Lyle from Cincinnati, OhThe second movement seems to borrow at least some riffage from Yes's "Heart of the Sunrise" (which itself borrows from King Crimson's "21st Century Schizoid Man").
Kent Lyle from Cincinnati, OhConflicting reports claim that either Peart or Terry Brown performed the spoken word sections. They probably like to blame each other for it.
Eddie from Syosset, NyIn this song the three travelers could symbolise the three members of Rush going into the music industry which could be the layer of the Necromancer. The Necromancer could also be a human part of the industry and By-Tor could by a lot of things but i think that it is symbolic of Rush's music saving them from the music buissiness steeling their souls or changing their music like a Necromancer.
Peter from Newark, NyI also found it interesting that By Tor is the villain in By Tor and Snowdog, but he is the saviour of sorts in the Necromancer.
David from Port Hawkesbury, CanadaI don't understand why Caress of steel wasn't that succesful of an album, I'd buy it...If I could keep my money long enough...With this and The Fountain of Lamneth, I think I will buy it. Great song. One of my Rush favourites.
Paul from Rothesay, Nb, CanadaFor those of you who still have the vynyl version of the "Caress of Steel" album, play the Storyteller's parts of "The Necromancer" at .45 speed. It's Geddy Lee.
Charlie from Thomaston, Dci love rush there one of the greatest band sof all time. a agree that moving pictures was a great album, but i have to say that the necromancer is my favorite song-sorry tom sawyer