NORDLAND – European Paganism

Two years on from ‘Songs of Regression’, UK pagan metallers Nordland really upped the stakes for their forth album ‘European Paganism’. Not only does the album boast a better production value than before, but the band have taken their love of extended tracks to their very logical extreme. Whereas their previous few records offered at least two ten minute workouts, ‘European Paganism’ outdoes them all by presenting just three tracks within a near forty five minute span, with the opening number taking up the best part of half an hour.

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DARK PHANTOM – Nation Of Dogs

dark phantom lpDark Phantom’s beginnings stretch back to 2007, though due to very unsettled political climate in Iraq, the band wouldn’t make any headway until two years later. Their early musical endeavours were met with some hostility in their home country – or they would have been, had they been heard. In the band’s own words, with regard to playing such music: “under an Al Queda controlled situation, death was a consequence.” Still, Dark Phantom toiled, playing cover tunes at first, but eventually crafting their own sounds. Their first gig in their home city of Kirkuk in 2011 attracted a crowd, but also resulted in terror groups attacking the band’s online community. In 2012, they underwent a major line up change as their vocalist and drummer left the band and sought work in other areas “for safety reasons”. To say the journey from band formation to album release was a hard and dangerous undertaking would be an understatement. Against the odds and after years of determination, Dark Phantom finally released ‘Nation of Dogs’ – an album of hard-hitting, self-penned material at the end of 2016.

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Thrones, Kings, Minos & Rhinos (A Real Gone Sampler)

An important and popular fixture on the Real Gone calendar, the free sampler has offered a broad range of tracks for keen-eared listeners since its inception back in 2010. Usually, the samplers would cover a broad range of music. This year, in line with 2014, we’ve covered so much metal, it needed it’s own free download!

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HARVEST – Omnivorous

harvest 2016There are literally millions of thrash and death metal bands out there on the underground scene. Some of them are as rough as hell, but once in a while, a band will come along with the possibility of knocking the listener sideways. Despite a reasonably low budget spent on their debut 2016 release ‘Omnivorous’, Panama’s Harvest are one such band. Pretty quickly, it’s clear that the bulk of their sound owes so much to pre-‘Chaos AD’ era Sepultura…right down to a many of the vocal styles. It must be something in those Central and Southern American waters.

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DEBUNKER – The Invisible Disorder EP

debunker epIn the late 80s, thrash metal was king. Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, Anthrax and (slightly later) Sepultura ruled the scene, but there were literally hundreds of other bands languishing in the second division whom churned out records that have stood the test of time: Testament, Kreator. The UK’s Metallica obsessed Xentrix, Annihilator…the list goes on. With a great musical blueprint, thrash never seemed to get old…and then at some point in the early 90s, as far as the likes of Metal Hammer were concerned, it kind of burned itself out.

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