VOLT RITUAL – Return To Jupiter EP

Volt Ritual’s self titled album was released in the summer of 2022. Being a wholly DIY release, it didn’t get the full bells and whistles in terms of promotion, but for those who stumbled across it on Bandcamp, it was a record that struck a chord almost immediately. Its seven songs drew heavily from the past, with huge musical debts owed to Black Sabbath, Fu Manchu and Kyuss, but Volt Ritual clearly understood the value in “recycling with love”, and against a lot of competition – let’s face it, the stream of new stoner and doom albums is never ending – it became one of the scene’s best records.

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GOAT MAJOR – Evil Eye EP

A little west of Birmingham – often said to be the birthplace of metal – their lies an entire country with an almost equally rich musical heritage in terms of rock music. In the 70s, Wales birthed the often overlooked Man, the underrated Budgie, and the should’ve been huge Lone Star. Lone Star’s second album ‘Firing On All Six’, whilst perhaps not as big as monolithic works by Deep Purple, is an easy match for any of the great material released by UFO or Uriah Heep. It’s been even less documented that the country has actually spawned a healthy stoner and doom metal scene. Spearheaded by the former Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard (later MWWB) and Dope Smoker, there are a truckload of good, heavy riff-makers filling an opulent Welsh underground in the twenty first century.

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THE REAL GONE SINGLES BAR: A NEW YEAR’S EVE LOCK IN 2023

After launching the Real Gone Singles Bar in June 2023, we found ourselves covering an even broader range of music than before. It became a natural home for anything that mightn’t see a follow up album, or music that, perhaps, might not lead to a full review. The popular feature also became an easy way to introduce people to new music, and our inbox became very busy. Naturally, by limiting the feature to eight tracks per week, not everything made the cut. In fairness, not everything deserved to, but we heard a lot of stuff that was too good to not share.

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VARIOUS ARTISTS – Burn On The Bayou: A Heavy Underground Tribute To Creedence Clearwater Revival

Unless you happen to be Robert Pollard/Guided By Voices or Buckethead and have a blatant disregard for quality control, recording and releasing eight studio albums over a five year period is probably really difficult, if not impossible. Creedence Clearwater Revival not only managed that task between 1968-1972, but in ‘Green River’, ‘Willy & The Poorboys’, and ‘Cosmo’s Factory’, they managed to deliver a trio of cast iron classics. The latter is an album still beloved by millions; a soundtrack to a generation.

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THE HOLY NOTHING – Vol. 1: A Profound And Nameless Fear

On this debut EP, The Holy Nothing wield some genuinely enormous riffs. Creating a sound that takes a huge influence from stoner metal and mixes that with a few grungy influences and a pinch of hardcore, their sound shifts between crunchy, sludgy and the groove laden, ensuring this musical trio are often more interesting than your average Orange Goblin, Fu Manchu and Kyuss wannabes.

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