Real Gone’s end of year round up, 2014

Given the position Real Gone finds itself in at the end of our fifth year online, it might seemed clichéd to say it, but ever year seems to get better and better.  It’s been another brilliant year for discovering new music – particularly releases from underground and DIY bands, but also for discs from a couple of old favourites.  Culled from hundreds of albums to grace our stereo this year, presented below is a quick look at ten of our favourite releases, as well as a round-up of the more notable of the rest.

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Volume 4: Black Earth (A Real Gone Sampler)

It’s become somewhat of a tradition at Real Gone to round up tunes we’ve enjoyed throughout the year and then share them in the hope of opening some new ears for independent bands.   2014 is no different – in fact, this year, we’ve got two samplers together!

This first instalment is a testament to the amount of great metal that’s passed through Real Gone Towers during 2014.
Ten tracks, fifty six minutes, riffs aplenty.    Crank the volume and enjoy!

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NORTHERN OAK – Of Roots And Flesh

Northern Oak
As far as metal-based subgenres are concerned, folk metal is often overlooked.  While Skyclad are often viewed as that particular niche’s favourite sons (they have arguably been the most commercially successful), dozens of other bands have worked hard to make a place for themselves within the scene.  Sheffield’s Northern Oak built a cult following after releasing their debut EP in 2008, eventually gaining critical acclaim from Terrorizer Magazine for their subsequently released albums.  After releasing their second full-length album ‘Monuments’ in 2010, the band appeared at the Bloodstock Festival and concentrated on live work.  Breaking a four year studio silence, ‘Of Roots and Flesh’ (recorded with Electric Wizard producer Chris Fielding and again self-released) is a very accomplished work, its dozen tracks creating a sprawling musical landscape; often dense, but always with just enough atmosphere to ensure nothing ever feels too overwhelming.

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