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In These Hills

from Monuments by Northern Oak

  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    -Printed by Sound Performance Studios- 16 page, full-colour booklet with front cover artwork by Travis Smith*, song lyrics and a picture of our lovely faces in the middle.

    *Artwork for Opeth, Devin Townsend and a host of other artists: www.seempieces.com

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Chris says: This song began life just as me intending to try and write a Summoning-style song; long, epic and fairly uncomplicated, with more of a focus on atmosphere than musical talent. I came up with the descending, distorted guitar riff, then it sat dormant for a long while. When I eventually went back to the song (writing some lyrics en-route which were then scrapped) it came together quite quickly, developing when I worked on it at home and with the second clean interlude and the big flute/keyboard section at the end added during a practice. This is definitely one of our heaviest and most black metal songs, I feel- when that big riff kicks in, I can't help but windmill my head almost clean off my neck. The second clean interlude is also, I believe, a rather lovely example of melodic inversion between the flute and the guitar- while I play an arpeggio starting on the A string, 7th fret and going up, Catie starts at the top of the same arpeggio and works her way down so that the two melodies cross over in the middle. It's going to sound incredible when properly recorded, trust me. :P

Lyrically, I believe it's about a figure journeying into the hills (which hills? These hills!) in order to find answers for the untimely death of his wife; he essentially climbs to the top of a mountain (the Peak District heavily inspires me in general, and in particular when I wrote this song, I was thinking of the spectacular scenery there) and screams at the sky, demanding the truth. Some of the lyrics are absolutely amazing and I love them more than can be healthy, which is why when we play live you'll often see me singing along like a twat. :P

Martin says: I normally listen to a song a number of times before I really get a feel for what the words should be and when I initially saw Chris' lyrics describing a landscape, I rejected them because I knew there to be a deeper darkness in the song.

My repeated listens led me to draw from this song a tale of a man searching for meaning in the death of his wife, only to find the emptiness of the infinite. I hope you enjoy.


The days have lost their candour and the nights are endless.
The ruined foundations of your dreams with her,
spur you on in search of why she deserved such cruelty.

But you wonder, do you really want a reason for her suffering?
Or to find some logic, for why yours should have to continue.
Offering fresh sacrifice you ask the priests and they solemnly say,

"The answers you seek can be found atop the hills that claw at the morning star
But be prepared, you may not be able to leave behind what you find."

your ascent
you remember.

The sound
of her

The gentle
touch of
her fingers.

until dawn...

*grido di dolore*

That life is gone, you reach the peak and your eyes dart in search,
where are the answers? What does an oracle look like?
Then you begin to notice, the regular deafening crashes of the wind.

This is the beating heart of Chaos,
it was here before the gods and will outlast them.
In a universe where stars explode and planets collide,
there was never an explanation
for what happened there.
No fate to justify your loss.

Your cry of anguish
is caught by the wind and lost
in these hills.


from Monuments, track released December 10, 2010
Lyrics: Martin Collins
Music: Chris Mole/Catie Williams


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Northern Oak Sheffield, UK

Founded in early 2006 during a wintry excursion to the Peak District, Northern Oak have been spreading their unique brand of flute-heavy progressive folk metal across Sheffield and the rest of the UK ever since.

Our music sounds like Jethro Tull played by extreme metal fans with an appreciation for everything from Pink Floyd to Emperor.
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