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The Dark of Midsummer

from Of Roots and Flesh by Northern Oak

  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    - The physical CD of the album, printed by Sound Performance Studios and beautifully packaged in a six-panel digipack case with stunning, panoramic artwork from Augustinas Našlėnas and a 16-page booklet containing lyrics and more artwork.

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The Dark of Midsummer was inspired by 'A Midsummer Night's Dream', a story from Neil Gaiman's 'Sandman' series (as well as, obviously, the Shakespearean original!) The story depicts the premiere of Shakespeare's play (commissioned by Morpheus, the Dream of the Endless) with an audience comprising various denizens of the Faerie realm- including Titania, Auberon and Robin Goodfellow, all characters in the play.

I absolutely adore the Sandman series, and this story in particular- it's a fantastic fusion of Shakespeare's writing with Gaiman's own, and sparked off my desire to write something long and epic which would be about Titania and Oberon's legendary struggles, under the canopy of a darkening forest. That was the brief I gave Martin for the lyrics, and he took it and put his own unique spin on it! Musically, the Dark of Midsummer is cobbled together from a lot of riffs that I had lying around- they all seemed to fit together really nicely, and the song is now our usual opening number when we play live- it goes from a really low, ominous introduction into a massively heavy riff that we all love playing.


The Bard from ether wove the faerie court
But inert archetypes they would remain.
So to all earthly delights he did resort
And stitched all mortal rapture to their frames.
Yet longest nights would plague midsummer for
Disputes of Titania and Oberon,
Could raise contagious fog and gales that tore
At trees and stifled souls they came upon.

How soon the breath of man corrupts ideas
With petty squabbles and our jealousies.
So pale in our anger and bound by fear.
You would think the gift of life a disease.
How many shaking hands have warned,
Our race is nought but gutter spawn?

Yet that same Bard could scratch the quill to please
And brought us Mab a maiden without peer.
Drawn by a team of little atomies
At night delivering dreams to our ears.
Such guides we craft to spur us on,
To go explore Lord Shaper's moonlight shore,
Find purpose, reach beyond the grasp of dawn,
[dare us] to name and mould a brave future.

The breath of man can set the heart aflame
With faith and valour, inspire and exhort
To beauty, glory, sun and earth proclaim.
Only fools would sell the gift of life short.
If to warmth and love we are sworn,
There is still hope for the unborn.


from Of Roots and Flesh, released October 4, 2014
Music & lyrics: Northern Oak


all rights reserved



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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