ESCHATON – “Sentinel Apocalypse”

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Sentinel Apocalypse from Eschaton is just one of those releases that seems utterly perfect at executing the first blow in bare-knuckle, technical death metal. Everything that happens after opener, Obligatory Conviction, is undeniably fantastic, but it is in the first few moments that followers of bands such as Man Must Die, Agonyst, and Meshuggah are likely to be hooked. Continue reading

ANGMAER – “Towards Darkness’ Paradise”

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One-man, black metal band: a phrase that can strike pre-emptive disappointment into the heart of even the most stalwart extreme music aficionado. It can frequently be the case that these projects lack any kind of individuality or panache, aspects which are thankfully becoming more mandatory in the genre. UKEM’s recent signing, Angmaer, is luckily not guilty of this particular sin.

As the bio states, this is very true to the 1990s’ golden age of BM. The character must be incredibly hard for one person to capture this successfully on their own, and in that Towards Darkness’ Paradise is most assuredly a great success. Although it embraces a touch of the clarity brought to later BM releases, it retains an undeniably classic quality. Continue reading

BLACK TALON – “Endless Realities”

coverIt may only be May, but 2015 has already been awash with fresh thrash offerings, some absolute belters, some a bit flaccid, to be generous. Black Talon now step into the spotlight with their debut long-player, Endless Realities, and something magical is happening. This is genuine street thrash, brought up, full time, in the shadows at the edge of the genre’s history, and splattered with the arterial spray of death metal. If the latter is the input of guitarist Mike Robertson, also of Edinburghian brutes, Cancerous Womb, then it’s well-smoothed around the edges. Continue reading

ANIHILATED – “Anti Social Engineering”


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Remember when you first fell in love with Metallica’s last great album, And Justice For All? What? You didn’t like it? First of all, there’s a chance we can’t be friends, and second, you could well be put off Anihilated’s freshest release, Anti Social Engineering, from the offset. There’s a more diverse character to the long-player, but the riff that primes the album is very reminiscent of that particular moment in the thrash giants’ career, and it echoes on throughout. If ‘the big 4’ had Anthrax switched out for Testament, and were merged into one band, this sound could very well be the result, instrumentally speaking. Continue reading

AT THE GATES – “At War With Reality”

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There are probably quite high expectations for At The Gates to live up to with this, their first album since 1995’s landmark melodic death metal opus, Slaughter Of The Soul. I’m certainly feeling a certain sense of trepidation hitting the play button, but my hopes are high after hearing the preview title track. Continue reading

ANATHEMA – Live @ Glasgow ABC2 (21/09/2014)

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The first of the UK mainland run of dates to promote the latest album “Distant Satellites” from Liverpool’s Anathema, kicks off in Glasgow on the last Sunday night of Summer. The heat inside saw no sign of waning, this was a sweatbox; but it did not matter one jot.  Like much of the rest of the tour, this was sold out well in advance and the demand for tickets to see the enduring masters of melody and melancholy continues to exceed availability and the lucky attendees were thrilled with a magnificent performance.

Anathema2014EuThe crowd flooded in immediately as the doors are opened and many remained steadfast in the preferred positions for both bands.  Support for the tour is Austrian madcap act, Mother’s Cake; both eclectic and seamless, the three-piece instantly draw in the early crowd and lift the expectation of what is to follow even further.  The band meld elements of so many incredible bands with skill and deliver a set of instantly loveable self-penned material with appeal across alternative, rock and metal genres fit to rival many of the greats. Expect to hear more about these guys after this tour.

Anathema have been synonymous with excellence throughout their evolving career, producing album after album of trans-genre perfection and are held in the highest esteem by many from varied backgrounds and tastes.  It almost defies belief that such a brilliant band can easily outshine their compelling studio output on stage, but they continue to prove this time and again.  Of course, they are no stranger to the stage and comfortably make the venue their own.

Innovative and creative, the early doom pioneers have matured and grown so far, but continue to soar higher year after year, their sound increasingly bolstered on each subsequent recent release by the increasing use of Lee Douglas’ enchanting vocals as well as the addition of Daniel Cardoso (having previously worked with Danny Cavanagh in Leafblade and with Kristoffer “Garm” Rygg in Head Control System) on keyboards and drums as the need arises.  Lee’s stunning vocals simply captivate; the live arena is at her complete command, the mesmerised crowd hanging on every note.  This secret weapon is used sparingly, complimenting and harmonising with brother Danny and Vincent Cavanagh, but expands the repertoire significantly.

The set pulls heavily on the new album being promoted, “Distant Satellites”; with over half the tracks being performed, but also with tracks from “Weather Systems”, “We’re Here Because We’re Here”, “A Natural Disaster” and a finale from “Alternative 4″IMG_0975

As a long-standing fan, having seen the band on many occasion since my first time 21 years ago, my expectation are always high; often unrealistically so.

Simply unmissable.

VARIOUS ARTISTS – “MORGUL Scottish Metal Compilation: 2014″

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MORGUL is a society created by the metalheads, punks and rockers of the University of Glasgow, for anyone who wants to join, and have had an online presence on Facebook for around 18 months.

Focusing on bands that play Glasgow and/or Edinburgh often, Morgul spent Fresher’s Week in 2013 handing out free CDs to interested Freshers, Students, and gig-goers that featured some of the very best Scottish metal, in an effort to increase interest in local talent and gig-attendance.

It must have gone well as they are back again this year with another compilation for the 2014 intake, with another great selection of local talent to whet the appetite of anyone looking for decent live music in the North, including some notable TMA favourites like NNGNN, Cnoc An Tursa, Adabroc, Saor, Man Made Origin, Achren and Atragon!   Continue reading

METAL CULTURE – THE BLACK METAL BREWERY (Edinburgh, Scotland)

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I came across the Black Metal Brewery a few months ago via Facebook and thoroughly approved of the operation in principle.

The following article recently appeared on the Black Metal Brewey’s Facebook page, including the announcement that one could now obtain these beers in the pub Cloisters in Edinburgh.

I immediately made it my mission that weekend to pop along to Cloisters in the afternoon to try them Continue reading

BLOODSTOCK OPEN AIR / Catton Hall, England / August 2015

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Festival:                             Bloodstock Open Air Metal Festival.

Date:                                  Thursday until Sunday, 6th to 9th of August 2015.

Location:                           Catton Park, Walton-On-Trent, Derbyshire, England.

Post Code:                        DE12 8LN.

Official Travel:                   Big Green Coach.

Ticket Cost:                        £127.00 (Adult) & £39.00 (Child 4yo – 11yo) EARLY BIRD.

The limited early bird price of £127.00 for Adults and £39.00 for now available for next year’s Festival, they are usually on sale each year until the middle of December, or until the allocation runs out.

The TMA Collective will keep you up to date with all the announcements, deals and news for one of our favourite Festivals.

The 15th Bloodstock, and the 11th Open Air celebration of all things metal, will take place at the usual Catton Hall site in Derbyshire, England between Thursday 6th and Sunday 9th of August in 2015.

First announcement is that Opeth and Within Temptation will be playing!

WINTERFYLLETH – “The Divination Of Antiquity”

WF14So here we are; 4 Winterfylleth albums in… yet it only seems like yesterday that these boys were playing in front of a few staunch separatists like myself in sweaty underground clubs. The band as a group, since all but the very earliest live outings, has been consistent and since the second album, “The Mercian Sphere”, the same lads have written and recorded the music.  The thing is, the band themselves have been on a bit of a journey in the last 12 months, and I believe that this has resulted in the album of their careers thus far. A tour with Enslaved, festival appearances around Europe and then time to reflect and write have resulted in something very special indeed. Continue reading