METAL CULTURE – THE BLACK METAL BREWERY (Edinburgh, Scotland) – All Five Ales

BMB Group“Hi Mark, do you mind if I drop some beer round for you to drink and write about?” said Alex.  “Seriously? Are you winding me up? Of course bud’  I replied…. And soon enough the boss was at my door with a selection of fine ales from the Loanhead based… It’s in Scotland, look it up… Black Metal Brewery, which was spooky as we’d both been to see northern monkey black metallers, Winterfylleth, the night before.

Now Alex has asked me to write about these lovely bottles of brown wonderment because he knows I’m a member of CAMRA and suspects I might know a thing or two about beer.  I’m not a total beer scoring uber nerd but I do drink a lot of real ale. It’s nice. It’s proper. Making it is an art form. Now my wife – Brutal Ruth – says I’m what’s known as a ‘functioning alcoholic’ (she can talk, flat out on the sofa watching ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ with an empty bottle of rose next to her..) but I prefer the term ‘drinking enthusiast’. 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

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

DOOM OVER EDINBURGH FESTIVAL / Bannerman’s, Edinburgh, Scotland / March 2015

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Festival:                      Doom Over Edinburgh Festival.
Date:                           Saturday 14th & Sunday 15th of March 2015.
Location:                     Bannerman’s Bar, 212 Cowgate, Edinburgh, Scotland.
Post Code:                 EH1 1NQ.
Official Travel:            N/A.

Ticket Cost:                £16 for weekend ticket / £8 Saturday only / £10 Sunday only.

Hot off the press! Continue reading

CANCEROUS WOMB – “Born Of A Cancerous Womb”

CW14Edinburgh’s Cancerous Womb have created a bit of a buzz on the underground UK death metal scene over the last few years. They’ve gigged extensively across the UK and Europe and some of my buddies in other death metal bands have raved about them to me but up ‘till now I’ve yet to have the pleasure of hearing them.

When I got the album through I have to admit that due to the band’s name I was expecting some pig squealing bullshit ‘brootal tech death’ bollocks to come blasting out of my speakers… Fuck me, was I in for a surprise! Continue reading