The Black Angels

QMU, Glasgow
1st March, 2023

I relished the thought of attending Glasgow University’s Queen Margaret Union, or QM as it is so affectionately called. It is a venue of high esteem and has played host to many bands before they became famous. We were there for an evening of live music from the band ‘The Black Angels’, who are a notoriety act of what has come to be termed psychedelic rock. Hailing from Texas they formed way back in 2004 and have released 6 studio albums and they are steeped in folk lore.

But first on was a band called Tamar Aphek a self titled group had a rock line up but their music turned up the volume in waves of something akin to heavy metal. The singer Tamar’s vocals gave the rock its sense of appeal trashing through their workings. She is a herald of underground music in Israel, and as a student formed a few bands with colleagues.

They blasted the stage and lit the room as a group, far out and tightly wound. As the gig came alive the time grew closer to the Angels arrival, the spacious room filled and an excitement rose. Their name is something plucked from a Velvet Underground’s song (on the darker side) ‘The Black Angels Death Song’, but in their lyrics they also allude to an Edvard Munch quote where he said the words prophetically spoken ‘Illness, insanity and death are the black angels that kept watch…’

Their take on the night was to a crowd enthralled and into the psychedelic tunes that the band were very well ready for, from the room opening up for the first tune. You got the feeling of an aura between the band and their audience, and this brand of music is fit for a darkening and overcasting and a bending yet still has an overarching power to greatly entertain.

It’s a brilliant mode that brings rock back and tunes itself to the expansion of a mean kind of take on psychedelic impressions. This gave the band a kind of fearful sense, of a band whose work includes many collaborations live and recorded. And at one of the best venues their fans came together for a good time and a celebration of dark odds.

The band uses the power of music to the extent of resembling opera in its revelations not that the writing itself was so but the epic sense was in action, of cool and collected but ready to be ruckus, out there and dynamite in style.

Their Album ‘Wilderness of Mirrors’ released in 2022 had come after making their way through the underground with such swift proficiency making them very much the real deal. All of which made the act very successful for music fans with a genuine quality.

Their sound and stance goes well beyond and created a satisfaction that charmingly stormed the room, and their levels of the psychedelic genre, they were an enchanted fore runners of new and loud rock, with the kind of vibrations of a conquering of music, scene, fan love and adoration of the power that rock can hold.

Very exciting, a magical venue for an up front, expansive act of soul discovery, embrace and expression. Darker than those more mainstream rock acts who have no real power. Instead holding that power, feeling it in your hand and then through music to specify itself in the power of letting things go and be no matter what, undeniable music of passion.

Daniel Donnelly

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