Thy Art Is Murder

Aussie ragers dole out double the trouble

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If there was any doubt that Thy Art Is Murder have positioned themselves as the premier modern deathcore outfit then the lengthy queue outside The Barfly at two in the afternoon – not to mention the fact that both of tonight’s shows at the same venue sold out in a day – should cement the fact.

As such their Aussie countrymen MAKE THEM SUFFER [7] are little more than a decent distraction before the main event. Sure, they pen a nice line in catchiness and heaviness combining with swathes of grandiose, orchestral keys, but when those in attendance know just how violent a storm is brewing, it’s a thankless task – albeit one that they attack with relish. Ultimately, though, there aren’t many live bands around at the moment who could go toe to toe with** THY ART IS MURDER [9]** and come out on top.

From the moment they amble onstage and erupt into Reign Of Darkness this is a breathless, awe-inspiring event. Even if we pretended that with the recent release of Holy War TAIM don’t now have a plethora of bone-rattling and irresistible death metal gems like Coffin Dragger, this would still be one of the most enjoyable live experiences around. The crowd are a constant blur of excitable kinetic motion, and their energy eggs frontman CJ McMahon into high-fiving, bantering and, during final song Holy War, climbing onto the shoulders of a particularly portly gentleman and performing the song in the middle of the room with everyone else circlepitting around him. The smile on his face as he climbs back onstage and hugs his ride says it all: TAIM revel in the joy of performing live.

CJ McMahon sets off a feeding frenzy

CJ McMahon sets off a feeding frenzy (Image credit: Derek Bremner)

It’s also worth pointing out just what a superb collection of songs they have in their back catalogue. Purists might stomp their feet, but the evergreen The Purest Strain Of Hate is built on a groove that envelopes your whole body and a level of brutality that is completely, utterly suffocating. Yes, it isn’t the most technical or traditional form of death metal. Yes, it never veers very far from a standard stylistic template. But when music just feels this good, when a band make you break out into a Cheshire cat grin so regularly, how can you argue? The people who have been waiting outside since two in the afternoon can’t, and who are we to disagree with them?

Stephen Hill

Since blagging his way onto the Hammer team a decade ago, Stephen has written countless features and reviews for the magazine, usually specialising in punk, hardcore and 90s metal, and still holds out the faint hope of one day getting his beloved U2 into the pages of the mag. He also regularly spouts his opinions on the Metal Hammer Podcast.