We went to see Thy Art Is Murder twice in one night

Two gigs in a row from the destructive deathcore mob from Down Under

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Aussie deathcore specialists Thy Art Is Murder have a new album, Holy War, out right now. Hooray! And what better way to celebrate than heading down to a tiny little venue in London and watching the band do their thing twice in one evening? We were up for it, here’s what we discovered.

Deathcore Fans Are Hardcore The reason we are getting two shows tonight is because the first one sold out so swiftly and the demand was so huge. That’s no real surprise given the intimacy of our surroundings, but the fact that familiar faces from the first gig are spotted in the second show going just as batshit is proof that Thy Art Is Murder have begun to cultivate a fanbase of the obsessive compulsive variety.

Thy Art Is Murder Have The Best Banter It’s not something that you would usually associate with death metal, but the shenanigans that happen throughout both sets are one of the things that set TAIM aside from their peers. CJ McMahon is a man that possesses a savage roar, but also a sweet side. Telling the audience how much they love the UK, and actually sounding like he means it rather than just reeling off another soundbite, telling the hecklers how much he hates cricket (well he would right now wouldn’t he!), posing like a supermodel for the cameramen at the front of the venue (at one point lifting up his shirt and getting a cheeky nipple twist for his pains) and inciting a huge circle pit during Coffin Dragger. This might be death metal, but if you couldn’t hear what was going on you’d think it was some sort of frat party.

TAIM Are Sitting On One Hell Of An Album If you haven’t heard Holy War yet and you are a fan of the band then prepare yourself for a real treat. While tracks like Dead Sun still sound brutally heavy and full of irresistible grooves, it pales in comparison to the new songs. We only get a few, with TAIM promising to play more when they come back next year… and when they’ve learnt them properly, but when we do it’s obvious that Violent Reckoning or the closing title track have distilled everything that made the band great in the first place to absurd levels of sonic viciousness.

It’s Tiring Business This Death Metal Lark CJ ends the first set by telling the crowd that he’s got to “Go smoke a spliff and have a lie down so I can do this all over again in an hour” and by the end of the second set it’s obvious that Thy Art Is Murder are in some pretty traumatic physical states. Covered in sweat when they arrive for the second show, it only takes minutes to see the perspiration flying across the venue from all angles. In the latter part of the set CJ looks like he’s about to collapse when he isn’t damaging his vocal chords. It’s not easy being this heavy, especially when you put so much into it. And Thy Art Is Murder give it everything they’ve got.

This Is Just The Beginning With a killer new album, a fantastically engaging and exciting live show, a group of fans that are absolutely in love with them and a tour coming up with heavyweight countrymen Parkway Drive, you get the feeling that this is the start of something very special for Thy Art Is Murder. As they close with the title track from the new album, and CJ sitting atop the shoulders of a very large gentleman for the second time this evening with the venue circle pitting around him, you can’t help but drink it in as much as possible. These tiny sweatbox venues might be perfect for their brand of carnage, but it surely won’t be too long before Thy Art are far too big for them. If you are here you are one of the lucky ones… although you probably already know that, don’t you?

All photos by Derek Bremner.

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.