Gig Review and Photography by Neale Hayes.

Tonight I visited the 02 Academy Birmingham to catch Australian Deathcore giants Thy Art Is Murder with support from After the Burial. It became evident from the moment I arrived that this was a very popular one, Birmingham’s o2 Academy 2 was rammed.

Thy Art is Murder (2 of 19)

After the Burial provided ample support tonight, bringing the noise and djents in good measure. They played 3 songs from their latest release ‘Dig Deep’ (2016), 2 from ‘Rareform’ (2008) and 2 from ‘Wolves Within’ (2013).

After the Burial (4 of 10)

After the Burial (1 of 10)

‘Lost in the Static’ from ‘Dig Deep’ (2016), reminded me of Betraying the Martyrs and even Chelsea Grin; piercing and chugging with some very fast vocals from Anthony Notarmaso; also giving off a slight old-Atilla vibe. ‘Collapse’ from the same record; another hard-hitting tune which saw the moshpit widen. The use of guitar a solo in this song separates them from traditional Deathcore and makes them more Progressive and even experimental in their song writing.

‘Anti-Pattern’ from ‘Wolves Within’ (2013), saw some absolutely insane drumming from Dan Carle; the entire song giving off a Meshuggah vibe with the djenting and speed, also comparable with Periphery.

After the Burial (8 of 10)

After the Burial (7 of 10)

They came to the end of their set with two songs from ‘Rareform’ (2008); ‘Berzerker’ and ‘Aspiration’; definitely showcasing a more technical side to their guitar work in particular; sweep picking reminiscent of Children of Bodom and Rings of Saturn before returning to the chug. The vocals here are evidently more demonic also.

After the Burial (10 of 10)

Some poor fella broke his leg in the moshpit while After the Burial were on. Never nice to see but the staff reacted quickly and got him out to be treated promptly.

Art Is Murder have gained a large loyal fanbase over in the UK due to their impressive live shows, aggressive lyrical content of songs coupled with relate-able political/social messages that audiences can relate to.

Thy Art is Murder (3 of 19)

Thy Art is Murder (10 of 19)

They played 4 songs off their latest album release ‘Dear Desolation’ (2017), 3 from ‘Hate’ (2012) and 3 from ‘Holy War’ (2015).

Being the purest form of Deathcore, they can be compared to older Suicide Silence tracks, particularly from ‘The Cleansing’ (2007), although vocalist CJ dislikes being labelled Deathcore.

Diving straight into the title track of their latest release, ‘Dear Desolation’, CJ wastes no time in giving the young lads orchestrating the mosh pit something to throw fists around to. The lyrics, quite abstract and simple, remind me of Chelsea Grin and Cannibal Corpse; dark and harrowing but with a sense of retribution, the solo in this song can also be compared to Death Metal; fast and with venom; with Deathcore being much more reliant on breakdowns than solos.

Thy Art is Murder (16 of 19)

Thy Art is Murder (17 of 19)

‘The Purest Strain of Hate’ from ‘Hate’ (2012) gave us the best lighting possible for photographs and I gladly took advantage; the flood lights bursting out and the red fills dying down. This song gave us a taste of CJ McMahon’s vocal range; the demonic highs right down to the guttural lows; reminiscent of the late Mitch Lucker.

CJ took a moment to chat to the fans and thank them for their support.

‘No Absolution’, the single they released to announce to the world that CJ had returned to the band, went down a treat with the fans. The breakdown is tastey and has real backbone to it.

Thy Art is Murder (15 of 19)

Thy Art is Murder (11 of 19)

They came to the end of their set with a few choice picks off ‘Holy War’ (2015); ‘Coffin Dragger’, ‘Holy War’ and ‘Light Bearer’. Strong resemblances to old Whitechapel records, particularly when CJ uses his deep growling. ‘Holy War’ I found had a captivating message; dealing with the topic of religion and it’s involvement in war and death. These songs and ‘Light Bearer’ have quite Doom Metal-like intros which I think really gives the songs atmosphere and throwing in sinister riffs separates them from others.

They impressed me tonight and celebrated the return of CJ with a much needed elbow to the face. It was a crazy, sweaty, beer fueled gig. Loved it.

Further images from tonight’s gig are available on our Flickr Page.

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