Date: October 6th 2017
Venue: Club Academy, Manchester
Support: Justice For The Damned / Oceano / After The Burial
Any fans of Thy Art Is Murder and general followers of the deathcore community will undoubtedly be aware of the turbulence of their careers over the past couple of years following the release of their 2015 record, ‘Holy War’, specifically surrounding the exit and return of vocalist, CJ McMahon. Yet, here they are with a new record under their belt, ‘Dear Desolation’, and eyes set on world domination. Their current objective: a UK tour.
Tour openers Justice For The Damned  begin proceedings early. Their pretty new to the game, relatively speaking, but they’ve got the requirements down to a tee. Pits open and ensue for the vast majority of their set whilst Bobak Rafiee is at the front of the barrier, snarling and screaming in their faces. There’s fury here, that’s for sure.
Oceano  crank up that fury a good few notches though. Well, a lot more than a few. The thudding drums and pulsing bass rumbles the Club Academy from front-to-back as soon as they kick into set opener, ‘Dead Planet’. The Illinois batterers have more than a decade under their belts, and it shows. With only a short set time allocated, it’s hard for them to work properly with their five album catalogue, but with the destruction from the amps and speakers and frontman Adam Warren sounding far more monster than man, its a savage burst.
With the line-up at hand, it’s not too difficult to be the least heavy band on the bill, and tonight, that band is After The Burial . The band bring the groove, bounce, and at times melody of the djent and prog metal world to the table and, after being pulverised by brutality for the past hour or so, it’s a refreshing change to proceedings. Songs like ‘Lost In Static’ and ‘Collapse’ really display the chops of frontman Anthony Notarmaso, and collectively, the band really set the stage for the headliners to follow.
The last time Aussie deathcore powerhouse Thy Art Is Murder  were in the UK was back in April, headlining Impericon Festival in the far bigger Academy 2 room just upstairs. Now, in a more intimate setting, and at their own show, they can really remove the latches from the gates of hell, and spew out their cuts that were clearly born there.
McMahon sounds like he could be Cerberus as he roars and screams through the likes of ‘Slaves Beyond Death’ and ‘The Purest Strain Of Hate’, all the while the infernal backdrop is powered by blast beats aplenty from Lee Stanton and crushing riffs from both Sean Delander and Andy Marsh. Indeed, there doesn’t seem to be any let up here – Rafiee from Justice For The Damned returns briefly during ‘Coffin Dragger’ – and, ultimately, by the time we’re given the final blow of ‘Reign Of Darkness’, Thy Art Is Murder prove why they’re worthy of the kings of deathcore crown that they wear atop their heads.
Written by Zach Redrup (@zachredrup)