LIVE: Thy Art Is Murder / Make Them Suffer @ Barfly, London

By Dave Bull

Metalcore and deathcore are taking metal to bold new places. Despite Slayer’s Kerry King recently slating others on the Mayhem Tour for lacking that zip, zap boing, there is a real undercurrent of new breed pioneers that are taking things to unparalleled heights. It’s this delicious mix of death metal, hardcore and metal that Thy Art is Murder do so well. On the recent small UK tour, they played not one, but two sold out Barfly gigs on the same night; the second one, as vocalist CJ says “for the c**ts that weren’t fast enough to get tickets to the first one”.

On an all Australian bill, openers Make Them Suffer do a good job at providing the crowd with a warm up of notable quality. They weren’t signed to Roadrunner for no reason, and songs like ‘Let Me In’, ‘Old Souls’ and ‘Blood Moon’ go down particularly well. The piano parts eloquently and beautifully offset the low end, as do the female vocal parts, despite being drowned out by the noise and slightly off key in places.

The only unsettling repost would be the invitation to “see more violence” which perhaps just meant “go mental”, but with the recent increase in venomous crowd fighting, perhaps it could be said that this was a tad unnecessary and irresponsible, but hey, maybe the days of “love thy neighbour” are more “thy art is fuck each other up”. Each to their own, and I guess if one is down the front and knows the likely response, then the responsibility lies with that individual to gauge whether they are comfortable with that. All in all, a good offering which warmed up the stage well for the mighty Thy Art Is Murder, for whom the anticipation in the room at boiling point when they eventually take to the stage fifteen minutes later than scheduled.

CJ enters the stage in a North Face rain jacket, seemingly regular on stage attire, perhaps a concern for the non-Australian climate. Don’t worry Chris, it doesn’t rain indoors, even on this rainy island.

‘The Purest Strain of Hate’ sounds impossibly heavy, the deathcore vocals of Delander, huge. The energy in the room is relentless as everyone loses their shit, quite literally, several wallets and shoes adorning the floor. Delander continues to insight the crowd; “let’s make everyone in the bar downstairs know we are here” he implores while new songs ‘Coffin Dragger’ and ‘Holy War’ sound like old familiars. The response an epic success. CJ is the consummate professional, a raucous vocalist and a good inter-song entertainer; talking of recent tour shenanigans, his quite un-metal jet lag and his really un-metal “near tears” declaration to the crowd response.

Upon announcing a 2016 UK tour with Parkway Drive, the room seems to go to a new level of intensity, a circle pit as blurry and sweaty as the Barfly will see all year. CJ provides some useful advice about not eating too much American food: “It will kill you” he jokes before seemingly running out of oratory steam, “I’ve said all I have to”. Finally they launch into the often heard “we are poor, thanks for supporting us, we wouldn’t be here without you”, which gets the crowd cheering and the love juices flowing.

The only slight disappointment is CJ’s pretty lame response to a crowd request to join them in the pit. He did adorn the shoulders of the largest man to enter the venue all year (probably), but he would have received far more kudos for just getting stuck in. But hey, if you’re wary of indoor rain, a pit full of metal headed, alpha-dogs is probably a step too far!

Genuinely, Thy Art Is Murder are great live, and seem like down to earth guys just having fun, and enjoying the roller coaster ride that is touring the world. Despite the annoying L shape of the Barfly, the performance is stellar, and provides all and sundry with baited breath for their co-headline, larger tour with Byron Bay’s Parkway Drive in February next year. Prepare for another Australian invasion, perhaps next time it will be less ‘Howzat’ (post Ashes prod) and more ‘Hoarrr’ (see other death metal-esque sounds).