Words by Ash Wallace.
The Zoo, an iconic Brisbane music venue, most known for its eclectic creatures, good booze and bangin’ gigs. Tonight is no different, here to conjure up the evil spirits from the other side to reign hell down on all us. No, we aren’t holding a giant Ouija board circle to summon the devil, but we did have the next best thing; Thy Art Is Murder headliner gig with supports Justice For The Damned, Dealer and Wither. This is only one out of three dates of their sold out east coast Australian Life Of The Crosshairs tour dates so punters who managed to score a ticket to this one are some lucky bastards.
Looking out into a sea of black clothing and gleaming faces, A familiar face, David De La Hoz, vocalist of both Wither and also Belle Haven, started off the night with a bloody bang. Being Wither’s first Brisbane gig, there wasn’t a single bone in his body that wasn’t fuelling the pure intensity and aggression Hoz was giving us. The floorboards were shaking as the drums and bass were propelling through the room. Their stage presence was second to none, and with wise words from the man himself and their song titled Marionette, “we won’t rest until your neck breaks”, yeah, we listened and we did indeed break our necks. Giving us all a beautiful little surprise, playing their new single Use me, which is to be officially released on the 19th of July, the Melbournian based boys went hard and set the tone for the evening.
As a fan of both Dealer and Alpha Wolf I can’t say there isn’t a bit of contention and bad blood in the water here, needless to say though, Dealer may just be one of Australia’s heaviest newcomers. Coming out of nowhere and absolutely killing the game. The set was chaotic and heavy, peppered with thick riffs and bass drops-sweet sweet music to our ever-damaged ears! I can’t help but notice how their sound reminds me of Sworn In, especially the ‘The Death Card’ album. Featured on the set list was Crooked, Pretty Stupid, and slowing it down a notch for You In Frame mid set. Honestly, pretty stupid of you to be sleeping on these guys, they are without a doubt only going up from here. Yes, that was a song title pun, get around it.
Justice For The Damned play a damn mean show, with a juicy blend of styles, harrowing breakdowns and vocals, old Parkway Drive-esq vibe and endless circle pits, what more could you want?! Vocalist, Bobak had amazing crowd control and a lot of energy. There was a plethora of hot and sweaty bodies jumping up and off the stage and passing around of the mic. The real highlight were the insane breakdowns and filthy riffs that coated the vocals. Once the pit opened up, it was every man, woman and creature for themselves. It was great to see some of the older fans getting into the mosh and seeing everyone come together like that. Also, what stands out to me is that Justice For The Damned slip in melodic black metal tones in some of their music, pertaining to my love of black metal. As I overheard in the crowd, someone described Bobak as a “demon in Brisbane” and I think that sums it up perfectly.
Thy Art Is Murder are no stranger to all things evil in nature and socio-politically driven music. Super fresh off the press singles, Death Squad Anthem, Human Target and Make America Hate Again from their upcoming album ‘Human Target’, releasing on July 26th, 2019, and have already given us terror and pure aggression like the Thy Art we know and love. The boys have grit their teeth and made yet again bold statements on the fragile state that the world is in today. Redefining the essence of socio-politics and challenging the idea of what we think versus what is actually happening in the world today, Thy Art Is Murder and many other bands using their platform to raise world issues know that it creates a world of space for controversy and backlash, but what’s better than bringing global matters to the forefront? Making those statements in the form of neck breaking music!
Still reigning supreme in the aussie deathcore division, vocalist CJ appeared on stage in his iconic hooded cloak, greeted by an array of devil horns from the crowd and kicking off the set with Death Squad Anthem. Once they hit the stage it seemed like the room filled even more than it already was. Purest Strain Of Hate, Holy War, Make America Hate Again and Puppet Masterwere also amongst the setlist, satisfying our love of the older crowd favourites and the love of the intense and heavy new ones. In the purest form of aussie banter and tradition, a shoey was performed by a fan on stage and everyone loved it. Thy Art is really a balls to the wall all or nothing band and becoming a household name in their own right. They know how to perform, they know how to please a crowd and they know how to make a statement. Undeniably the next best thing since sliced bread-gluten free of course. I know I’ll best running out the door to pick up the new album when it drops, and you better be too.
I think it’s safe to say, and I speak for most of us, that the Aussie are taking over the metal scene. The night was incredible, seeing Thy Art again was a dream, the true deathcore titans. There’s only two more dates of the tour, catch them while you can!