Gig Review: Thy Art Is Murder + Supports @ Uni Bar, Wollongong

Headliner: Thy Art Is Murder

Support Acts: Alpha Wolf, Cursed Earth, Deadlights.

Venue: Uni Bar, Wollongong.

Date: Thurs August 3rd, 2017.

It was a cold and rainy night in Wollongong, and eager metalheads made it out to the Uni Bar for a night of crushing metal featuring some of the best heavy acts in Australia right now. After leaving Thy Art Is Murder for a brief period, the charismatic frontman, CJ McMahon made his triumphant return earlier this year and now they're stronger than ever.

The venue was small, but packed with a mostly younger crowd ranging from 18-30 year olds keen for a few beers, some good metal and maybe even a bit of moshpit action. The night kicked off with Brisbane band Deadlights making a big impression with their energetic stage presence and metallic hardcore sound turning heads and getting attention from the growing audience earlier in the night. Easily the least heavy act on the bill, but for what they lacked in that department, they made up with their enthusiasm and impressive live sound. This is an extremely promising young band and with their latest album making some waves on the scene, we will most likely be seeing a lot more from this alternative metal act.

Next up was Cursed Earth who came all the way Perth for this tour of Australia, and they were here to show the crowd what they're about and boy oh boy they sure as hell made an impact. Quite possibly the best performance of the night, and a personal highlight, Cursed Earth brought a raw and intense sound that is rare and almost shocking to witness. Bordering on the edge of grind and death metal, the screams were absolutely devastating and credit where its due to lead vocalist Jazmine Luders for her dominating stage presence. The guitars were crushing, rabid, muddy and disgustingly heavy. This was an absolute assault on the senses as the crowd watched on, enthralled and entertained. There was of course a couple of dickheads thrown back that a female can hold her own up on that stage, so they mouthed off only for Jazmine to completely shut them down, much to the pleasure of the audience who had her back. Cursed Earth are a band to keep on your radar and their erratic and chaotic style is an absolute brutal bliss to witness live.

The main support of the evening came from Melbourne's Alpha Wolf who have certainly grown and improved leaps and bounds over the past year or so. After the success of their most recent album, Mono, the boys came to Wollongong to showcase what they've got to offer and they displayed one of the tightest performances of the evening. The new material really comes off great in a live setting and it sounds even heavier in person which I was very impressed with. Their breakdowns were absolutely brutal and huge, with an undeniable influence from nu-metal and a very Emmure-esque vibe also. Their stage presence was intoxicating and extremely confronting, and for such a young band, this can only mean good things to come. Highlights were the songs "Failvre", "#104", and "No.2" as they were next level on the heavy scale, almost destroying the venue with the brutality and sheer force of their polished sound.

Finally, the kings of Aussie deathcore, Thy Art Is Murder, came out on stage to a massive ovation from the local audience, and you could feel the mood in the room change as the fan favourites prepared for their onslaught of chaos. Opening with "Holy War", the Uni Bar erupted with people singing along and banging their heads to the crushing sound that Thy Art have perfected over the years. Next up we heard a new song "Slaves Beyond Death" which the crowd really got into, the song itself was more of a switch in style to what we're used to, giving off more of a traditional death metal sound rather than the brutal deathcore style they're known for. Very impressive I have to say and it makes me super excited for what they're new album Dear Desolation may encompass. The band are obviously at the top of their game and that's due to constant touring and being one of the hardest working bands in the world. CJ (who seems to be the happiest and healthiest that we've ever seen) and the rest of the band were in fine form and they displayed a performance that was pure class in such hostile and aggressive environment.

If you didn't get to one of these shows, and lets face it, they didn't really miss any of the major places so there's no excuse, then you should be kicking yourself. It truly was one of the best line ups of heavy talent that this country has to offer and each band delivered their own unique style, winning over the audience and making their mark for the future of extreme music. All for of these bands relentless and gifted bands are well worth checking out.

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