Hindley Street is teeming with people in black clothes, piercing, tattoos, and an all-round good feeling of excitement. Outside the venue they gather in their masses as one lone figure dressed in white weaves through. That figure is C.J. McMahon, vocalist of Sydney behemoths and headliners Thy Art Is Murder.
It’s only been a short few months since they came to these parts with a stellar line up and true to form they bring another top notch cast for your pleasure, all under the guise of a celebration of the tenth birthday of seminal album Hate. Joining them on this jaunt are Americans, Spite, Chelsea Grin and Whitechapel.
For Spite, it’s their first time on these shores and once they open up with Lord Of The Upside Down you know instantly you’re in for a floor shaking, bone-crunching heavy time. The pit forms early as the bands switches pace from double kick drums to crushing breakdowns which have everyone bobbing their heads in unison. Tracks I.E.D and Kill Or Be Killed are fist pumping, energetic bursts of fire and a stunning start to the night’s proceedings.
Chelsea Grin bring a different type of fusion to the show. A guttural roar, slamming heavy breaks and a desire to create as much chaos as possible. Vocalist Tom Barber gets the crowd, including all the way up the balconies, headbanging in unison as the music scythes through the audience with the precision of a Japanese samurai blade. Finishing with Hostage the band deliver a performance of headliners themselves.
Hailing from Vols’ country in Knoxville, Whitechapel waste no time in breaking the speed and sound barrier in beats per minute opening with When A Demon Defies A Witch. They bring an altogether new level of heavy to the night with the bands experience and quality on ethereal melodies brought to the stage. Brimstone grooves as Phil Bozeman scurries to all sides of the stage and the band driven by Brandon Zackey drums hammer away to a crowd surfing, circle pitting frenzy of an audience during Black Bear. Completing the obliteration of the audience is the rapid arsenal strike of The Saw Is The Law and everyone is exhausted and dripping sweat.
However the only bus anyone is waiting for at this point is the intro tape blasting our the Vengaboys Vengabus which indicates the forthcoming apocalypse known as Thy Art Is Murder.
The band rip into Reign Of Darkness as the crowd, now rabid, bellow each lyric back. McMahon is a great front man who cajoles each audience member throughout the set to give more. The setup is the biggest and most elaborate I’ve seen from the band with an impressive light show to accentuate the bands switches in speed.
As they play through the ‘Hate’ album from start to finish, included gems such as Vile Creations, Dead Sun and Doomed From Birth, extracting more and more out of the audience. The music ferocious, snarling and bombastic as it’s rattle’s your eardrums.
The air raid siren wails and for Death Squad Anthem and everyone in the venue takes it up another gear of intensity. McMahon demands the audience join him in singing Puppet Master and the band depart the stage triumphant in a journey that taken them ten years to the top of their genre. The rest of the world awaits.
Live Review By Iain McCallum