There’s always something special about seeing an internationally renowned and revered metal band do small venue national tour. It’s for those of us to get intimate, up close and personal with the fans that put said band on the international heavy musicradar. And let it be said that getting intimate, though as contradictory as it may sound with Thy Art Is Murder last Friday night at The Barwon Club in Geelong was an experience I shall remember for a long time to come.
Tonights card was a four band affair kicking off with Xile. I have never really been a fan of hardcore music, I understand the heavy element associated with it but sonically it just never connected with me. Therefore I find hard to be impartial at times and tonight seeing and hearing Xile I am sure that their performance was on par with what is to be expected from a band of their calibre and as enjoyable and listenable as they were, a critique of personal connection is unfortunately not forthcoming.
Antagonist A.D., also of the hardcore ilk but raising the bar above Xile, hailing from Auckland they are some angry fucking dudes who make no bones about telling us how it is. I’ve seen these blokes a few times now and the reason I get drawn into Antag more than other hardcore bands is because you can feel the passion and hatred exuding from in every note through every pore. They’re an unrelenting onslaught of anger sonically delivered with an ambivalent clarity, and definitely one of the true players of the genre in both Oz and NZ.
Third on tonight’s bill was Alpha Wolf. I’d heard through the grapevine along my various outings at many gigs that Alpha Wolf were definitely a band to be heard and seen, but it wasn’t until tonight that I finally got the opportunity to experience their brilliance. The odd thing is that I actually worked with guitarist Sabian for a few years and had no idea he was even in a band. Imagine my surprise by finally being confronted by this mass of heavy magnificence. For the uninitiated Alpha Wolf are best summed up as the bastard child of metal/deathcore hybrid parents and propel the melding of genres so much further. Their influences on hearing them are very clear and true but they somehow take the angst and aggression to a new level. Live they clearly articulate sonically their cause for existence and that is to pummel those that bear witness and hear them to the ground without remorse. Check out their video to their new song ‘Black Mamba’ and you’ll get the gist of what I’m trying to say and give insight as to how fucking killer Alpha Wolf are and why I think we’ll easily be hearing and seeing more of them. Fucking Killer \m/ \m/
And finally, the band that everyone came out to see tonight at our local being The Barwon Club. THY ART IS MURDER. Their latest album was in my top ten last year, a first for them in my opinion. Dear Desolation was beyond awesome! It saw the welcome return of CJ back to the band after a hiatus in which he needed to purify himself of personal demons and comeback both himself and the rest of the band did in a beyond fucking brutal fashion. And I think although they Thy Art Is Murder never truly left us, Dear Desolation was an angry yet cathartic return for them. The last time I saw them was in 2013 and I was only just being introduced to them, and honestly I was only at that gig to see Cattle Decapitation for the first time and both unfortunately and remorsefully didn’t really pay a lot of attention to Thy Art back then.
Sure, Thy Art Is Murder are a world renowned band and are highly respected and sought after and many of their legions of fans worldwide only get to see them at a festival or mini stadium shows, but back home, their bread and butter, we can get up close and personal. And that is both what I and all at the BC got. To feel the sweat, hatred and blistering perfection in an intimate connectivity with a band sharing with those of us that realised their greatness and put them on the world stage. Tonight in Geelong those of us that were present bore witness to THE unrelenting force of the Death Dealers tour that featured Thy Art is Murder, along with touring supports in Xile, Antagonist A.D. and they mighty Alpha Wolf. If you’re a fan of any of these bands and you didn’t get the chance to witness this incredibly brutal tour then I’m sorry not sorry that I was one of the privileged few that did.