Monday 17 February 2014

Live Review : Thy Art Is Murder, Heart of a Coward, Aversions Crown, Aegaeon, The Corporation, Sheffield, UK, 2/2/2014

As is the case with everything, genres get diluted with mediocrity with every emerging scene, and yet there are those bands, which set the benchmark and are a cut above the rest. Since the emergence of the deathcore movement, whether you like it or not, the death metal scene is perhaps thriving more than it ever has in years.  Indeed, the fact that tonight’s show is packed out, is testament to that. 

Invariably, music will always polarise people and purests of the death metal scene, may not accept the association with deathcore.  Indeed tonight’s bill perhaps cannot be categorised as deathcore or death metal per se, but invariably those on the bill tonight, have taken the blueprint of those genres married them together and given the scene a 21st century makeover.  One thing is for certain they are undeniably HEAVY! 

Arriving fashionably late to tonight’s proceedings, a Sunday evening I might add and a day which is ominous given the resultant commencement of another week at work, Aegaeon Pronounced (ih-jee-uhn)  are perhaps 10 or 15 mins into their set.  An assured performance from what I am exposed too, indeed it is what we have come to expect from the death metal genre, tight beat downs, solid guitar work , double bass rumbles and growling vocals are all in abundance and made to measure for the death march ahead.

Next up is Aversions Crown, a six piece outfit from Adelaide, Australia.  What these guys present is more in the vein of deathcore.  A 3 guitar attack, laying down cacophonous  surges of riffs, with the Man / Bear vocalist as imposing a frontman you’re likely to be abused by, with his array of growled/screamed assaults.   Certainly they exude a certain decorum of confidence and they deal in clinical, technically dexterous guitar work, beatdowns and bucketloads of hate.  A guitar attack, seering the guitar neck, with made to order shred attack.  A shredders delight, for the Rings of Saturn generation.

My recollection of Heart of a Coward, stems from a free CD giveaway a few years back and I can honestly say, that I wasn’t particularly enamoured by it.  Tonight, with the front man, Jamie Graham adorning a Deicide shirt, I was fearful of perhaps more style over substance and yet, HOAC with their own brand of HEAVY was certainly a highlight, brushing aside their peers under them, with the creativity and variety of songs.  What made this evening a good night for HOAC, is having a front man, possessing confidence and enough belief in their own ability to come out fighting. 

HOAC are not necessarily that different from their peers tonight in terms of technicality, they just have better songs and immediately the crowd are on their side.  HOAC have taken the branding of the American blueprint and beat them at their own game.  For me, their music is not necessarily to my own taste, but what they do, they do really fucking well.  By no means are they reinventing the wheel, but they are doing it with more ferocity, integrity and vigour. 

There’s certainly a certain degree of foreboding before the headliners, Thy Art Is Murder hit the stage, and then we’re immediately inflicted with a hateful dose of venom, summoned forth like a vehement diatribe, from TAIM front man CJ McMahon.   Adorning a Hannibal Lector shirt, this dude looks deranged and seems intent on eating more than your goddam liver, maybe your spleen too.  This is devil’s music people and you’d better repent, because this art is most definitely, Murder!    Musical evisceration is perhaps more apt and Ladies and Gentlemen, this is as violent as music gets.  Despite their obvious brutality, the performance of TAIM is also absorbing and the crowd are just plain bonkers, fools flipping off the stage, with a trip to the chiropractor a certainty for Monday morning.  Last song, Reign of Darkness brings down the curtain on a torturous evening.  The best way to sum up tonight’s live show would be a mechanised, precise, technical and flawless performance and to coin a phrase from Fear Factory, it could be aptly titled the ‘Machines of Hate’. 

Words by : Aaron Pickford

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