Thy Art Is Murder / Make Them Suffer

Sound Control, Manchester, UK
10/08/2015

We headed inside in time to see Make Them Suffer take to the stage. Before the support act even enter the limelight, the venue is ram packed with as many onlookers as it can handle. It’s clear that the special guests are special, enough to perform their own headline at such a venue if they wanted and this will hopefully be the encouragement needed for just that to happen in the future.

The band open up with some atmospheric soundscapes and melodic piano before the first riff saws through the listeners ears. When the sub drop hits the crowd: “Woah”s are heard travelling to the back of the venue as the bass consumes the room like a tidal wave, it’s palpable.

A combination of crisp and ranged vocals, low tuned guitars, breakdowns, blasts and ambient piano confirms three things: 1) Make Them Suffer are a huge talent 2) the sound engineer is incredible 3) people will get down to this with whatever space they can move in.
The onslaught continues with soaring vocals, groovy tech riffs and vocalist, Sean Harmanis’ persistent encouragement for violence from the crowd. Thankfully, the evening’s crowd killers had already been dealt with and the show could remain enjoyable without the fear of a flailing arm to the face, but with all the fun of a pit; the lack of room from the full capacity helps with crowd control. After one last assault, the band leave the stage to a huge cheer which, if not for the excitement of Thy Art Is Murder’s presence, would probably be accompanied with an outcry for an encore.

Thy Art Is Murder arrive on stage and don’t waste a second before breaking into Reign Of TAIM 1Darkness. This, being a song from Hate, might seem like a strange way to open up the Holy War tour but it’s a fan favourite that instantly ignites them into a frenzy. It’s clear from the start that this is going to get rowdy and the audience are ready: hands in the air, shouting back the lyrics as C J McMahon’s vocal chords overpower the entire room’s attempts, leaving just enough space for them to scream the hook “You will see the true face of panic”. This is not a crowd of visitors, this is a sold out room of dedicated followers and C J has found his own altar, the stage. Thy Art Is Murder leave no gap as they jump straight into Light Bearer; the transition into the latest album, Holy
War, is both seamless and relentless. The new material demonstrates more adept guitar work: the solos are executed perfectly and the sound for the first tour of the Holy War album is water tight, stitched together by drummer, Lee Stanton, with machine like precision.

taim 11The band continue to weave between old and new
, the familiarity of the Hate album keeping the horde chanting along and the current, topical works of Holy War demonstrating the progress of Thy Art Is Murder. There is a brief break in music as C J McMahon takes the time to have the crowd applaud themselves along with the security who are doing a great job catching the crowd surfers, “Don’t fight him; let him catch you”. The band are humbled by the support shown and although, they could easily sell out a much larger venue, the intimacy of Sound Control with a band as prominent as Thy Art Is Murder makes for an incredible atmosphere. This is also a great time for the band to announce that Thy Art Is Murder will be returning to the U.K, in January, with Parkway Drive. The audience are blown away and the show continues with Coffin Dragger, notable from the latest album for its guest vocals featuring Parkway Drive’s own, Winston McCall. Winston isn’t present on this tour but C J handles the additional duties with ease, as you’d expect from someone with the unrivaled range of grunts and squeals that have been honed for almost 2 decades. We do, however, get to see some guest vocals tonight, not just from the crowd being handed the mic but from none other than This Is Turin’s, Darryl Jones, who takes to the stage for some well-deserved self-promotion.
taim 5 copyEver the motivational speaker and amiable audience manipulator, C J plays the sold out audience against our American counterparts, claiming a circle pit was had in the states that
encompassed the sound desk. The Manchester crowd react and use what little space is left of Sound Control as the pit consumes the room from the stage to the bar, a true homage to the exceptional sound engineer and another reason for Thy Art Is Murder to come back and destroy us again in January. After one last re-visit to the Hate album we finish up with the title track for both the Holy War album and the tour. C J asks one favour of the crowd, to chant “HOLY WAR!” every time he raises his fist, the sweat-drenched crowd oblige and the eerie tones start us off on the final charge. The audience participation is huge and the beholden frontman gets in close to touch skin with as much of the overwhelmed crowd as he can, all in appreciation for the dedication and support shown by them.

I am in no doubt, after seeing Thy Art Is Murder sell out so many dates of their tour, and to return with Parkway Drive, that this is the last time we will get to see a band of such magnitude play in such a modest venue. There was enough heat to cook a crowd but it was worth every drop of sweat to bear witness to such an ardent and intimate show.