Thy Art Is Murder - Manchester Academy 06.10.2017
So I shall start by saying I love music of all genres and whilst I adore Heavy Metal, there is a line I draw when it becomes too heavy. Where guitar work just becomes heavy chugs and vocals become barely understandable guttural growls and screams. But and this is a big but, music is subjective and whilst I came here tonight already in the mindset of knowing I wasn't going to enjoy the music on offer, I still arrived excited for a different reason. Heavy Metal is stupidly fun to photograph and the energy that the crowd bring to these shows is second to none.
So this isn't a conventional review in the sense that I can't subjectively critic the bands and their offerings but instead I can give you a feel for the night and why I implore you to check all these bands out.
Justice For The Damned have the unforgiving task of going on a mere 15 minutes after doors, they still take to the stage like champions and give a strong half hour set that manages to ignite the energy of the slowly filling room, here from Australia they definitely give Manchester a performance to pay attention too.
Next up is Oceano. A quick glance around the room and I can see many adorning the bands merch and a surge towards the stage reassures me many are here to see this band tonight. They waste no time and are the first band to receive crowd surfers these evening. As stated previously the music holds no real bearing to me but all the same I can't take my eyes of front man Adam Warren as he moves around the stage like a man possessed. He is electric and keeps the energy in the room pulsing.
Next up is After The Burial, from here things really kick off and with a declaration of 'Show me how many can come over the barrier for this next song'. A declaration that creates what can only be described as carnage. The security team sadly underestimated how many they'd need in the pit with a mere two man team working the room, it was never going to work. The crowd surfers came over in hordes and despite their best efforts people were coming over too quickly and hitting the ground, one guy in particular bouncing his head off the floor hard. It got so bad me and another photographer had to down our cameras and help out. I got kicked in the head many times and covered in beer just for good measure but from here thankfully two became seven and with a padded pit of security I could continue on with my actual role for the evening. With After The Burials frontman taking the time to make sure everyone was ok the show continued at a more notably restrained pace. The thing I noted was that despite the injuries the smiles never stopped and that is another reason why Metal shows are something special.
Finally it was time for Thy Art Is Murder and the previous 'carnage' witnessed was only a mere introduction to what followed. The Australian Metaller's take Manchester by storm for the next hour with crowd surfers aplenty. Through in the acknowledgement of the recent atrocities that recently befell the city and the declaration of "How we need to remain unified" my mind is mind up that tonight it one of the best shows I've attended this year, despite not enjoying the music. Metal shows are quite simply amazing and the energy that they expel is infectious. The room was never near capacity but that didn't stop the crowd giving it their all and the bands gave it all back in kind. Overall a great night and one I hope to recreate soon.
Thy Art Is Murder - https://www.facebook.com/thyartismurder/
After The Burial - https://www.facebook.com/aftertheburial/
Oceano - https://www.facebook.com/OceanoMetal/
Justice For The Damned - https://www.facebook.com/JusticeForTheDamned/
Photos & Review - Friswell Photography