To find Alexandra Palace, you have to traverse a minefield of roundabouts and hilly areas before the you get to the venue, the Palace standing out like a rural lighthouse, juxtaposing the London skyline with the natural features. There aren’t many venues like Alexandra Palace, and Thy Art Is Murder know it.
“When you walk up those stairs and you see these bands that have played, not even metal bands, just iconic bands, it’s just insane,” bassist Sean Delander told Noizze on the afternoon prior to their show supporting metal monsters Parkway Drive. The band are capping off a wildly successful response to new album Reverence with another series of face-melting shows, and the London date at one of the capital’s great venues is another jewel in the crown of metal’s last 18 months.
“Every show is like the biggest show we’ve ever done,” continues Delander, clearly aware of the growth that metal has taken recently, especially in support of Parkway Drive. “I think this is the biggest show Parkway have ever done, too. London is always crazy, we played our biggest headline here, too. I think tonight will be the one.”
Thy Art Is Murder, who are arguably now the bar by which extreme metal is now set, have been a part of some incredibly impactful show line-ups over their tenure and are intent on making their presence felt alongside bands for whom they refer to as “friends for years” in Killswitch Engage and Parkway Drive.
Does the mentality change for a support band? Sean agrees to an extent, calling the opening a “a battle to win the crowd or warm them up” but also that expectations are “different.” “To get any type of response means more, y’know,” he concludes.
Thy Art are touring following their album Dear Desolation, which displayed the classic Thy Art blue-print of pummelling drums, soaring guitars and the typical growls of vocalist CJ McMahon, but despite the uniformity of their musical production, the process is an incredibly natural one.“We’ve been going for a decade and people mature, even right down to our producer who may work with different guys – but we feel more comfortable with our music now than we ever have.”
Delander continued, describing the process of writing as an “organic experience” (quite unsettling to think music that sounds so unabashedly evil could come to a band naturally) with single 'Death Perception' being the latest concoction of the bands whirlwind metal blasts. Sean goes on to assure that this was simply a “one-off song but, could also be a hint of what’s to come” from Thy Art -which is very reassuring, because it absolutely bangs.
The material hasn’t been the only thing that is new, with stand-in drummer Jesse Beahler temporarily filling in for Lee Stanton. “He’s doing an awesome job, they are difficult shoes to fill, but he’s amazing.” An understatement from Sean, as following a death-metal drummer with the reps of Stanton should be more akin with attempting to follow Vincent Van Gogh with a paint-by-numbers book.
Thy Art’s reputation globally comes not only off the back of the consistent quality of their material but their awareness of their role as a deathcore ‘bench-mark’. Made particularly apparent by the ‘Make Deathcore Great Again’ hats that were distributed as merchandise following a very public media spat with Suicide Silence - the band knowingly accept their role going forward: “We’ve done well in our genre, so there’s a bit of responsibility and element of being looked up to and wanting to bring bands up, like how Parkway did, who were really one of the first Australian bands going here.”
It appears to be working, Thy Art are part of a recent trend that has propelled metal further forward, especially in Britain as bands like Architects, While She Sleeps and Parkway are finding huge success alongside the more public sales recorded by former metal-band Bring Me The Horizon. A renaissance for metal? Sean was typically humble.“I don’t know, it’s hard to say while being a part of it, but it always goes through cycles.”
It seems, as expected, Thy Art are very much focusing on the mantra shared by their merchandise: Making Deathcore, and perhaps by extension metal, Great Again. We are eternally grateful.