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  • Charlotte Claber

Thy Art Is Murder come crashing back

Updated: Jan 13

Lights off, chants of ‘CJ’ begin. Manchester marks the first UK show after the return of Thy Art Is Murder frontman CJ McMahon to his once abandoned band. Guitarist, Andy Marsh confirms there was no doubt that fans would accept the vocalist back with anything but open arms. Kicking into the well known ‘Holy War’, pits open, fans crowd surf and the crowd screams along word for word. The room holds nothing but love for the Australian quintet completed by Lee Stanton, Sean Delander and Kevin Butler

Guitarist Andy Marsh earlier explained Holy War saying “It’s kind of ironic as the song was inspired by Salman Rushdie who wrote the satanic verses. He was head-hunted and had a fatwa put on him by the Iranians and I thought it would be ironic to make a song that was about someone having a fatwa taken out on them that would then bring a fatwa upon our band. But it didn’t really… But I guess it was a small worry that we would insult some muslims and they might blow us up.” Quickly finishing the song CJ silences the crowd in order to thank them for their continued support but reminds them, if it wasn’t for the other members of the band Thy Art Is Murder wouldn’t be the band they are and is quick to encourage chants of “Thy Art”. The band then follow into ‘Light Bearer’ and then swiftly into ‘The Purest Strain of Hate’ which Marsh believes is a crowd favourite as always along with ‘Holy War’ and ‘Reign of Darkness’.

Thy Art Is Murder are often seen as a controversial band and when questioned about the nature of the album Marsh replied with “I didn’t think it was that controversial. People are still running around blowing themselves up because of the promise of paradise. People are still indoctrinating their children into some kind of false belief system and I was sick of it.I didn’t think it was that controversial, it’s a real thing that happens and has done for 2000 years. I thought that if we made the album cover the way that we did, it might draw people’s attention to the message. Also, the child on the cover is a son of a dear friend, who’s also a lesbian so that was a fun touch!” As a band who are often attacked for their war on religion the band remind people “It’s not a holy war in sense of that it’s a Jihad, or a war between the Christians and the Crusades, trying to conquer Europe, it’s just a war on things that are holy. Its some form of double entendre in a way. For the album, the message is still valid, until we push most people’s belief systems and politics out and base many things on logic, reason and science, it will remain a valid message. We should disregard nonsensical information and start being smarter.”

CJ then once again silences the crowd, thanking every band on the line up for Impericon festival and everyone involved. Calling it an honour to play alongside the bands featured in the day and in front of the crowd, the band show nothing but gratification for everyone, with a sense of love filling the room once again.

Fans of the band show true dedication as lyrics echo around the room, though CJ is quick to criticise the lack of crowd surfers so shows them how it’s done. The crowd erupts with roars of applause when ‘Absolute Genocide’ kicks in with potentially one of the days largest pits opening in the centre of the venue. Again the revellers bring true spirit to Manchester and show Thy Art Is Murder, why the UK loves them so much. Closing the set with ‘Reign Of Darkness’ the fans have one last hurrah. A song that is described by Marsh as being “About a child abuse victim, seen through the eyes of the abuser”, the crowd launch into one final pit whilst chanting lyrics of true anger and hate along with the band. There is no doubt that Thy Art is back with full force and Impericon festival has proved to many that they are ones not to be missed, after a short refuel CJ is back for good.