Written By: TIFFANY MITCHELL
Baltimore Soundstage once again held down one of this years most anticipated tours. Fans of the metal genre gathered out front and down the block to check out Thy Art Is Murder in the Double Homicide Tour. Although guitarist Andy Marsh of TAIM, jokingly made the correction in our interview saying “recently renamed The Single Homicide Tour,” because originally they were co headlining with Decapitated. While on tour in Spokane, Washington, the members of Decapitated were allegedly accused of kidnapping and gang rape of a fan on their tour bus. They were later arrested in Santa Ana, California and have since been formally charged with rape, ranging from second and third degree rape and has recently released an official statement. Rather than cancel the rest of the tour, Thy Art Is Murder along with Fallujah, Ghost Bath, Silent On Fifth Street and Alukah came to Baltimore Soundstage to rip a hole in your expectations and reign holy terror upon us.
Hometown favorites Alukah, was the perfect band to send the night on its highway run to metalville. Frontman RJ Bunda’s seriously-so-brutal vocal range, sent chills to the bone as the crowd thrashed against the barricade. Assassinating the mic with verses like this, taken from their song “Demagogue,”
“I hope you reach those rusted gates
They collapse upon your backs
So you can look into your saviors eyes
As he sets your soul ablaze”
coupled with the crushing instrumentals that followed, was evidence that Alukah deserved their stage time and the crowd reaction was confirmation of that. The next band on the bill was anything but silent, Silent on Fifth Street proved themselves worthy contenders as this local five piece made Maryland proud to call them ours. Vocalist Blake Kinnamon reached into the darkness and summoned the beast from the shadows. Hung over the house, like the eye of a storm as they dropped savage blast beats and lyrical slaughter.
Metal, death metal, hardcore or whatever you want to call it, doesn’t begin to describe the artistry of each of these bands so far. But the night wasn’t over and there was no holding back on pleasing every ticket holder as Ghost Bath took to the stage in blackness bathed in red light. Barely visible through the fog and crimson glow, atmospheric BM fills the room. Even fans who don’t get down with the sub-genre, found themselves taking part in the hair-whipping frenzy. Some call it DSBM( depressive/suicidal black metal) or shoegazing, no matter the niche genre that requires an acquired taste, Ghost Bath captivated the audience with their tormented vocals and crestfallen melodies.
Unrelenting and unyielding this tour so far had lived up to it’s title. Fallujah’s arrival incited bellows of excitement as folks packed in to the crushing point. Heads thrashed with hair-whipping fury over the barricade like waves and the mosh pit grew larger as each song passed. Breaking out songs like “Adrenaline” and “Abandon,” Fallujah’s technical skills and ethereal/ominous vocals, kept fans on the edge of crowd-surf-takeover. Limb by limb, security had their hands full catching people as they passed overhead. But wait, this mayhem soon turns into madness as Thy Art Is Murder headlines the show.
After releasing their last album Holy War in 2015, front man CJ McMahon announced he was leaving the band due to his substance abuse effecting the band and his career. In early January of 2017, they announced that CJ would be returning and there would be a new album with a tour to follow. Dear Desolation was released on August 17,2017 via Nuclear Blast and needless to say, fans were completely stoked and The Double Homicide Tour was put together and announced shortly after.
So ring the sweat from your shirt and don’t mind the tall dude posted in front of you, because once Thy Art came out mosh hysteria would commence. Beginning the show with “Dear Desolation” off their latest album, every soul in the building crammed in as CJ McMahon, Andy Marsh, Sean Delander, Lee Stanton and Kevin Butler break it down like only Thy Art can. Following up with another song off the new album, “Slaves Beyond Death” and fan favorite “Purest Strain Of Hate,” off their album called Hate. Strobe lights and fog crossed with laser lights pulse to the sound. McMahon donned in a black hooded top and black jeans delivered a heavy barrage of gutturals that singed the hair on your arms. Gloomy and depressive, doom-ridden and expressive, Thy Art continued to give showgoers exactly what they wanted. During “Shadows Of Eternal Sin,” CJ jumps off stage and jumps onto the bar, and the masses threw up their phones to catch the moment on video. Back on stage to keep the momentum going, songs like “Absolute Genocide,” “Coffin Dragger” and “The Son of Misery” made the list, and sure-as-hell motivated the mob to mosh-like-you-murdered-someone. From a fan perspective, you couldn’t have asked for a better song list or a sicker set from Thy Art. From a professional perspective, The Double Homicide Tour despite its unfortunate beginning, exceeded all expectations in lineup choice and performance execution. Baltimore Soundstage became a metal/death metal haven as it housed the genres best bands. The energy meter fuse blew past insane and total satisfaction was achieved. Folks came and left happy to have been a part of it all, as they left spent from the absolute immersion of mind, body and soul.
If you didn’t get the chance to catch The Double Homicide Tour, I hope I was able to give you some insight on what I had experienced. If you haven’t checked out at least one of the bands you don’t know on this tour, you definitely want to. Each band outdid themselves and fans will talk about this tour for months, years even. Also, check out each bands social media pages and give them a follow, download their latest album, listen to their new single or however you can support them as they work hard to bring us tours like this and the music we love.
Interview with Andy Marsh of Thy Art Is Murder:
Thy Art Is Murder: Dear Desolation
Fallujah- Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube