Thy Art Is Murder // Erra // Shadow Of Intent // Fit For A King // Alpha Wolf // Live Review // The Limelight // Belfast

Tuesday, June 18th has been in the diary for quite a while ….

One of the best lineups Belfast has ever seen lands tonight in the  Limelight I, you could be forgiven for thinking it’s a mini-fest all of its own! Any of these bands could be headlining the Limelight in their own right, but tonight off we have no less than 5 stellar bands all at the very top of their game slamming in right here in Belfast.

Up first are Alpha Wolf all the way for Australia and having released their new album ‘Half Living Things’ they’re here with a barrage of tracks to make their mark on the Northern Irish crowd. Tonight’s affair kicks off ridiculously early with the volume of bands hitting the stage so doors at 6pm followed by Alpha Wolf at 6:30 means most people here are landing in straight from work and have that grey balls busted look on their face, soon to be wiped off by this majestic Aussie band. I’ve known of Alpha Wolf for a while now but reputation, putting out press and via a tog who’s the channel I watch on the Tube who shoots the guys back home in Oz, so it’s no surprise when they rage the stage and decimate it regardless of time of day. They only play one way, balls out, pedal to the floor, relentless and unforgiving punishing the N.Irish crowd again and again with a barrage of modern metal classics.

It’s just fucking great having these guys on our shores, much like fellow Aussies ‘Gloom In The Corner’ who sprinkled their own brand of Aussie chaos a few weeks back, Alpha Wolf are another level, the journey from Oz to the UK is a killer, not just the flight but the expense for these guys and the commitment to make it happen has to be appreciated. In a blistering lineup like this, Jesus H even better. I said it already #majestic

 

 

Up next Dallas Texas Metalcore giants Fit For A King, another band with a gargantuan reputation and one again that is worthy of headlining a show here in Belfast. The room tonight is dappled with local musicians from all the best bands we have. All here to see their musical heroes do what they do dreaming of emulating the very same some day themselves. There’s no shortage of tattooed ladies or wannabe rockstars here tonight, the room is packed with like-minded metal heads all craving that hit! Gimme gimme gimme more!

Fit For A King hit the stage at 7:20, there’s a quick turnaround between bands so very little time to catch your breath tonight! Right from the off they unleash a brutal attach on the senses though with a slightly more melodic flare than Alpha Wolf who was just gnarly! FFAK like many of the bands on tonight’s bill play Belfast for the very first time, yet again trying to encourage bands to travel all the way from the States to the UK then make that additional hop across the Irish Sea to play Dublin and Belfast is an alright ask, so the Belfast crowd really do appreciate it! FFAK responded in kind with a breathtaking performance worthy of their reputation. All guys are on fire with their bassist rocking the fuck out throwing that bass around his neck every chance he can, just as well there is distance between the pit and the stage or I’d be clocked the fuck out no doubt. One thing I always love about catching US and Aussie bands is the sheer exhilarating performances they give live, unmistakable, unforgiving, it’s just a crazy beautiful thing to watch in the flesh!

The screams after every song are as deafening as the set itself! The chaos ensuing in the middle of the room speaks volumes for the thirst of the Belfast audience for a good ol’ hoe down! All that pent up aggression being spilt out like blood on the dance floor, it may be a school night but Belfast has turned up! Another killer set from one killer band.

 

 

Up next is Connecticut Deathcore band Shadow Of Intent, another new band to our shores and well known for their reputation. Independently releasing their music for the last few years that hasn’t stopped them building up an army of fans across the globe laying waste to whatever stage they grace. Tonight The Limelight plays host these beauties and I for one am easy for the full in your face experience!

Shadow are a totally different kettle of fish as we say here in Norn Ireland from the other bands on the bill, more Deathcore focused in sound, darker, more haunting guitar lines inbetween the behemoth riffage. A total assault on the senses, it is punishing and unforgiving but a palette cleanser co

mpared to the Metalcore that proceeded and still with Erra and Thy Art to conclude tonight’s festivities the best is yet to come! Shadow played a blinder, a brutal violent set from start to finish they are indeed a breathtaking band!

 

 

Erra take to the stage next and yet another new band to me and these shores, no stranger the music as a live entity I have yet to experience error in the flesh. Going by the Barnes which proceeded them this evening, I have no doubt the quality will be sublime.. are a highly experienced band, playing with the lights off as I lay dying AUGUST BURNS RED and TESSERACT these guys know how to deliver live.

When these guys hit the stage it’s another level once again, back to the Metalcore goodness I know and love and with a glorious melodic quality all whilst being wrapped up in a savage hefty package. Strangely for the first time tonight the bodies are only starting to come over the top, Belfast seems a little reserved that way  holding back to the penultimate band!

Erra create glorious sonic landscapes that just pull you in and with that melodic edge resonates with the audience who need more than just the heft, a blend of clean and guttural vocals makes for a change against a backdrop of some seriously heavy music tonight. The response in the room is clear for everyone to see, they love Erra and the band have the Belfast massive eating out of the palm of their hand. To be honest though they have everything in their arsenal, from glorious melodic to cinematic sounding anthems that have you screaming along in unison. Four bands down and one more to go, the people of Belfast will be going home battered and bruised but they will not forget this night for a very long time.

 

Here we go, 10pm and Thy Art Is Murder are about to take the stage and set the Limelight alight like no other tonight! Headlining a bill such as this you’ve earned your stripes, put in the miles and know how to command a stage! It’s a shorter than usual 1 hour set but welcome to Norn Ireland it’s dark ages opening hour policy! Me I’m ready for my bed! This has been a gruelling week of gig after gig, I am very very lucky to be front and centre taking it all in, but a man’s gotta pay the bills doing other things too and shizzle is burnt out ta fuck ! Just gotta make it to the weekend ! That’s if Thy Art doesn’t kill me first!

This is it, Australian Deathcore crew Thy Art Is Murder bring tonight’s proceedings to a close, a cacophony of riffage slayed all who dared to attend this evening and one last band is going to push it all over the edge.

Let’s do this!

I cannot lie, as I am standing in the pit listening to I believe The Vengaboys of all music I am shattered! A broken man awaiting the final band of the evening, as Thy Art slowly saunter onto the stage all of that tired cloud was about to disappear in a tornado of sound! The heft coming from the stage is unholy! A barrage on the senses, huge sounding guitar, bass, drums and killer vocals blow any cobwebs into next week.

Thy Art have an amazing collection of track to pull from a sizeable back catalog opening up with ‘Destroyer’ and Belfast is loving it, within seconds the room becomes a warzone as the request for it to split in two is seized upon by blood thirsty metalheads all dying to oblige, when the riffs land the room explodes into chaos and all is well in the metal world once again.

The set this evening is short and sweet with a packed bill, but that doesn’t stop Thy Art reigning supreme amongst all who shared the stage with them tonight as they command that stage like no other. The more subdued presence of the band builds the tension as the music is punishing all below who have waited to catch these Aussie maestros do what they do. Its majestic, tight as a tiger and unrelenting the assault on the senses just comes one track after another, no rest for the wicked they just keep giving and the Belfast crowd keep taking it on the chin! By the time the final chords ring out and the lights come on, the audience and band alike are dripping in sweat! Belfast has witnessed one of the best lineup’s in a small venue like this, at most maybe you get 3 bands together and one may be local, but tonight was something really special. My ears are ringing like fuck! which means it was one quality night!

Thank you one and all for making the trip, bringing it across the pond to our shores, it means more than you know!

Review & Photos: Mark McGrogan

@flashartmark #flashartmark