February 21, 2023 – On a cold February evening, Australia’s Thy Art is Murder brought their Decade of Hate tour to the House of Blues, Las Vegas. With them they brought Australian deathcore outfit, Justice for the Damned; Texas death metal, I AM; New York death metal Undeath; and Texas hardcore/metalcore outfit, Kublai Khan Tx. It was an incredible evening of some of the finest in death metal/deathcore/hardcore that I’ve seen in this venue in a very long time. – and I am not disappointed by that one bit!
I had never seen these bands prior to this evening, so there’s that as well.
Justice for the Damned
Justice for the Damned hail from Australia. This tour is their very first time in the states. No, really. They’ve never ventured here prior to this, so this tour is a big deal for them. This is apparent with their performance. Passionate, intense, and also a vibe of gratefulness to be playing in front of new faces so far from home. Definitely interested in seeing what this launches for these guys! (I 100% admit to following them on Instagram not long after I had my 3 songs in the pit.)
To keep up with these guys, or check them out for the first time head on over to these links!
Really nothing bad to say about the guys in I AM. They are relentlessly who they are, and that’s something that absolutely comes out in their performance. They hold a very prominent, “This is who we are, and fuck you if you don’t like it.” attitude and that’s something that I have always had a lot of respect for. I believe they said they hadn’t played Vegas since 2019 with Despised Icon downtown. They appeared to be ecstatic to be playing on this particular bigger stage. These guys really helped keep the energy high and the fans excited!
I’ve seen and heard quite a bit about New York’s UNDEATH lately. These guys were here back in November as well and this set made me kick myself for not checking them out in that more intimate venue. Their vocalist looked so happy, but then spat out the most brutal of vocals and I love that. These guys are absolutley one that you should be sticking around for on any of their opening spots. Hopefully we’ll see them come back as a headliner eventually. They are more than worthy of that!
Kublai Khan Tx
Okay. We’re not even going to talk about how much I suck for never having seen these guys before. KUBLAI KHAN TX is one of the most intense bands I’ve seen on the House of Blues floor! They hold a bit more hardcore vibes; but that didn’t really matter all that much. The crowd went absolutely nuts for these guys and it’s one of those things that you just need to see to believe and understand. Go see these guys whenever you have the chance too. Seriously.
Kublai Khan Tx toured opening up for Thy Art is Murder a decade ago for the “Hate” release touring cycle as well. An appropriate and perfect final opener for the night.
Thy Art Is Murder
Alas, the reason for this night. THY ART IS MURDER. As the tour title states, Decade of Hate came to fruition to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the band’s sophomore release, HATE.
The album was originally released on October 19, 2012; but was re issued on April 5, 2013 via Nuclear Blast Records after they signed with them. This records was recieved by the public seemingly well, which is a big deal for this genre of music. This release is labeled as deathcore, but some outlets and reviews highlight the push away from the cliche’s of the genre. Other outlets weren’t as positive, but the album landed Thy Art is Murder as a nominee for the ARIA Award for Best Hard Rock or Heavy Metal Album. (This award was first awarded to Parkway Drive in 2010, and it exists to highlight Austrailian artists.)
As mentioned at the beginning, this entire night was way up there on the energy front. Thy Art is Murder’s set was no exception to that observation. The band was moodily lit under changing dark red and blue lights. Vocalist CJ McMahon slithered back and forth across the stage while delivering his varied styles of guttural vocals. Crowd surfers flew over the baricades as they did the entire night, and the die hard fans can be seen screaming the songs with love at the band. This exchange of energy is always special, it’s one of my favorite things about live music in general.
Thy Art is Murder played the entire Hate record in full, along with encoring with “Death Squad Anthem” from 2019’s Human Target; “Holy War” from the 2015 record of the same name; and “Puppet Master” from 2017’s Dear Desolation. I did not see one disappointed face in this venue following this set. Just a bunch of happy metalheads everywhere!
No complaints on my end, I left very happy, and I hope to see these guys wreck the stage again in the future. I also hope we continue to see heavy tours make their way back to the House of Blues.
All live photos by Courtney Ware for ZrockR Magazine 2023. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.