Let’s face it, Em has a way with words; as you will have more likely than not noticed. With that in mind, we sent her with her camera to the Thy Art is Murder show at Leeds Stylus, and more a less just let her get on with it. As well as the photos, we were sent a very Em style review, and if you keep scrolling, you can see how she found it, and you can also see some of the photographs that were taken! Let us know in the comments if you were there.
“I really wasn’t feeling 100% today, however I somewhat pulled myself together and ended up with my press pass with my camera in my hand at Stylus. After snapping Motionless in White last December, I had a feeling that the lighting show would be similar, which broke my heart its really did. In terms of taking photos, the lighting (especially that strobe style many metal bands seem to have taken a liking to) was just another thing I had to tackle on the night. I went in with an open mind, thinking ‘yeah, I will just try my best and see what happens’.
The night gradually became worse. I had forgotten my medication, AND the bar only had the diet Red Bull. I convinced myself that the diet can would be better than nothing, and hey, I didn’t really need the £2.80 which said can cost me – another hurdle narrowly avoided.
Now onto the first band – I AM.
Me personally, I am not in a metal band, so I am unsure of the logistics of things, however despite I AM gracing the stage first for the night, I thought they did a great job. They seemed to have a good response from the audience, and I found myself nodding my head to the beat several times. I feel like there may have been a microphone issue, but the front man (like what I had been doing the full day) took it like a champ and carried on like a trooper despite the obstacle he was unavoidably faced with. One the mic had been sorted and I stopped fearing that the mic wire was going to hit me in the face, the set was full steam ahead, and you could really see the passion come through with all of the band members. I AM are from Texas USA, and as previously mentioned, they were first on the bill for the night.
Now the next band ‘Rivers of Nihill’. From the second the front man graced the stage, I had a feeling it was going to be something special. Sporting a very unique look compared to his other band mates, our front man put EVERYTHING into his performance, and his vocal work complimented the instruments and backing track VERY well. Once again, I found myself nodding my head to the beat, but I was also very happy that I had remembered my ear plugs this time; because that bass reached deep within. Like I AM, the band also sported a very erratic lighting display, and I was starting to get flashbacks from the last time I worked with hit and miss lighting. I am certain that the lighting was great, however when you had a camera in your hand with a brief to fulfil, this lighting can be your worst enemy.
Now for the third band of the night, and also the moment I feel the gig took a significant turn. The first two bands had a good reception, however the crowd had filled up significantly in time for Fit For an Autopsy.
[I also found out that they are heading Tech Fest this year, which is just a little extra trivia put in there for you guys!]
Once I had made somewhat awkward eye contact with one of the guitarists, I was ready to go in the pit with my smashed up camera and my pain levels slowly increasing. I felt this was the stage of the night where I started to crumble, and my work reflects that, however I tried my best to appreciate the performance, as Fit For an Autopsy were absolutely incredible. This was also a pivotal moment of the night, as the first crowd surfer came over the barrier during their set. Everything from the front man and his vocals, to the drummer with his intricate work, was quite honestly a match made in heaven. You can tell the lads in FFAA have been working hard for most of their lives with their music, and it is very refreshing to see a band with such talent work hand in hand with an engaged crowd.
Now, by the time Carnifex took to the stage, I honestly didn’t know where I was on the line-up. But, I took the time to not only appreciate the performance, but also get slightly wound up about the lighting. It was particularly [what I felt was] bad for taking photos in for the WHOLE of Carnifex’ set, however I tried my best to get at least one photo, and hey it happened at least.
Now back to the actual band on stage. I love it when bands get creative with face paints, costumes etc, so this was slowly becoming right up my alley. I also knew they meant business when I saw the size of the drum kit, and I was interested to see what their set would be like. Also by the time Carnifex took to the stage, the crowd was more a less full, so they had a strong crowd to play in front of. The band were very engaging and you fell compelled to watch and listen to them. Accompanied by an excellent response from the crowd (as well as more crowd surfers), they were the perfect band to play just before the headliner; Thy Art is Murder!
I have heard seriously good things about TAIM, so I was definitely excited for them to come on. And, their staging was second to none I must admit. I have shot in Stylus a lot, and I have never seen a set up quite like this one; so cudos to the TAIM lads for this. It was VERY metal, having the drum kit on a high raised platform, accompanied by the mini platforms at the front of the stage for the band members to stand on during the set; they were absolutely good to go. We also had a very unique microphone stand in the centre of the stage, and I think everyone in the room tried to take at least six photos of it (yeah, I am guilty as charged).
Before the set had even started, there were an array of party songs playing, and honestly I have never seen a bunch of metal fans knock out the shapes that they did. Accompanied by the flashing vibrant coloured lights, I honestly thought I was in Fruity Friday and not a Metal gig.
Once this party was brought to a stop, it was time for the headliners to take to the stage. The crowd were beside themselves at this point, and before TAIM had even began to play, we had people shouting that they loved the front man, and you could see people were bracing themselves for some serious two stepping and head banging. I am also certain that the crowd was at capacity by this point, so TAIM had a big crowd to impress; which turned out to be a piece of cake for them.
I was still somewhat thrown off by the lighting for Carnifex, however I remained positive, and was deep down praying I would get at least ONE photo of the headliners. But less about me, let’s get into Thy Art is Murder:
A straight up production from the start to the end. Literally from the second they entered the stage, the crowd were drawn in, and every note was PERFECT. The front man has some of the cleanest vocals I have ever heard, and I honestly felt at times like I was at a Parkway Drive gig; that’s how good Thy Art is Murder are. This genre of music isn’t my first choice, however I was in awe and simply couldn’t look away or stop listening. The crowd response was also incredible, and at one point I stopped taking photos and was just stood there watching the crowd lose their mind to the impeccable performance from TAIM.
Once my first three songs in the photo pit was over, it was time for the real fun to begin. Having created an online publication perfectly named ‘Crowdsurf Online’, my main goal is to capture as many surfers with my camera as possible, and boy, I was spoilt for choice tonight. I also really enjoy looking for people who stand out for various reasons. it could be a striking look, the way they are feeling the music, or someone who I think I recognise but I am not entirely sure. Needless to say, by this point, not only was I having the time of my life, I had forgotten about my painkillers still been in my flat, and me experiencing terrible pain as a result. Music really does help with pain kids; tonight proved that.
My advice to you after tonight? Go listen to all of the bands who were on the line up, and especially check out Thy Art is Murder. What they did tonight was sheer art”.