Review Summary: Take a good Tech Death album, strip it of emotion and variety and you will get The Adversary.
After releasing their first EP back in 2007, Thy Art Is Murder went under a few line-up changes regarding their ex-vocalist Brendan Van Ryn and since then, have welcomed newcomer vocalist, CJ McMahon. With the new line up ready to go, Thy Art Is Murder went to the studio to record their debut album. So, how does The Adversary hold up?
Well, not great to be honest.
It’s all around a very solid album, ticking the boxes for both technicality and brutality, and new vocalist CJ is more than capable of dishing out the deep, guttural vocals. The problem really lies in the repetition and tediousness of each and every song. Because of the way the new material sounds, it’s very hard to differentiate between each track, which in turn, makes it hard to tell where one song ends and the next begins. I found that the record as a whole failed to maintain my interest for too long and soon noticed that I quickly went from tracks 6 through 10 without noticing much of a change in sound at all.
I also noticed that the construction for every song is relatively similar to the one that precedes it. It starts off with some slow chugs or heavy drum beats and then moves onto a range of fast brutal spasticity. Throw in a breakdown or two and then keep going on until you get to the sudden climax. It may sound harsh, but the whole record feels like a 40 minute improvised jam, which has been arbitrarily divided and named.
Each member can perform exceptionally with my only gripes concerning the vocalist and bassist. While the vocals are harsh sounding and brutal, they get to the point where they become a little too deep and it becomes hard to decipher what he’s saying. Even for music such as this I expect a little flexibility. The problem with the Bass is common for a lot of bands in which it is practically inaudible, which is a shame because a good use of bass could have really added an extra dimension to the whole album.
I can admit that I’m being quite harsh on the band, because it is a solid album, and they all play their respective instruments well, it just lacks variety. Die-hard fans of the band are sure to dig it, but there’s really not a lot to be found here, especially considering so many other bands pull off the genre better (The Red Shore and The Faceless to name a few). In the end, Thy Art Is Murder’s debut album is a fast and brutal technical death metal album, but its absence of variety and sheer repetitiveness makes it hard to recommend.