Review Summary: Think for your fucking self.
These days it seems the deathcore community is in a frenzy to find the new front runner of the movement. Ever since the demise of the former leader with a certain self titled release, fans of the genre have been searching for a saving grace. Luckily, 2017 has proven to be one of the strongest years for deathcore in a long while. Bands like Chelsea Grin and Whitechapel also are phased out, and as one hard-hitting release after another comes from Fit For an Autopsy, Aversions Crown, Slaughter to Prevail, and Shadow of Intent it seems as though the community is quickly latching onto this new generation of deathcore titans. At the top of this hill though, shines Thy Art is Murder. When vocalist CJ McMahon rejoined the band earlier this year and released standalone single “No Absolution”, it felt as though he, and the rest of the band, were Atlas; holding up the sky that is deathcore. With Dear Desolation
, CJ, Lee, Andy, Kevin, and Sean have shown that they possess the strength to hold that sky with one finger each.
To put it simply, Thy Art is Murder are doing what they do best. Right off the bat and with the first half of the album we get songs chock full of frenzied drumming, frantic riffs, crushing breakdowns and anti-religiously charged lyrics. Opening track, “Slaves Beyond Death”, wastes no time getting to the madness. The catchy, bouncy, and groove-tinged main riff paired with blast beats from Lee Stanton establish the tone of a good portion of this record. As the album progresses into the next few tracks, the band’s influences start to show, and by influences I mean one influence. And by that, I mean Behemoth. It is apparent, though not distracting, that the boys in Thy Art is Murder are fans of Behemoth. We see the influence shine through in many of the tremolo riffs, and especially CJ’s vocal style, which was implemented a bit in their previous effort, Holy War
. “Son of Misery”, track two and one of the strongest on the record, has a main riff that feels like a tribute to Behemoth’s “Ov Fire and the Void”. The track doesn’t fall short in any aspect, incorporating a beatdown section reminiscent of more old-school brutal death metal. Speaking of influences, next up is the groovy, Lamb of God infused “Puppet Master”. This track’s main riff sounds as if it was ripped from a pile of old school groove band’s extras, and when that is infused with deathcore, nothing can stand in the way. That riff, paired with the consistently stellar drumming from Stanton, and the furiously vilifying lyrics makes for a track that is unbeatable my almost, if not, no Thy Art is Murder track to date.
certainly has its many soaring moments, but to sing praises of the entire record would be untruthful. The first half of the record seems to execute every idea with pristine finesse, but unfortunately many ideas in the latter portion of the record fall short of this precedent. As a whole, the riffing seems to get monotonous, and the breakdowns tend to feel less intelligently used. Specifically in “Skin of the Serpent” and “Into Chaos We Climb”, the closing breakdowns in each of these tracks are noticeably lacklustre; droning on for too long or poorly executed in general. Though I’m not here to say that this album is utterly poor in the second half. There are still many catchy riffs, and interesting moments to keep the listener intrigued by each coming song. The aforementioned “Skin of the Serpent” has a specific punch to the intro that no other track on the album seems to nail (calling to mind Hate
’s “Doomed From Birth”). On the kit, Stanton is a madman from front to back, nailing every single fill, and performing every blast beat with the precision of an owl catching its prey. As the album comes to the final track, appropriately titled “The Final Curtain”, we are met with what may be one of the strongest tracks on the album. The slow, slightly too long, intro is forgivable when the groovy drumming and ripping guitars kick in. “The Final Curtain” is a perfect closing track to a certainly excellent release.
With Dear Desolation
, Thy Art is Murder prove that they are a name that will
be on the tongues of many metal fans. Whether in the deathcore community or not, it is hard to discredit a band who, alongside making such waves in the scene, are clearly progressing and finding their sound. It is apparent that each and every member of the band is improving, with many likening Lee Stanton’s drumwork to that of Inferno of Behemoth. Andy and Sean showcase that their riff bank is far from running dry, and even earned a complement from the metal Hitler himself, Axl Rosenburg (of MetalSucks). With CJ in a better place in life, it seems as though his vocals have improved, and he has found his style finally (throwing a pig squeal into “Skin of the Serpent” was a welcomed left hook). No other band in the scene does it quite like Thy Art is Murder. Granted, some of their contemporaries may be doing things a little more innovatively (e.g. Shadow of Intent), but the Australian titans still hold the title for masters of execution. The transition into a slightly more death metal oriented style proved to work incredibly for the band, and it leaves a listener curious as to how they may build upon that transition in the future.