Thy Art Is Murder

Dear Desolation

Written by: MAK on 30/08/2017 12:45:53

Deathcore, to me, feels like a sub-genre on its way out, because in recent years, the bands that paved its way to being the flash in the pan that it became either don’t exist anymore, are not as popular as they once were or have moved in a different direction altogether. Australian act Thy Art Is Murder is starting to fall into that latter category with their latest album, “Dear Desolation” — probably for the sake of their career. The five-piece has built a strong name for itself as one of the hardest hitting acts in deathcore since releasing “Hate” and “Holy War”. But now it looks like Thy Art’ is trying to ween itself away from the core suffix and edge towards better fitting in with the death metal scene proper.

What hasn’t changed is the all-out, brutal savagery and the creation of an uneasy atmosphere, suggesting that the Aussies certainly know where their strengths lay. What I do sense is more extreme death metal influences, reminiscent of the likes of Carnifex and Ingested, subtly being introduced into the mix. With that I mean more shredding riffs and more machine gun-ish blastbeats instead of the sea of breakdowns that used to characterise the band’s sound. The tone is more evil rather than the music being heavy just for the sake of being heavy, and “The Son of Misery” is a perfect example of this. That isn’t to say the core side has been completely abolished — just listen to the monster that is “The Skin of the Serpent. The brutality is there but it’s a bit subtler as a whole, much like it was in the song-writing of a band like All Shall Perish.

One plus-side to flaunting the extreme death metal influences shows in the expression of the musicianship; “Puppet Master” is the first real sign of this with its Lamb of God-esque intro, which presents a Mark Morton-esque guitar riff if there ever was one, as well as some actual grooves. There are also welcome creepy melodies at the start of “Death Dealer” adding to the menacing atmosphere, and the aforementioned “Son of Misery” features, I think, the first guitar solo Thy Art Is Murder has ever included in a song, one that is appealing to the ears and a beautiful contrast to the beastly, down-tuned chugs that close out the song. The other benefit of expanding musical influences is that it’s a safety net; Thy Art Is Murder could now sorely easily fit in with a more traditional metal audience than they might have with material from any of their previous albums.

“Dear Desolation” is still unapologetically heavy and we expected nothing less. We have a real shit-kicker on our hands, one that will create the nastiest of circle pits, the hardest moshes and make necks ache for days. Where this album fails, however, is that while there are melodies to balance out the heaviness, it all becomes a blur after a while. The tracks sound great on their own, but as a collection, it does get a little tedious. “Puppet Master” stands out because the fretwork is mind blowing, and the track is not dominated by overpowering blastbeats like nearly every other song on this release. The album feels like a teenager trying to figure out their place in the world, dabbling in various areas to try to figure out where they fit in. The death metal influences are a fine addition and a great combination with the core side, but more variety is needed to grab the attention.

Download: Puppet Master, The Son of Misery, The Skin of the Serpent
For the fans of: Ingested, Carnifex, All Shall Perish
Listen: Facebook

Release date 18.08.2017
Nuclear Blast Records

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