Albeit the death-core genre wouldn’t normally be one’s preferred choice in the world of Metal and having not heard previously of Thy Art is Murder, an open mind was needed before attempting to write this review. Needless to say if you like your technical, fast-paced death metal, incorporated with breakdowns strong enough to put you on your ass, then Thy Art Is Murder’s second full length album, Hate, must be heard.
The band kicks straight in with their opening track, ‘Reign Of Darkness’ which surprisingly seems to provide a more death metal ethos than it does –core elements and sets in motion the velocity and ferocity at which the entire album follows. Songs such as ‘Shadow of Eternal Sin’ and ‘Immolation’ are particular favourites from this album, both with traces of some of death-metals finest such as Decapitated, Hate and occasionally Nile, (yes I said it). During Shadow of Eternal Sin the light melodic, intricate guitar riffs in the background give it that Nile-esque style, but maybe that’s me losing my mind by this point and I’m really thinking of Behemoth? These songs seem to be bit more ‘old-school’ in the death metal sense and include less breakdowns than the rest of the album which I find allow me to appreciate the musical styles and tones on a different level.
The musicianship on this album, in comparison to their first release The Adversary, displays a lot more variation and diversity. The vocals have a lot more of a powerful blow behind them, with ‘CJ’ combining the use of his guttural growls, (which keep to the death metal aesthetic) and his use of some lighter screams add a nice alteration to each song. The screams are now more brutal, raw and angry and show a wider dynamic range. The guitar work by Andy Marsh and Tom Brown is definitely more intricate and complex. The guitar solos (although sometimes cheesy) work well and they’ve clearly noted how to do a solo well and not gone over-board with pointless technicality. Their dissonant breakdowns, neck-breaking tremolo riffs and the use of guitar ambiance and layering adds strength behind each song which wasn’t apparent in the first album.
These two aspects already make way for a great album, but combined with the drumming from Lee Stanton, which is quite literally fucking insane really adds something to this release. The lightning fast and crazy double bass come at you thick and fast throughout. The production on this album seems to have been dramatically improved which brings out the head-thumping blast beats and ever-increasing intensity that’s provided by the guitar riffs and clear, crisp vocals which ultimately makes your head-bang, whether you want it to or not. Although it would be good to see if Stanton is capable of producing the same flawless speed live as the drums seem to be noticeably and heavily triggered.
The last track ‘Doomed from Birth’ leaves a good impression and sums the album up nicely. Although by this point it’s become quite predictable and you seem to find the same repetitive sound that becomes quite tedious… And dear god, are there are a lot of breakdowns!
Overall every track on this album has its moments and on a whole ‘Hate’ is a top class, catchy release. Nevertheless, it has the tendency to become quite predictable by the end as it incorporates very similar elements and structures that you could find repeated by most ‘death-core’ bands. If you listen to it all the way through the songs do slowly begin to blend together until you have no idea when one song ends and a new one begins. It’s safe to say that the constant use of breakdowns doesn’t add anything special to the album either, although they do have their moments when put in the right place, but perhaps that’s just me being too cynical about the ‘death-core’ genre. Fans of the band and fans of the genre should definitely give this album a listen as it does deliver some brutal, mind-blowing sections.
- Reign Of Darkness
- The Purest Strain of Hate
- Vile Creations
- Shadow Of Eternal Sin
- Infinite Forms
- Dead Sun
- Gates Of Misery
- Defective Breed
- Doomed From Birth
Thy Art Is Murder band members:-
Chris ‘CJ’ McMahon – Vocals
Lee Stanton – Drums
Andy Marsh – Guitar
Tom Brown – Guitar
Sean Delander – Bass Guitar