Saturday, June 27, 2015

Thy Art is Murder :"Holy War"

I am not sure what death core really is. I am even more confused if it includes the kind of Meshuggah herky jerky djenty chugging that the first song on Thy Art Is Murder's new album kicks of with. This is my first time hearing this band and I am only checking them out because they are playing with King Diamond on the Mayhem Tour. I known the Devil Wears Prada and Whitechapel are both playing as well ,but I don't feel the need to check either of those out as I think the glimpses I have heard were enough to tell me they suck. The opener to this album works for me, the second song "Lightbearer" is a little more tedious. There is some atmospheric sounds echoing in the background, but nothing is really grabbing me. The drummer is good. His double bass is on point.

It is not disparaging when the vocals rasp out all the things like christ and Allah that people die  on the title track ". The guitarist is trying to playing over the drummer rather than playing with him at some points. The converging chant and chug formula is in full effect. It's not terrible. The guitar solo uses more restraint than you might imagine something like this doing. If the name Winston McCall means anything to you, then know he is on the song "Coffin Dragger", which i not really distinguished much differently than the other. I imagine this McCall fellow is the singer further back in the mix who is gruffly barking like a hard core rap.

"Fur and Claw" is another tightly triggered chug fest about human parasites. The formula is pretty apparent sometimes they speed until , throwing themselves into blasting death metal more keen on technique than the crushing power.They do not shy away from the break downs. The guitar solos become more fluid and impressive. The groove to "Deliver us to Evil' is catchier at first as well as the when they the songs title. The guitar tone doesn't dramatically shift until the song "Emptiness". It become clear and hollow for the intro before they explode back into what they do. As metal goes this is more lower common denominator and all the thinking , which is not a lot is being done for you here. This is more accessible than black metal for sure. While heavy and abrasive due to the vocals , it is not dissonant are possess any real emotional ugliness.

"VIolent Reckoning" is a similar blend of feigned menace from the multi tracked vocals and mean technical chugging from the guitar. If drumming alone was enough to make an album then this one be one of the years best metal releases for sure. Instead we get some breakdown that fall somewhere between nu-metal and hardcore. There is some atmospheric growling at the intro of "Naked And Cold" that hangs on the chord with darker determination and breaks away from the sound they have over indulged in unti lthe songs takes off. But this little shift in dynamics doesn't bore you as if they had gone right into the chugging. The solo section floats into a slower melody that also helps switch things up. I'll count the bonus track "Vengeance " as part of the album since that is how I am hearing. It doesn't really bring anything new to the table.

The album sounds good, but eventually all of the songs begin to sound the same. I know death core gets called false by more traditional metal head and I can only imagine this is because of it's nu metal leaning, the clean production makes it seem less heavy despite the best attempts of the vocals which are as guttural as your average death metal band. My finance was playing Dark Tranquility in the car the other day and I can hear similarities. I'll give this one a 6 its not bad but not blowing me away either.

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