Being an avid music monitor, I often discuss with some of my friends about modern metal or metal in general. Yesterday I asked one of my friends about his favourite metal genre; without much hesitation he screamed “Deathcore!”. When questioned about his favourite band, he answered: “Thy Art Is Murder, Red Chord and Glass Casket”. That is where Thy Art Is Murder stand among the deathcore fans; always the first one to pop on one’s mind.
After a short hiatus, Thy Art Is Murder is back with a bang as their new album Dear Desolation is ready to hit the shelves on August 18. This much awaited album got a good reception among the fans when the band released a couple of singles, but on the other hand, some of the deathcore enthusiasts were worried about the release as the album shows fewer deathcore elements. Following this album ever since they dropped the first single, I blindly judged that it can be generalised as a “death metal with breakdowns” record. Well, let us see how accurate was my assumption.
Persistence is a sin when it comes to music. No one wants to hear the same tune over and over again. Evolution is what we, the listeners, require. Keeping that in mind, TAIM starts an expedition towards achieving a unique sound, the band showcases different elements ranging from the juicy djent essence of Meshuggah to the groovy yet brutal tone of Decapitated.
Following the death metal route inspired by a wide range of metal acts such as Morbid Angel, Decapitated, Black Dahlia Murder etc., Dear Desolation does have strong deathcore roots as most of the songs on the record portray a breakdown-centric sound often intertwined with death metal-esque growls from C.J McMahon. Surprisingly some of the C.J’s growls are a bit distinguishable unlike a lot of other deathcore vocalists.
Lee Stanton showcases his skills on blast beats and swiftly executed double-bass kick pedals which add an extra hue to their brutal sound. Breakdowns are raw, heavy, ugly, nasty… I could go on appreciating the way they execute the breakdowns. For instance, you have a relentless breakdown followed by a euphonic solo in “Son of Misery” whereas “Puppet Master” features a heavy chuggy breakdown after a minute long build up. One cannot simply stop listening to the first set of songs, as they lay the perfect, strong foundation for the rest of the tracks on this album.
Lyrically the album revolves around death, anxiety, nihilism and other serious topics. In order to sum up the theme of the record, it is pretty much an album of culture, community and environment. Speaking of the thematic aspects, “Man is the Enemy” strikes my mind. As interesting as the name, instrumentally the song surpasses a lot of deathcore songs and might well be a track that will get a good reception among TAIM fans, similar to that which “Reign Of Darkness” got. Dwelling on the same adrenaline rush, the album becomes more complex and raw as time elapses. The complexity can be observed when the band tries to incorporate an atmospheric sound through the chorus of “The Skin Of The Serpent” which consequently ceases with a heavy chainsaw-like breakdown destined to behead said Serpent! Incorporating atmospheric texture works well as the songs following “The Skin of The Serpent” reflect the same.
Dear Desolation is an album which causes goosebump dysfunction disorder in listeners. Ideal guitar works wrapped across typical death metal/deathcore drumming which compliments C.J’s vocals. For all those who mourn over Suicide Silence and Whitechapel, this album might make them happy. Plus, good news for deathcore enthusiasts, this album is not borderline death metal, you do get some nice deathcore essence.
It is very much safe to say that Thy Art Is Murder are the new torchbearers of modern deathcore. Dear Desolation will surely get existing fans as well as new listeners hooked since the album as a whole seems to be perfect, apart from one or two tracks that fail to deliver a punch. That being said, Dear Desolation might end up being one among the best metal/deathcore releases of 2017.
Dear Desolation is out on August 18th