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Our overall verdict "Excellent"
Hate - an incredibly fitting title for the second studio album from Australian deathcore outfit, THY ART IS MURDER. As you may be able to imagine from the title alone, this record is a 37 minute long relentless assault on your eardrums. Things begin slowly with the album's first single 'Reign Of Darkness', almost lulling you into a false sense of security with a haunting guitar arpeggio, tension increasing as the volume rises, and you get a sense that some serious shit is about to go down - and it's not long before it does. Before you know it, a bone rattling syncopated riff drops, reinforced by phenomenally tight drumming and some of the most monstrous vocals I have ever heard on an album. THY ART IS MURDER has made countless improvements this time around. Their previous efforts all seemed to be a perpetual mash up of lackluster sequences that would simply drag on forever. Hate sees the band tightening the screws on their song structures – they no longer stay on one section for too long, as well as having improved at transitioning between segments. Another thing THY ART IS MURDER has realised is the importance of having a strong opening to your song – which there is an abundance of on this album. As a result of all this, the record as a whole has outstanding production values and mixing, making it sound brutal, cataclysmic and atmospheric. As for the quality of individual band members, there have been some noticeable improvements since the last album. The vocals are a lot more refined and powerful now – Chris “CJ” McMahon’s screams genuinely sound bloodthirsty and merciless, as opposed to his earlier vocal work. Lyrically, Hate is also a lot more tasteful, relying less on inanely graphic notions and more on subjects of evil to a much greater scale, in a much more coherent manner. The guitar work is still fairly muddily confined to the lower strings, although it has definitely become more technical and complex since 2010’s The Adversary. With well-executed guitar solos, it’s obvious that the guitarists have pushed themselves and improved a lot since their last efforts. As far as the bass guitar goes, it’s difficult to make any sort of comment, as it seems almost non-existent within the mix – possibly down to the EQ, or possibly simply because the drummer’s blistering double bass overpowers it. The drumming on this album is absolutely fucking insane - fast, powerful and brutal. Vicious, lightning fast blast beats and double bass being employed constantly throughout the album, coupled with an ample amount of creative drum fills and rhythmic breaks - holding the record together with its well-produced sound. The massively improved production and mastering of Hate finally shines a spotlight on Lee Stanton’s outstanding drumming abilities, making the album, as a whole, sound less childishly computerized due to the use of drum triggers. Last but not least, let’s deal with the most cringe inducing topic within deathcore; the breakdowns. Yes, Hate includes breakdowns, in fact, rather a lot of them - but breakdowns can be a make or break part of a deathcore band’s sonic arsenal. Many deathcore bands implement far too many, far too often, using them as an easy solution to combat musical writer’s block and further the progress of songwriting. This, combined with the lack of effort invested into making them exceptional, can make a deathcore band sound mediocre and juvenile. However - when the time and effort are invested to implement them into songwriting tastefully, breakdowns can enormously magnify the intensity and energy of a song. Despite there being a large number of breakdowns on this album, they all leave an impression. In conclusion, if you are a fan of well-made deathcore, which I personally am, Hate will be an essential buy. This album definitely isn’t going to revolutionise the genre, but with immensely improved songwriting, musicianship, and production and mastering quality, this is THY ART IS MURDER’s best effort to date. If you’re looking for something new and heavy listen to – you’ve found it.0 Be the first to like this