FEBRUARY 13th 2013

Review by Anka

In the last review I wrote, I was ending in a disappointed note, mentioning the multitude of hardcore releases popping up lately and how many new bands get stuck within limits and well established formulas of the genre, with feeble attempts to incorporate other elements in the mix. I thought there is always more potential to explore and diversify in this genre.  The new release I am reviewing from the Australian technical deathcore band Thy Art is Murder could actually get the same comment from me, with few exceptions. Not to say I am terribly disappointed now… but I was expecting more from this band.  The Australian metal scene has seen an incredible growth lately and if you are a metal fan from anywhere in this world and you don’t know at least one Aussie metal band, you should give yourself a serious checkup.  Now is this band going to stay in the top league with the other amazing Australian bands, well after the new release, creatively speaking – no; technically – yes, why not.

They’ve been around for quite some time, since 2005 more precisely, and they definitely impressed with their first EP ‘Infinite Death’ and the following full-length release ‘The Adversary‘, for a good reason I think. While that album was more like a brain-freezing tech bomb with amazing riffs, the new one, simply called ‘Hate’, definitely has a more prominent ‘core’ side, nevertheless the tech part is well articulated, although it doesn’t help the quality of the album much.

Altogether the album manages to sound fast and powerful. The technical part is well executed and well blended onto the generic deathcore formulas. Generic indeed, because there’s not much to hear on the deathcore side except abundant, chunky breakdowns and dull vocals with screams layered over deep growls. In other words, the dual-vocals diversity from the previous album is not there anymore. Maybe it’s an effect of the production but the vocals don’t even come across as very powerful. Add to that those repeated breakdowns and the stylistic stagnation, and it often feels like the album is not going anywhere. There are good riffs and leads on a few songs, among them ‘Gates of Misery’ and ‘Doomed from Birth’ and ‘Immolation’, but the goodness lasts for a few seconds at best and quickly turns into disappointment.

On the plus side there is heaviness, good drumming, some attention-worthy solos there (again, I expected much more from the guitars), plus some good transitions to more melodic, rather catchy sections when it vaguely feels that the songs could take a different, unexpected turn.  Blink again and you’re trapped in another avalanche of identical breakdowns that might put you off especially if you’re not that much into deathcore.

Songs to remember: Immolation, Reign of Darkness, Infinite Forms, Doomed from Birth

I wouldn’t’ call this bad but it’s uninteresting and there are insufficient qualities to hold your attention. Overall, despite short bright moments, ‘Hate’ comes off as very bland. It makes me pull my hair out when I see such gifted musicians, very good players mind you, who don’t try to get farther than this at the creative level.  You can be an amazing technical player but there will always be a kid on youtube that will cover your songs note by note before your album is even out. What’s going to differentiate you from other players, without exceptions, is the song writing, the originality, the creativity. And I know Thy Art is Murder have done it well before, it’s just a matter of trying (harder) again.