For Fans Of
Blacktown’s Thy Art Is Murder became the biggest new upstart act in 2012 when ‘Hate’ kicked down the door to the international music scene and committed diabolical mass murder on their ears with what was one of the heaviest albums in recent memory. Three years on, the follow-up effort looms ominously over our heads like a darkened, sharp and ludicrously heavy guillotine, ready to decapitate us all with Thy Art’s incredibly intense brand of metal.
Not surprisingly a metal band has an album called ‘Holy War’, which is about the negative, violent and destructive parts of religion and its far-reaching influence, which can sometimes do more harm then good. Now, that’s just us putting it politely, as the lyrics are anything but polite (‘Die for Christ, die for Allah, die for Jerusalem’ anyone?). But, let’s be honest, you all knew that was the case already. So basically, if you hate the establishment of religion and the failures of the state, you’ll love this album. If you loved ‘Hate’, then again, you’ll love this album.
‘Holy War’ is at first glance; a very familiar listen. There are still blast beats, breakdowns, bass drops, misanthropic lyrics, and of course, this comes from one of the heaviest bands Australia has to offer. Yet, despite the lack of contrast between this and ‘Hate‘, these songs are just as fast, just as heavy, and you just know that they will make many a punter lose their fucking minds when these tracks are played live. Also, there is no excess fat to be ingested here, as each of the ten songs is memorable in their own way, whether it be for the vocal delivery, the lyrics, the drumming etc.
A lot of the riffs and the drumming (in particular) have stronger elements of groove, which does help to break up the pace of the songs nicely. The guitar solos are just as sweet as ever, McMahon’s voice is deeper and more powerful (somehow) and Lee Stanton’s drumming is as on-point as he’s ever been. While it’s lazy, we have to say that you just listen to the whole fucking record, as it’s littered with many a moment to support each and every claim.
Just as McMahon stated in our interview with him, ‘Fur And Claw’ is some of the fastest and heaviest material the band has created to date, and when you really think about, that’s really saying something! ‘Fur And Claw’ is arguably one of the best song’s Thy Art have ever written in their career thus far.‘Coffin Dragger’ (the most metal song name of 2015?) is another hectic, pummelling affair and it carries even more weight with Parkway Drive’s Winston McCall providing his signature vocals alongside McMahon to help make one of the best moments on the album. Another nearly unforgettable moment is the pit-call/breakdown combo in ‘Deliver Us To Evil’ of ‘Bow To Your Empty God!’ which makes this reviewer lose his shit each and every time it comes on (no, not literally, that’d be mad gross).
Otherwise it’s basically business as usual with songs like ‘Light Bearer’, ‘Absolute Genocide’ (which is similar in nature to ‘Reign Of Darkness’; both are the opening songs on their respective albums), and the-fast-and-heavy-to-slow-burning ‘Naked And Cold’ is as misanthropic and aggressive as they could ever possibly come.
Obviously ‘Holy War‘ is somewhat of a generic record as far as metal record go in 2015, but it’s hard to revolutionise a particular style without alienating fans left, right and centre, or without stepping out of the very genre you were initially trying to change up. So, in that regard many fans may think this is a “safe” album, but fuck, if this is the band playing it safe, we’d hate to think what it’d be like if they tried to be dangerous…
Somehow, some-fucking-how Thy Art Is Murder have managed to make a record that is heavier than their breakthrough sophomore, ‘Hate’. Not only is it heavier, it’s also just as good, if not better. The subtle differences and improvements in instrumentation (way more groove and projected screams for example) and sonic characteristics (the gloriously deep mix) add to the already delectable stirring pot of audible glory that the band provided three years ago. Thy Art Is Murder have somehow managed to make an album that is heavier than ‘Hate’.With ‘Holy War’, Thy Art Is Murder have served up yet again one of the best metal albums in recent memory.
1. Absolute Genoicide
2. Light Bearer
3. Holy War
4. Coffin Dragger
5. Fur And Claw
6. Deliver Us To Evil
8. Violent Reckoning
9. Child Of Sorrow
10. Naked And Cold