Split releases in the metal world aren’t something you see a whole lot of these days, especially at a major label level. So when I heard that Thy Art Is Murder, Fit For An Autopsy AND The Acacia Strain were releasing a split of six songs, I immediately got very keen. Three of the best deathcore bands in the world releasing three new songs and three cover songs on the same release? And with Will Putney producing it!? Sign me the hell up! ‘The Depression Sessions’ certainly had a lot of hype to live up to, but it doesn’t fully deliver. But let’s get into the ‘why’.
First up, Thy Art Is Murder.
Recent single ‘They Will Know Another’ doesn’t stray into new music territory for the band, not by any means but don’t take that as a downside. It’s unmistakably their usual sound and it’s fittingly the last track released with former vocalist CJ McMahon. The lyrics are, of course, dark and bleak. Whereas the production is, in essence, the same as their last outing, ‘Holy War’; tight and very, heavy. The cover song they chose was ‘Du Hast’ by Rammstein. Oh, yeah. And it is ridiculous!
It’s easily the best of the three cover tracks and the band really put their own spin on the original. Is it a bit silly? Yeah, that comes with the territory when you’re playing a damn Rammstein song. But it’s good to see an almost lighthearted moment from a band that so frequently focuses on some truly dark subject matter.
Now, onwards to Fit For An Autopsy.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I really do like this band. ‘Absolute Hope, Absolute Hell’ is one of the few deathcore releases from the last two years that I’ve properly enjoyed. Unfortunately, though, ‘Flatlining’ is rather boring. The pitched screams are cool, for sure, but this is undoubtedly a B-side song. Their cover of Nine Inch Nails’s ‘The Perfect Drug’ is very cool, however. It’s hard to do a band such as Nine Inch Nails justice, and I think FFAA have done it justice indeed, and incorporating more clean vocals worked really well in their favour.
Finally, we arrive at The Acacia Strain.
For me, ‘Sensory Deprivation’ is the by far the best of the original songs here. It’s crushingly heavy, and sonically it’s a lot stronger than the production of their last record, ‘Coma Witch’. The guitar tone has been given a strong overhaul and it doesn’t sound lifeless like it did back on ‘Coma Witch’. One issue, though, the song fades out. I absolutely despise fadeouts, especially when the song is reaching a potentially huge part. On this track, it sounds like the song is building to a monolithic breakdown, but it just never materialises and gets stuck in “song limbo”. Bit of a tease, really. The band’s cover of ‘Black Hole Sun’ by Soundgarden sticks true to the original musically (as did their faithful cover of ‘War Pigs‘). Vocalist VincentV Bennett even incorporates pitched screams, which I don’t ever recall him ever doing on previous releases, and it is definitely a nice touch to the song.
While I did enjoy this EP, the marketing and hype hasn’t really delivered and it feels somewhat throwaway at times. The original songs aren’t bad but, bar ‘Sensory Deprivation’, they all feel like glorified B-sides. The cover songs are very cool, but they don’t feel like anything too special. However, I do think ‘Du Hast’ would go down a real treat at any Thy Art Is Murder gig. Go pick this one up for sure, but keep your eyes out for future releases.
01. THY ART IS MURDER – They Will Know Another
02. THE ACACIA STRAIN – Sensory Deprivation
03. FIT FOR AN AUTOPSY – Flatlining
04. THY ART IS MURDER – Du Hast (RAMMSTEIN cover)
05. THE ACACIA STRAIN – Black Hole Sun (SOUNDGARDEN cover)
06. FIT FOR AN AUTOPSY – The Perfect Drug (NINE INCH NAILS cover)
‘The Depressions Sessions’ is out now via Nuclear Blast Records.