Artist: Thy Art Is Murder
Everyone remembers certain artists an albums that make up their musical “timeline:” A sort of punctuated equilibrium which highlights certain divulgences that lead culminate in their current tastes. I remember the first “heavy” music I ever listened to, same as I remember the first rock album that preceded it. Most importantly, I remember the first deathcore EP which really influenced my musical tastes–which convinced me that deathcore could be more than errant misogyny and dissonant misanthropy. Thy Art Is Murder’s Infinite Death was that release–filled with visceral, lacerating violence, Infinite Death was a compelling–if not unrefined–release which serves as an outstandingly strong foundation for the bastion the band have become. Their most recent album, Hate is a culmination of the band’s finest, most polished and matured elements, creating a misanthropic, murderous cacophony of devastation which flies miles above the efforts of their peers.
Constantly throttling the listener with pulverizing, brutal instrumentation, Hate is an album which is comprised of an organized, mechanistic onslaught of thrashing, cutting guitars and pummeling, blistering drums. The strings often find themselves engaged in an ambiently technical and devastatingly heavy dialectic–this is true from the very first moments of the album. Starting from the first chug on “Reign of Darkness,” one guitar is high-fretted and technically written while the other is a brow-beating low-tuned monstrosity. Beneath those two conversing elements mumbles the bass guitar, which adds an even deeper, more resounding element to the stringed elements of Hate, establishing a polished, refined depth which has been absent on their past releases. While whirling, skin-rending riffs create a malicious maelstrom of sound, the bass rolls and rumbles deep beneath the guitars, keeping the album anchored.
While Thy Art Is Murder’s stringed proficiency is a marked and welcome aspect of Hate, the drumming is the icing on this arsenic-and-lead-laced cake which creates the truly claustrophobic and ensnaring atmosphere which attracts the listener. A startlingly beefy bass drum tone–amplified by the rollicking, low-down-and-dirty bass guitar–argues back-and-forth with wonderfully resonant toms, stunning, splashy cymbals and a machine-gun like snare. “Reign of Darkness” again sees expert usage of both the drummer’s ability–a constant highlight of Hate–and the sounds of the kit, using it to fill in the blanks between the climactic breakdown’s downbeats, resulting in a headbang so vicious the listener might break their neck. Furthermore, the poly-fill laden intro to “Immolation” creates a sludge-metal like atmosphere and a density so palpable, the listener feels as if they might have to squint to make out the track title on their computer’s display.
At this point you might be thinking: “wait, isn’t such dense and claustrophobic material bad? That doesn’t sound fun at all!” On the contrary, the doom-and-despair atmosphere created so expertly by Thy Art Is Murder is just the backdrop needed for Hate’s best attribute: the vocals. While ever-so-slightly monotonous, the vocals slice right through the dense layer-after-layer of entrancing instrumentation to deliver ambivalent sucker-punches right to the listener’s ears. Many tracks–”Reign of Darkness” and “The Purest Strain of Hate” chief among them–use the vocals as a goosebump-inducing cue for spine-crushing, bone-splintering breakdowns which create a hurricane of pure auditory hatred.
I won’t for a second try and convince you that this album is better than Infinite Death. That isn’t the point. Fundamentally, the two are different both stylistically and technically. But what is true is that Hate showcases a much more refined and mature band who are no less angry, bitter and violent, but have instead learned how to channel their anger and misanthropy into carefully written and dynamically stunning deathcore which is nothing short of a modern-day masterpiece.
For Fans Of: Oceano, Bound by Exile, Make Them Suffer, Nexilva.
By: Connor Welsh/Eccentricism