Thy Art Is Murder –‘Dear Desolation’ (Nuclear Blast) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Jonni D   
Monday, 21 August 2017 04:00

Thy Art Is Murder - Dear Desolation - ArtworkIt’s been a funny old year when it comes to deathcore. Genre heroes Suicide Silence caused quite the stir with their fanbase earlier this year, abandoning their signature sound on their controversial self-titled release. Similarly, Fit For An Autopsy experimented with the tried and tested deathcore sound on ‘The Great Collapse’, with some fans finding the inclusion of clean vocals and the more progressive approach difficult to swallow. And so, it’s left up to Sydney’s Thy Art Is Murder to appease the faithful contingent. That would have seemed an unlikely prospect a year ago, due to vocalist CJ McMahon’s temporary departure from the band during their touring cycle for 2015’s ‘Holy War.’ Although causing a slight blip in momentum, the band returns with ‘Dear Desolation’, an album of staggering strength in its devastating consistency.


The opening subterranean guitar tones of ‘Slaves Beyond Death’ should be of immediate reassurance to the faithful; the sludgy intro propelling into wanton thrash riffing atop a blastbeat courtesy of drummer, Lee Staton. Whereas ‘Holy War’ focused more on a blistering ferocity in its cascade of technical riffage, ‘Dear Desolation’ suffocates with its more grooving, jackhammer-heavy textures. The title track and the colossal ‘Puppet Master’ best exemplify this more refined riffing style that TAIM displays on the record, an overall sound that has much more in common with Decapitated’s brand of modern death metal on their recently released ‘Anticult’ than that of your average deathcore album. While still retaining an impressive level of technicality, this greater definition in the style of riffing adds a more decipherable heaviness to the band’s already cacophonous sound.



The increased emphasis on non-traditional lead guitar lines is also a beneficial addition. From the sinister swell of ‘Death Dealer’, to the haunting ringing notes of ‘The Son Of Misery’, TAIM capitalizes on their dual guitar attack more so on this album than they ever have done. However, when the moment calls for a spot of virtuosity, the band obliges, as is evident from the searing lead breaks on ‘The Final Curtain’ and ‘The Son Of Misery.’ The latter end of ‘Dear Desolation’ even delves into some doomy territory, from the cleanly picked intro to ‘Fire In The Sky’, to the drudgingly heavy suspended chords of ‘Into Chaos We Climb.’


Thanks to a more enunciated delivery from CJ, this could be considered the most accessible TAIM album when it comes to vocals. ‘Slaves Beyond Death’, ‘Man Is The Enemy’ and particularly ‘Puppet Master’ are all fine examples of his commendable ability to weave hooks into an extreme vocal style, pronounced all the more by the bouncing groove of the riffs beneath.


Rumours of this band’s demise have been greatly overstated, it would appear. ‘Dear Desolation’ showcases just how well TAIM knows the genre, and they commendably straddle an intricate line of adhering to the staples of deathcore whilst adding a massive groove element to their signature sound. The result is an album that leans far more towards death metal than hardcore; but these songs are littered with hooks to make them accessible enough for those dipping their toes into the more extreme waters of metal. A triumphant comeback for TAIM, ‘Dear Desolation’ is a savage statement of intent.


‘Dear Desolation’ was released on Friday. You can get your copy HERE.


Thy Art Is Murder play the following dates in October:


Tuesday 3 – Cardiff, Uni

Wednesday 4 – Sandgate, Key Club

Thursday 5 – Glasgow, Garage

Friday 6 – Manchester, Club Academy

Saturday 7 – Birmingham, O2 Academy 2

Sunday 8 – Camden, Electric Ballroom

Monday 9 – Nottingham, Rescue Rooms


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