Sydney, Australia based quintet, Thy Art is Murder, are back following the release of their acclaimed 2012 release “Hate” with their new, immensely brutal, album “Holy War”. With their new album they also released the statement that they “want to change metal”. Does “Holy War” contribute to changing metal? Or does it fall into the endless sea of metal albums that have come and gone?
From opener ‘Absolute Genocide’ to the closing track ‘Naked and Cold‘, “Holy War” is a relentless, musical attack on the listener with drummer/percussionist Lee Stanton blasting through double kicks accompanied by axe-men Sean Delander and Andy Marsh shredding ruthlessly, but with technical precision, throughout the album
Standout tracks here are the album titled ‘Holy War’ and ‘Emptiness’. The low end, intense breakdowns in ‘Holy War’ call for a live rig, a big one! ‘Emptiness’ is a quick start to finish, but packs the punch it sets out to, particularly with vocalist, CJ McMahon’s impressive blend of growls and shrieks with the grumble of bassist Kevin Butler lurking beneath.
‘Holy War’ is without a doubt a step up from ‘Hate’ and certainly climbs the band up a few pegs on the ladder. More often than not, music dubbed brutal metal falls into the stereotype of indecipherable guitars, blasting drums, a bass unheard and a vocalist gargling marbles. It is bands such as Thy Art is Murder who make a conscious effort to change the game, to bring more to the table, that prevent brutal metal from falling by the Wayside. With “Holy War” they succeed in pushing into something more. Staying true to their core, but by making strong song writing choices that serve the track, “Holy War” takes the band on to a new level.
Even so “Holy War” does not make any great strides in reinventing the wheel. Heavy, brutal tracks with a hint of controversy surrounding the album cover, have been common since the dawn of metal. Since the dawn of rock ‘n’ roll, there was more uproar from Elvis Presley wiggling his hips in the late 50’s than album artwork controversy in 2015. Manson would shrug off such “controversy. “Holy War” is a credit to the brutal metal genre, and if it’s a step up for Thy Art is Murder, it by no means rings the changes to metal that it promised.
Carl O’ Rourke
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