Australian deathcore titans, THY ART IS MURDER, are back in top form with their third release, Holy War. Released on the 26th of June via Nuclear Blast, Holy War was produced by Will Putney, who has worked with SUICIDE SILENCE,EXHUMED and WINDS OF PLAGUE. It was recorded in secret at Graphic Nature Audio studio in Belleville, New Jersey.
The band decided to record in private to avoid pressure from the media and expectation from the public. This has obviously impacted the album in a positive way as it is probably the most technical release from the band to date. Each track offers a different, exciting sound while somehow also staying consistent and listening to the album at length is no chore as it is lacking fillers. This is a record for deathcore fans and people who have never given the genre a second thought alike
With an obvious political theme, Holy War is a brutally honest record that will send chills down your spine.
The title track boasts eerie guitars and a drumbeat that will keep you alert and listening. With controversial lyrics like ‘’Father and son, marching in rhythm, firing bullets through the skulls of the children’’ there’s no mistaking the passion and awareness that went into the writing of the record. When asked about the inspiration behind Holy War, guitarist Andy Marsh said ‘’What we came out (of the studio) with was a reaction to things going on around the world that crawl under our skin, that make us feel sick to be alive.’’ The lyrical content touches on many controversial subjects such as child abuse, war, religion and even animal rights. The band give in your face opinions on the subjects and by the end of the album you will actually feel more aware and also concerned for the world around you. THY ART IS MURDER remind us that we are living in a world with many injustices but also remind us that we all have a voice to be heard.
Although THY ART IS MURDER are labelled as deathcore, they do an amazing job keeping their sound unique and not getting it mistaken for other bands as it’s sometimes easy to do with this particular genre. The second track off the album, Coffin Dragger, shows the band’s death metal roots and as the double bass pounds through, it’s recommended to prepare your eardrums before cranking it up.
One of the most intriguing things about Holy War is the looming guitar sound that you can hear in most tracks, Fur and Claw and Child of Sorrow to name a few. It’s a sound that will fill your stomach with the most pleasant sense of dread you’ve ever imagined and is one of the reasons the sound throughout the album stays so unique. THY ART IS MURDER have definitely created a new era for deathcore which isn’t surprising seeing as they are the first band to reach a top 40 chart within the genre, with their 2012 release, Hate. It would seem that with an accomplishment like that, the band would have clung to it and let their future releases be mediocre, but this is not the case. Holy War is another triumph for the band as it recently entered the official Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) chart at position No. 7 — which is the highest ever position for an extreme metal band.
There are two versions of cover art for Holy War, the one you have probably seen featuring the hooded head of a young boy, and the one the band wanted originally, which features the same boy with a bomb strapped to him. This version is just as confronting as the lyrics and dark sound of the album. As a whole, Holy War is an awesomely impressive addition to THY ART IS MURDER’s discography and as the band seem to keep getting better with each new release, it’s only natural to already be anticipating news of a 4th record, but for now, embrace the educated darkside with Holy War.
RATING : 10/10