With their red hot reputation the product of relentless touring and a joyously vicious live show, not to mention the thudding extremity of their breakout 2013 full-length ‘Hate’, fearsome Aussie five-piece Thy Art Is Murder have rapidly become the current darlings of state-of-the-art brutality.
The simmering anticipation behind ‘Holy War’ has seen fans frothing with expectancy, the album’s undeniably chilling (and consequently banned) artwork promising a piece of work not only steeped in death metal grotesquery, but espousing a kind of lyrical/conceptual fire previously unseen from the band, and tailor made to rattle a few very contentious cages. The reality of the record exhibits a tremendous sonic leap across the board, as the down-under exports capitalize on their standing with a gleefully murderous and uncompromising display.
Not straying far from their traditional tirade of blood splattered furiosity, ‘Holy War’ impresses by not only ramping up the dials a few notches, but with a fresh structural focus which harnesses the explosive power of both steely-eyed songwriting suss and ruthlessly crafted violence. Fine-tuning and sharpening, the teeth shattering likes of ‘Absolute Genocide’ and ‘Deliver Us To Evil’ encapsulate the band at their savage best, all pristine claw-hammer blows and high velocity assault.
It’s all thrilling barbaric stuff, and whether it’s the exhilarating tempo shifts of imperious closer ‘Naked And Cold’, ‘Emptiness’ and its muscular punch, or a skitteringly complex ‘Violent Reckoning’, Thy Art Is Murder deliver their religion thumping horror with new-found levels of unabashed blood thirst.
Given their runaway cross-over popularity, tempering their scabrous deathly styling may well have been a profitable option, yet the cold-hearted menace of ‘Holy War’ leaves us in no doubt that Thy Art Is Murder are committed to the cause of modern, thoroughly fucking unpleasant extremity, and they’re doing it better than almost everyone else.
Written by Tony Bliss (@TBliss88)