|1. Reign Of Darkness |
2. The Purest Strain Of Hate
3. Vile Creations
4. Shadow Of Eternal Sin
6. Infinite Forms
7. Dead Sun
8. Gates Of Misery
9. Defective Breed
10. Doomed From Birth
Australia may be a remote nation but that sure as hell hasn't stopped them creating some of the best music in the world. In the last decade Australia has produced some of the best rock and metal music around, including several of my favourite bands, including Psycroptic, Mammal, Karnivool, Noctis and Parkway Drive. Recently there have been a wave of new Australian bands eager to make their mark on two of metal's newest subgenres - deathcore and djent. And as far as deathcore is concerned the one Australian band I keep hearing good things about is Thy Art Is Murder. So after picking up a copy of their latest album "Hate" I decided this would be my next review.
I've always had a complicated relationship with deathcore, finding 90% of the scene absolutely awful and generic while being in love with bands that are unafraid to take the genre in a new and exciting direction (Born Of Osiris, After The Burial et al.). With this in mind I went into this not expecting much, having listened to nothing by the band before getting this album so as to remain unbiased.
And my god was I impressed. This is easily the most consistent deathcore album I've heard all year, possibly for several years, and in my opinion one of the strongest deathcore albums since As Blood Runs Black's stunning début "Allegiance" all the way back in 2006, one of the first albums to ever be termed as "deathcore".
This album moves moves from groovy to crushing and back again within seconds and is so tightly executed musically it could almost pass for a tech-death album. Minimal pointless 7-string chugging here, almost every inch of this album is brutal, catchy and well-written.
After a dissonant and vaguely haunting intro, "Reign Of Darkness" bursts into life with a complicated breakdown style riff pounding along with vocalist CJ McMahon's impressive growl cutting through the mix. This leads into a nice melodic solo with some very impressive blast beats underneath. Suddenly everything stops still and the silence you hear CJ growl murderously "you will know fear, YOU WILL SEE THE TRUE FACE OF PANIC!!!". This then kicks into one of the most impressive breakdowns I have heard for a long time, despite only being very short it certainly leaves an impression of the band's skill and what's to come.
"Purest Strain Of Hate" is a good tune in a similar style but "Vile Creations" mixes it up with some djent style influences and poly-rhythms which makes for an interesting track. "Shadow Of Eternal Sin" then kicks off in fantastic style by proclaiming "SEVER THE TONGUES OF THE WRETCHED!!". Not gonna lie, there are so many good lyrics in this album to growl along to.
There are several blackened death style chord progressions throughout the album, presenting a clear nod to Behemoth and doing so in fine form. This band really is ticking all the right boxes for me. "Defective Breed" starts off well and I can't help but notice some similarities to sadly disbanded fellow Australians The Red Shore as well, another good sign. And many tracks like "Doomed From Birth", well really the majority of the cd wouldn't sound out of place for a tech-death band with the intricate riffs and timings. I really must also give a special mention to their drummer, Lee Stanton, who is phenomenally talented, and has managed to play shit on this record that has absolutely amazed me, the only other drummer I've heard come up with anything like this is Vitek (R.I.P.) of Polish legends Decapitated. Good job.
All in all this record has exceeded all expectations I had and now has a permanent fixture on my iPod. I hope to one day grab a hard copy of this and hopefully catch the band live, as I have a feeling they are a force to be reckoned with onstage. This album leaves their first album, the slightly more grind influenced "The Adversary" in the dust. Check this shit out ASAP.
Check this out if: You like deathcore and want something new, you want to hear a band mesh tech-death and deathcore, or you're interested in what our cousins down under are doing in terms of metal nowadays.
For fans of: The Red Shore, Chelsea Grin, Oceano
Hate is out now on Halfcut Records
Hate is streaming in full here