Album Review: Dear Desolation by Thy Art Is Murder

Make deathcore great again… This was the slogan mocked up by Thy Art Is Murder ahead of the infamous Suicide Silence self-titled album. The band wasn’t just poking fun as well, they have an album to prove they are back to make the genre a force to be reckoned with.

Dear Desolation is one hell of ride. Nothing soft or comforting here just an all out slaughter. From the moment Slave Beyond Death blast beats its way into your skull you know exactly what’s about to go down. Thy Art Is Murder bring back the classic (and reliable) formula of heavily palm muted chugs plastered over tempo riding drums and backed up by the churning vocals of main man, CJ McMahon. There’s plenty of neck wrenching riffs in Puppet Master and the titular track to get any metalhead moving. The instrumental work is great at creating whiplash inducing breaks in tempo, going from savage speed to sky darkening gloomy slowness with ease.

Of course this album is frothing at the mouth with breakdowns. Those classic down tempo breakdowns that just shatter the earth, get fists clenched and bodies moving are back. It goes without saying that ever since Infinite Death the band has master the use of breakdowns, driving them into songs at the right moment to generate the maximum amount of carnage at live shows. When CJ starts screaming all by himself and drummer Lee Stanton starts riding those cymbals on The Skin Of The Serpent you know a truly room destroying riff is about to erupt.

Structure is important to an album and sadly that’s where Dear Desolation suffers it’s only real downfall. There really isn’t much in the way of ‘flow’. Each song just barges the next out of the way in an attempt to shake the listener into another moshing frenzy. I for one am okay with this vicious approach to producing an album but for those of you who like more of a sweeping journey it may feel a little repetitive. It takes Death Dealer and Fire In The Side to really rock the boat in the way of structure with the dark melodic undertones that cut in and out of that iconic Thy Art Is Murder sound.

Thy Art Is Murder have always been one of my favourite deathcore bands out there. They may stick tightly to a formula but that formula has blown me away time and time again. Dear Desolation is another album to add to the ever growing list of albums that have made 2017 the year of awesome deathcore. It may not be ‘new’ or ‘innovative’ but damn does it work. This is deathcore the way it should be done, there really isn’t much else to say.

Score: 8/10


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