THY ART IS MURDER furiously charges once more unto the breach, clawing and spitting against the dying light and a seemingly inevitable collapse of existence. Dear Desolation, the Australian metal crew’s fourth and mightiest album, is a devastating blow equally against and embracing of a cataclysmic nihilism and all-out misanthropic warfare.
Combining classic and authentic death metal elements that invoke the renegade, spirit-crushing, monstrosity of early Morbid Angel, Cannibal Corpse, and Decapitated with the precision rhythmic assault of Meshuggah and the breakdown-infused bounce of Black Dahlia Murder, THY ART IS MURDER have redefined a once cast aside and maligned subgenre, proudly reenergizing and representing the best in extremity.
The band’s music remains uncompromising, building upon the savage momentum of the controversially outspoken Holy War (2015), the punishing Hate (2012) and their gigantic debut, The Adversary (2010).
Dear Desolation continues the band’s evolutionary trajectory, remaining consistently inventive and diverse without sacrifice the band’s established identity. The adventurous spirit of the band’s unprecedented collaboration with The Acacia Strain and Fit For An Autopsy, released as The Depression Sessions, continues unabated, expanding and informing the band’s already confident creativity.
A new generation of death metal acolytes and vintage older thrashers alike enthusiastically proclaim the band’s unrelenting aggression, cementing a reputation with an increasingly fervent international fanbase. Videos for “Holy War,” “The Purest Strain of Hate,” “Shadow
of Eternal Sin,” “They Will Know Another,” “Light Bearer,” and “No Absolution” resulted in more than 30 million views on YouTube; “Reign of Darkness” alone accounts for nearly a third of those online views.
Thy Art Is Murder sharpened their sonic weapons on the road, with early tours in support of genre giants like Fear Factory and Cattle Decapitation, followed by much heralded appearances at Soundwave and all over North America on the Rockstar Mayhem Tour with Slayer. They’ve earned accolades from the likes of Metal Hammer and fellow bands alike, while delivering standout sets at festivals like Download.
Holy War, the band’s third album, entered the official Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) chart at #7, the highest ever debut position for an extreme metal act born and bred in the country.
When guitarists Sean Delander and Andy Marsh reconvened to begin work on what would become the band’s fourth album, they kept the material anchored in the rhythmic death metal that’s become their signature, but with an emphasis on songs that are both bigger and more straightforward. Dear Desolation is lean and stripped down.
Holed up in New Jersey for several weeks, the duo amassed around 25 songs between them, trimming the fat with the assistance of longtime producer Will Putney (Every Time I Die, The Amity Affliction, For Today) until only the 12 strongest compositions remained. Drummer Lee Stanton and bassist Kevin Butler laid down their contributions, with powerhouse vocalist CJ McMahon knocking out awe-inspiring performances, with Marsh’s lyrics, in less than two weeks.
Thematically the album expands beyond vicious polemic and vehemently contrarian invective into broader storytelling, contemplative death anxiety, and meditations on mortality and
morality. It’s an album of culture, environment, community; ties that bind, the panic that unwinds, and the constant, urgent primal scream.
If this is truly the soundtrack to the end of humanity, it’s music that should unite and empower extreme metal fans in all corners of the genre. Thy Art Is Murder skillfully ignites a crowd of 150 or 150,000.
Dear Desolation is custom built for the festival stage, organically streamlined to translate to a wide audience as skillfully as the central sound at Thy Art Is Murder’s core has resonates in sweaty clubs and theaters since the band’s formation in 2006. This is extreme metal for the people, torchbearers for a primal style that doesn’t die.