Hello darkness my old friend, I see you’ve come to fuck my face again. For those unfamiliar, Thy Art is Murder of Sydney, Australia is one of the deathcore’s most revered exports for a rather simple reason; they exhibit violence at its finest. The past year has been a bit of a bumpy one for our beloved murder kangaroos, with the loss of their frontman CJ McMahon, but when he returned in a blaze of glory the deathcore community rejoiced in the flames of his triumph.
The mighty and far from disappointing return of Thy Art is Murder’s iconic voice came with a sigh of relief and a whole lot of happy tears, especially from this particularly grumpy drunk. I remember it like it was yesterday when his voice came stomping into my ears on The Depression Sessions, thinking that this may be the last time I could enjoy the sounds of Satan shitting out a baby. Fortunately for me, that time has since passed and the band picked up where they left off. Dear Desolation had me seriously considering filing auditory assault charges, even though I enjoyed every second of it.
The key element that I’ve personally been preaching about for years is that for any deathcore band to make it, you either gotta do it differently than everybody else or do it better than everybody else. Somehow, Thy Art manages to do both in spades with this new record. Comparing it to previous work is the only real tough part. Their previous release, Holy Wars, marked an odd time in the bands life which was reflected in their writing style. It was almost as if the band had lost their groove and edge that made them so special in the first place, emphasis on the ALMOST part.
Dear Desolation brings about a return to grooviness that characterizes the act. If you go back to Hate and listen to classics like “Doomed from Birth” or especially the beefy “Reign of Darkness” you’ll notice in the composition seems as if it’s scientifically designed to elicit your inner rage face. This can yet again be found on tracks like “Puppet Master” or “The Son of Misery.” What makes Dear Desolation special in its own right are artsier songs like the title track which still bring the same heat, but adds what seems like melody into the mix.
Everything about this record brings back the sound of Thy Art is Murder we as fans feared we almost lost. Yes this is an overly dramatic statement if you haven’t actually seen the kind of destruction this act as a whole can bring to the table. Board master Will Putney returns with the same warmth we’ve seen with every record so far, but paired with the composition style more akin to Hate than the more refined death metal vibe found on Holy War.
It is truly heartening to see a band come back from a dip and return with a record like this. It may not be necessarily as good or as enthralling as their original masterpiece in Hate, but believe me, Dear Desolation is the deserved happy ending to this frightening chapter.
Written by Jason Greenberg
*edited by Lia Davis