The career of a musician doesn’t always have a straight line of progression, leading to the mighty Dethklok archetype in the sky. There are roadblocks, detours that meander into oblivion, and even just the insatiable desire to do something else whilst cramming it into your mold in the most uncomfortable of fashions. Today we see take another exit on the journey of utter violence and destruction that is Thy Art Is Murder. The next thirty-eight minutes and twenty-eight seconds of auditory prison fucking you are about to endure goes under the name Human Target and did not bring the lube you asked for since your last encounter with the Blacktown, AU butchers.
Human Target by no means a progression to the previous and easily most melodically mature of TAIM’s releases in Dear Desolation, but rather a lateral movement of cherry-picking certain aspects of their trademark sound coupled by the heavily politically driven content more familiar with the band’s third studio release Holy War. Compositionally speaking, this album, like all of its predecessors is a war zone from start to finish, using signature breakneck pace structure, apocalyptic breakdowns, and the sweet sweet nectar that is the voice of vocalist CJ McMahon. From the engineer’s standpoint, this record yet again brings no flaws. Perfectly leveled from the weight of each megaton bass drop to the faded roars that tee off “Eternal Suffering,” clarity is the name of the game here to balance what could easily be interpreted as a mess of carnage and heaviness.
If you’ve been paying attention instead of just skimming through and waiting for the next slapstick vulgarity, you’ve probably noticed that I’ve been slathering you in foreshadowing for what is easily my only real critique for this record, lyrical content. It’s a rarity that song topics are a thing that I’ll throw stones at, and TAIM is by no means in the business of keeping their political standpoint a mystical or even remotely fucking subtle. That being said, tunes like “Death Squad Anthem” and the ever so discrete “Make America Hate Again” have left a lingering feeling of forced entry on the palate of this particular long time fan. I’m all for the exclamation of how fucked the political climate of today, but I honestly can’t help but shake the feeling that they need to make these points comes less from a place of creativity and more from a place of necessity. Classics like “Doomed From Birth” and “Dear Desolation” speak to the suffrage of humankind, in elude art in some of the darkest of consumable forms, whereas each of the singles from Human Target seemingly preach not but the word of fuck that fat orange guy in that big white building telling everybody to hate each other. You may need to see a difference, and if that’s the case I’ll gladly go fuck myself whilst you fan me with your endless hair windmills, but I like my TAIM toying with emotion more than I do hearing them repeatedly paraphrase “Fuck the Police.”
Written by Jason Greenberg
*edited by Danielle Kenedy