Thy Art is Murder
Dear Desolation

You know home in some sports and other contests there is a USA vs the World? Well, if we did that for deathcore, despite a valiant effort from the likes of Enterprise Earth, Rings of Saturn, Shadow of Intent, Fit For and Autopsy and Oceano (and negative points from Suicide Silence) , the rest of the world would be the slight winner. Aided by other foreign acts like Slaughter to Prevail (Russia), Hybrid Sheep (France), Throes (Spain) Conjonctive (Switzerland), She Must Burn (UK), the Aussies are the clear MVP with Boris the Blade’s Warpath and Aversion’s Crown releasing Xenocide early in the year and now Thy Art Is Murder releasing the follow up to 2015s solid Holy War.

Most genre fans know vocalist CJ McMahon left in 2015 with claims of being broke, and was accused of selling out, but now, 2 years later and after dabbling with another band (Vanity Draws Blood) he is back, and all is well as Dear Desolation ( along with its striking cover art), is an impressive display of modern deathcore that checks all the genre boxes, boxes that of course will annoy deathcore haters.

Deathcore producer/mixer extraordinaire again Will Putney (Fit For An Autopsy, After the Burial, For Today, Molotov Solution) again ensures Dear Desolation will knock your teeth out. And not just the (many) punishing breakdowns, just listen to the guitar tone for album opener “Slaves Beyond Death”. It made my toes curl.

The 38 minutes that comprise Dear Desolation are perfectly executed deathcore, with all is positives and negatives. There are a few keys scattered amid the plethora of breakdowns and blastbeats  as heard on”The Son of Misery”, so there is a little change here and there, but they are pretty piecemeal. But otherwise, this is by the numbers deathcore, but done very well and with some of the better breakdowns of the style I’ve heard recently (Slaughter to Prevail‘s Misery Sermon still beats everything I’ve heard this year though) .  The likes of the aforementioned “”Slaves Beyond Death”, devastating “Dear Desolation”, “Skin of the Serpent” (one of the album’s best cuts, with a nice atmospheric break), blasting “Fire in the Sky” and closer “The Final Curtain” are crushing examples of the genre, with no tech noodling or forced arpeggios, just pure deathcore heft and breakdowns, with no illusions they are anything else. And I’m absolutely OK with that, as most fans of the band and genre will be.


[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
September 13th, 2017


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