Holy War, the latest release from the Australian deathcore quintet Thy Art is Murder, represents a definite progression. The first track alone, “Absolute Genocide,” is a sample of what’s in store. Starting with a slow and haunting melody reminiscent of Carl Orff’s “O Fortuna,” from the cantata Carmina Burana, it is apparent that Thy Art is Murder have matured beyond their deathcore roots. It’s not long before CJ McMahon’s brutal vocals have appeared in the opening track that they begin to pull us away from the false sense of security that the melodic intro put us in. These guys are still angry, there is no doubting that.
The politically inspired title track, “Holy War,” is a clear highlight of the album. The song focuses on religious ignorance, mob mentality and government-funded wars, and does not hold back in its message. Their controversial album cover, featuring a child wearing a bomb, is testament to that. The irony is that with such a strong and powerful marching song I’d happily take up arms to fight for whatever Thy Art is Murder want me to fight for based.
Any fan of groove metal will be happy with “Deliver Us From Evil,” which has more groove than you can shake a stick at. It is another of my favourite tracks, and had me wishing I was driving a lowrider on many occasions.
All in all, Holy War is a very enjoyable album. A few songs do, however, feel like filler tracks and the album does feel slightly short with only 10 tracks. This leaves me feeling like this album may have been rushed or, possibly, that Thy Art is Murder just don’t have enough current material for a fully polished release. Still, this doesn’t change the fact that Holy War is a good album, and not one to be dismissed.