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.

IN A NUTSHELL
While it isn't a perfect record, and some of the songs come off as filler, it still shouldn't be missed.
POSITIVES
Brutal and angry; exactly what you would want from a Thy Art is Murder album
NEGATIVES
The album fills far too short, and some of the songs seem to be just filler.
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Andrew is of the “Wait & Bleed” nu-metal generation and is not afraid to admit that fact. Although his tastes have become far more eclectic over the years he is still easily and unashamedly won over by the more popular and ‘easy listening’ side of metal. Being based in Aberdeen, he spends his free time avoiding the rain and staring at grey buildings wishing there was something more in life. Andrew spends his days editing films for global conglomerates with dubious ethics then knocks off early to shoot and review gigs which are usually a 6 hour round trip away. He’s also gayer than Rob Halford.