Only three albums into their career, the angry Aussies in Thy Art is Murder are a household name not only in deathcore, but extreme metal as a whole. The fourth album can be a tough place to be in for an established band, especially if your sophomore and junior releases are as good as Hate and Holy War. Though well-established and on the path to even more exposure and success, the band are still not immune to the possibility of dropping something that may not completely meet the expectations of their fans all over the globe and tainting their reputation of quality releases. Fortunately for those anticipating their senior album Dear Desolation, there is no disappointment to worry about. With this album, the band have dug their heels deeper into the dirt of what they do best and risen to the occasion by not only meeting the standards of previous albums but also setting new ones.
Welcome to our latest edition of Death’s Door. Wipe your feet on the mat, etc. There’s a lot to discuss this month, though frankly, I had my doubts at certain points about whether or not there would be. You see, July tends to be a musical doldrums for yours truly, with lots of leftover releases that didn’t make it into the prime Spring and early Summer release calendar clogging streaming services with mundane/barely serviceable drivel. Obviously, this makes for some not-so-great listening experiences. Thankfully, July pulled through regardless, delivering unto us another fantastic batch of death metal releases that can stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the rest of 2017. So much so, in fact, that we are foregoing our new tracks section to focus exclusively on the great records released this month. So prepare yourself for some good stuff and thank your lucky stars, because hell hath no fury like a month without good death metal.
It's been awhile since I knocked out a Best of British feature for you, the dedicated Heavy Blog reader. This isn't because there has been a lack of quality content coming outta the island, actually far from it. Being "British" doesn't really mean anything anymore though. You've got yer English bands and then there's everything else. Because I feel like our two nations have been poorly under represented elsewhere, I now give you The Celtic Connection. I'm gonna rant and rave about the best music coming out of Scotland and Ireland, leaving England and Wales (sorry Wales) to the side, because they get plenty of coverage as is. This isn't me being a nationalist or picking a fight, I'm just keeping it in the family. And who else is closer to us Scots than the proud, fighting Irish. Pour yourself a beverage of whatever variety you fancy and strap in for some hearty dispatches of ginger, pale skinned sounds.
As you may have noticed, over the past month or so we’ve been interviewing a series of Australian artists, and we’ll continue to bring those to you this month. Today we’re lucky enough to be joined by Andy Marsh, guitarist in Australian deathcore outfit Thy Art is Murder. The band have been making waves on the international scene for some time now and are one of Australia’s more successful exports. Vocalist CJ McMahon has recently reunited with the band and a new record is on the way, so we spoke to Andy about that, their split EP with Fit For An Autopsy and The Acacia Strain (available here), Australia and more. Enjoy!
Aversions Crown are keeping up the time-honored tradition of Australian metal bands doing what they do best: playing stupidly heavy music that makes you want to commit heinous acts of violence in the mosh pit. They've been doing this since their debut album Servitude, which showed the bands deft ability to play technical deathcore with a whopping three guitarists. After that, the band signed to Nuclear Blast and released Tyrant, which lowered the technicality of the instrumentals but added in a bit of experimentation with the atmosphere of the music. Their third and newest LP Xenocide sees the group settling into a healthy medium between the sounds their two previous albums established and refines them into a sound that the band could very easily settle into.
In true soap-opera-that-outlived-its-course fashion, we're replacing the actor who plays the part of Eden with David Wu of Cyborg Octopus! Yeah, he's been here before, exactly 10 episodes ago!First, we talk about how artists feel about criticism, delve into the creative process a bit, and while we cover some of the same ground we did before, we end up in a different place! Then, we do the news, talking about Oathbearer, An Endless Sporadic, Metallica, Dance Gavin Dance, The Depression Sessions (The Acacia Strain, Thy Art Is Murder, Fit For An Autopsy), Virvum, Ninjaspy and Devin Townsend. Also, check David's new channel he alluded to last time, RiffShop!
Sure, metal can certainly terrify listeners with occult imagery and sheer gore, but delving deep into one’s own personal neuroses can often take someone down a much darker path. Inexplicable sadness is often a much more relatable and ubiquitous demon than anything you'd see smeared across a Cannibal Corpse cover (not that there's anything wrong with that). For that reason alone, it's become a much more prevalent topic amongst death metal’s most notorious and now unjustly-reviled subgenre. You couldn't have picked a better title for deathcore’s most anticipated EP of the year, and you probably couldn't have picked a better batch of current bands to tackle the theme of depression either. Thy Art Is Murder, The Acacia Strain and Fit For An Autopsy are collectively as soul-bearing as they've ever been, and they're still churning out brain-melting breakdowns in the process.
Watching a band develop over the years is a privilege that is hard to describe. But I'll give it a shot. A few years ago I caught From Sorrow To Serenity on a stacked line up in one of Glasgow's smaller metal venues. Their showmanship, technical ability and music left me with no doubt that the band were heading places. Skip forward a couple of years and their first full length has been released. Remnant Of Humanity is a colossal groove train of a record. Snapping up guest appearances from members of Bleed From Within, Betraying The Martyrs and Thy Art Is Murder, the album has been spun on national radio, spread all over the worldwide metal blogisphere and has the band supporting deathcore heavyweights Fit For An Autopsy on their upcoming UK tour. I pestered Steven Jones, the axeman and dial wizard from the band about where the From Sorrow To Serenity took shape. Bonne.