Whether you like it or not, deathcore is here to stay. It has the potential to create some of the genres heaviest music, with the styling’s of death metal and the breakdowns and fight mentality of hardcore music. Sadly so much of deathcore misses the point, leaning too much on repetitive breakdowns, droning songs and juvenile lyrics. There are a few standouts in the genre, bands like Fit For An Autopsy and The Acacia Strain represent two sides of the deathcore coin, pure brutality on one and progressive technicality on the other. Thy Art is Murder may only be on their third release with Holy War but they have climbed their way to the top of the pack with Hate and only continue this success.
Smartly blending as much death metal as they do hardcore, Thy Art Is Murder have a wide range of styles and abilities due to staying outside of the trappings of either genre. Tracks like ‘Deliver Us To Evil’ contain the speed of death while the title track and ‘Coffin Dragger’ follow that breakdown laden, bellowing guttural style of core. No song feels entirely dedicated to either side and as a result there is an immediacy not usually felt in a deathcore release. Thy Art Is Murder shows growth and forethought, the lyrical content is dark and contemplative, ruminating on the purpose of religion and its negative effect on society.
So much of being heavy relies on timing and buildup. Too many breakdowns or moments of crushing brutality and it becomes exhausting, too few and it seems they missed the point. Luckily their are plenty of hammering moments followed by more technical riffing and areas where listeners can take a break from all the violence and pit stirring caused by well timed breakdowns. Thy Art Is Murder show why they are at the peak of deathcore, and even break a little out of the genre.
Where Holy War could benefit is even more variety, the side effect of being a deathcore band is that the genre is still limiting, and breaking free of this label is the best thing Thy Art Is Murder could do. They are bending the cell bars at this point with Holy War, and in one more album they could really become something truly special. For now, they remain one of deathcore’s best and brightest bands and Holy War stands to be one of 2015’s only deathcore albums to possibly make year end lists.