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Thy Art is Murder, a technical deathcore band from Sydney, Australia, gained much exposure and critical acclaim with their debut EP “Infinite Death”. And I must ask: “WHY?!” This EP fails at a lot of things it tries to do, and while there are moments I find tolerable, this whole thing is just a mess.
I have pretty mixed feelings about the musical aspect of the EP. The actual riffs here are actually pretty decent. They're groovy, catchy, and have some pretty nice leads, too... well, not the needless technical wankery (I'll get to that later), but the actual melodic passages that help add a little bit of memorability to the riffs. Unfortunately, they just had to ruin it by adding a breakdown every 30 seconds. As an example, let's use the 2nd track “Whore to a Chainsaw”. It begins with a pretty neat intro riff. It's heavy, groovy, and has some pretty good hooks... and then it transitions into a monotonous and poorly executed breakdown. From there, it's decent riff, breakdown, decent riff, breakdown, rinse and repeat. Not only that, but on every breakdown on this album, they try to add “substance” to them with random sweeps and other technical wankery. I feel the guitarists are just adding in these licks for the sake of showing off. WE GET IT! You're technically proficient on the guitar. Now try to add some intricacy and emotion to it.
The bass is inaudible aside from the drops that transition into the breakdowns, so let's just skip that.
The drum work here actually isn't that bad. Lee Stanton actually adds some pretty neat fills and rhythms (as opposed to spamming blast beats) to save the music from being completely boring. Unfortunately, he always ends up playing a breakdown after 30 seconds, so his performance is still quite monotonous.
The two biggest flaws, however, both have to do with the vocalist. Brendan Van Ryn's voice is quite awful, even on the demo, which was pretty decent for a generic deathcore release. His lows are not too bad, but they sound too forced and lack emotion. His highs have a little more character, but goddammit, he sounds incredibly whiny. He sounds like Alex Koehler on helium. His lyrics are also quite bad. They are awfully misogynistic. It could have been a decent concept, but the writing was so awful for these lyrics that it comes across as the diary of a teenage boy who was fucked over by a bunch of his exes. If anything, I'm glad Brendan left the band. Chris “CJ” McMahon is the superior vocalist by far.
Overall, it has some decent moments, but those become quickly overshadowed by the high number of breakdowns, the needless technical wankery, and the god-awful vocals (not to mention the lyrics). If you're a scene kid who likes music that deals with teen angst that somehow also likes decent guitar riffs and lyrics about gore, then this is the EP for you. Otherwise, stay the hell away from this garbage.
I totally get it, "Infinite Death" sounds a lot like the Australian, shortened version of Suicide Silence's "The Cleansing". But so what? That doesn't say anything about the quality - or lack thereof - of this first official EP by Thy Art Is Murder.
While they band progressed to become a lot more technical and "more metal" after this release, this still has all the qualities that make a solid deathcore EP. The music already was quite technical, but instead of the speed of most of the songs on "The Adversary", TAIM rather focused on sludgy slam-death riffs on this one - which is probably the biggest similarity to Suicide Silence. Some may consider these riffs too "hardcore", but I'd be willing to disagree. Riffs like the one that sets in at around 0:30 in "I'll Show You God" are (death) metal. They are just not "classic" death metal but rather one slam-death side.
The whole EP consists of the standard-deathcore mixture of fast death-metal style tremolo riffing, chuggy slam-death riffs and - you might already have guessed it - tons of breakdowns. While the band focuses on technical death metal these days, the breakdown parts still had the upper hand on "Infinite Death". There are a lot of the the typical tech-death tapping riffs to be heard here, but they never really become the focus of the music - they are rather used as adornments, such as in "Parasitic Autopsy". Hints at what was to come are easy to find, yet the band was headed into a different direction, intent on chugging as quickly as possible instead of adding consistency through memorable riffs.
This would lead me to the second main similarity to Suicide Silence, the vocals. Brendan Van Ryn truly is like an Australian Mitch Lucker, even to the degree that his lyrics are as mildly retarded as Lucker's. "I'll Show You God" vs. "Unanswered", "Whore to a Chainsaw" vs. "Bludgeoned to Death" - you get the gist. Most of the lyrics on "Infinite Death" sound like a paraphrasing of lyrics from Suicide Silence's "The Cleansing". Yet, vocals are the main reason why the songs here have hooks - the vocal patterns of a song like "Whore to a Chainsaw" are highly memorable, while the music isn't that much.
Despite all this, "Infinite Death" is an okay EP. Why? Because it's goddamn catchy, that's why! Hate Suicide Silence all you want - they know how to write a catchy song, even if it's mostly due to the vocals. The vocals wouldn't work if the music wasn't able to support them. And at this stage, Thy Art Is Murder basically were Suicide Silence's best copy. I'll admit that some riffs are really repetitive and similar (the beginning riffs of "I'll Show You God" and "Breeding Bacteria", I mean, seriously?!), but overall, this isn't even half bad. It's just different from "The Adversary".
Deathcore, that number one hated metal genre. A hybrid between death metal and metalcore. Every metal fan knows of it and let's just say not all of them are too fond of it. But let's be honest, there are a good number of praise-able deathcore acts out there (Veil of Maya, Rings of Saturn, Bleed from Within just to name a few) and there are the ones that fall flat (Emmure, Float Face Down, We Butter the Bread with Butter) but in the midst of it all there are definitely deathcore releases that almost retain as classics even though they were just released 5/4 years ago or so, because after all, deathcore still is a relatively young genre and more bands are being formed of the genre every day. The Infinite Death EP by Thy Art Is Murder almost compliments into being one of these classics and by Thy Art Is Murder's growing success, this EP is still enjoyed by whom that preferred more of their purist deathcore style continues to reign as a recognized release within the genre. Someday it may even surface the boundaries of deathcore glory in the realm of Job for a Cowboy's Doom EP, but let's not speak too soon, young brutal kid.
Within these five tracks, you have what you'd most expect from deathcore; heavy riffs, fast drumming, some blast beats and pack it all up with breakdowns and you're all set, not to mention vocals that alternate between growls and screams — just naming off the typical deathcore formula here. But what really sets this release apart from the whole pack I believe is mainly the production and Brendan Van Ryn's insane voice. Drums come in like a charm, they're smacky-loud and don't overwhelm the guitar work either. Speaking of the guitar work, one of TAIM's most renown techniques lies in Gary Markowski's laser-speed sweeps giving the band another innovation away from the deathcore clones. These kids play like all hell gaining their influences from early Cryptopsy, Suicide Silence, The Black Dahlia Murder, Necrophagist and See You Next Tuesday and deliver each and every idea into these songs at different variations and intervals.
In terms of vocals, I can ultimately see why this band have had a handful of fans that prefer Van Ryn over CJ McMahon (the band's current vocalist). And although I prefer McMahon more, Van Ryn's deathcore voice sounds completely mad and fits the music into a way that no one else could, his style is described as a "whiny Mitch Lucker" or a "death metal madman" and yet given that he sounds so insane it's almost no wonder there were false Internet rumors floating around about this guy like her murdered his own mum with barbed wire after he left the band, pfft.
Anywhoo, regarding the lyrics, most of them are highly misogynic. Lyrics such as "I'm inflicting bloodshed upon bitches just because I hate the female race", "there's no remorse in my heart, women were born to be fucked", "die you fucking whores, you putrid wastes of space, stop breeding fucking rats you bitches gonna get it" and finally "dumb bitches, fuck, they don't understand. This world does not revolve around them." leads me to ask was this kid just an angry teenager trying to get off some horrible breakups he went through or is he truly in anger at females and actually hates them? Or it could just be a "brutal" concept to write for the EP but whatever these three reasons may be for writing such lyrics, I'll just have to say, putting relentless hate towards women would be the low mark for this EP. Probably my least favorite thing at that, he could have been a tad more creative and not have made such a controversial move.
Overall this release is packed with five extremely fun songs. If deathcore with neat sweeps and distinct vocals tickle your fancy, Infinite Death is definitely for you and may it live on remembered for years and years on within this genre.
So Thy Art Is Murder's demo "This Hole Isn't Deep Enough For The Twelve Of You" wasn't all that bad. It wasn't great, but it was certainly listenable deathcore. This, however, is very hard to listen to. The main reason is the ever-present breakdowns. I really don't know how they thought having constant breakdowns could equate to something interesting and original. Also, there is lots of technical wankery, which otherwise would be quite annoying, at least add some variety to the guitar work. It still is pretty pointless, though. The drums, the vocals, the riffs - nothing is good about this.
While Thy Art Is Murder was never an interesting band and probably never will be, at least the demo was passable. While it still had many of the same problems as this release, those problems were kept to a minimum. While there was a bit of technical wank, it was infrequent and actually a fairly cool addition. There were also lots of breakdowns, but they were more original and balanced out by other riffs. It looks like the main problem with "Infinite Death" is that Thy Art Is Murder has forgotten what moderation is. Its like for this release they took the worst aspects of the demo and expanded on that while completely neglecting the good parts. The melodic guitar work was something I enjoyed very much about the demo, and while still present here in small parts, it sounds like a carbon copy of how it was on the demo. Only a bit less interesting.
My two biggest problems about the previous release, besides the breakdowns, were the mechanical drum sound and the vocals. Well maybe it was just because it was a first demo, and they've improved their abilities for the second coming. Nope. The mechanical drumming persists, with it being especially bad on the bass drums - which happen to be used almost constantly. With the fast sections the drummer plays with as much speed as he can with no thought to playing anything remotely interesting. The vocals are even worse here, the higher pitched vocals are annoying and the more guttural ones are weak.
It is utterly perplexing that they think that constant über-downtuned breakdowns is a good idea. I'm sure some kids in their scene kid phase will think its unrelentingly brutal or whatever, but truth be told, its kind of boring. They do play them at different tempos, but they are all as typical as you can get. One thing that really irked me is that when different riffing did emerge, they still found ways to incorporate breakdowns. All the technical wanking is pretty boring too. Never is any emotion put into these parts, it just seems like the guitar player is trying to show off. Great, so everyone now knows you're technically pretty decent - was it worth sacrificing the integrity of your music for? Not that this has much integrity to begin with. The only song that isn't completely abysmal (not to say that its actually good) is "Parasitic Autopsy". I suspect that this is because it is a reworked version of the same song from the demo.
This is nothing but endless breakdowns and silly technical lead guitar. Never does it become interesting. Never does it become passable. The only place this release belongs is at the bottom of a trash bin. Truly an abysmal slab of unlistenable hogwash, this is only for the most vapid scene kids. Which is why I think they chose this direction, because they knew those people would buy it. The demo certainly showed some potential, but they chose to throw that away to make their music appeal to the lowest common denominator of heavy music fans (I am hesitant at calling this metal as I'm not sure if this kind of deathcore would qualify).
So this is the EP that so many TAIM fans insist is their best work? Naturally, they're all scene kids who luv da breakdownz, so their opinion is invalid, but I still had to have a few listens to work out why this is so loved. This is one of the worst things i've heard in deathcore. This is on the same level as Suffokate and Chelsea Grin in terms of sheer shittiness.
Where to begin? I think i'll start with the guitarwork. It is laughably bad. Lots of random wanking that neither fits or sounds good. They seem to just be placing these random sweeps wherever they can fit them amongst the breakdowns (of which there are many) in a poor effort to sound technical. The breakdowns (or rather, breakdown, as it's the same one played several times) are absolutely awful and do not fit into the song structure at all. Typical chugfests you've come to expect from deathcore.
The drumming, on the other hand, is solid, and saves this album from a complete zero. Instead of simply blasting on his double bass like so many other deathcore drummers do, he adds some decent fills and rhythms that save the music from being a complete snoozefest and proving the band weren't a completely talentless collective at this point.
The vocalist is beyond awful. He sounds like before recording he sucked some helium out of a balloon. His screams are irritating, annoyingly high pitched and sound like nails on a chalkboard. His growls are average at best, and really lack character and sound very forced. His lyrics aren't much better. They range from amateurish anti-religious rants (I'll Show You God), butchering females (Whore To A Chainsaw), br00t4l gore (Parasitic Autopsy, Breeding Bacteria, Infinite Death). At times, you'll be laughing at how bad these lyrics are. At one point, the vocalist is chanting "BITCH, YOU'RE DEAD!" over a breakdown. Total failure
The main problem with this release, is that it just has too many flaws, flaws that were all rectified on the follow-up The Adversary. They got a better vocalist, they cut out the random soulless guitar wankery, they stopped using breakdowns so irritatingly frequently, and as a result became a good band. Every band starts somewhere and usually aren't that good on their first couple releases, but this band were beyond bad. Stay the fuck away.
(EDIT - November 23rd, 2012: Opinion changed radically enough to warrant a complete rewrite.)
Haha, wow, there was a point of time where I hated this? I feel really sorry for myself 18 months ago because I effectively shaved 18 months off my life that I could've spent listening to this EP. Infinite Death is a surprisingly solid chunk of material, and while it's certainly not the most original thing you'll ever hear (but who the fuck am I kidding, you already know that because it's a deathcore album; if you thought that would hinder your enjoyment of it you'd be listening to Unexpect or some other band that features a man using a kazoo as a butt plug), it's definitely a worthy listen for anyone interested in the more thuggish, retardedly brutal side of deathcore.
I was correct in my original assessment that this is basically a Suicide Silence clone, though I don't consider that to be an immediate dealbreaker this time around. These songs, solid as they are, all admittedly sound like outtakes from The Cleansing with a bit more technicality on display from all the musicians involved, so the enjoyment you take out of this will directly hinge on how well you're able to tolerate that album and its predominantly metal-lacking, extremely chug-heavy approach to deathcore. Infinite Death is -core with almost all its ties to melodic death metal cleanly cut - or death metal of any sort, really.
While the guitar tone isn't as distorted and in-your-face as the one utilised on The Cleansing (which is a bit of a disappointment), it's still entirely competent for the material being played as it's loud, bassy and relatively thick. The majority of the guitarwork alternates between downtuned tremolo riffs with vaguely death metallish melodies tied in, and chugging that doesn't even attempt to make melodies detectable to the human ear. Both styles are backed up by near-constant blast beats on the drum kit - be they vanilla, alternating between the cymbal and snare, or rapid-fire gravity blasts - and overall the material here is usually a lot faster than Suicide Silence have ever been in their entire career. The drums here also feature a surprisingly large amount of fills (they're mostly just going down the toms, but hey I'm just surprised they discovered that there were toms on the kit) and various other little bits of technical flair every now and then.
The breakdowns are pretty good overall, but don't reach the perfect simplicty-to-catchiness ratio like Suicide Silence did on their debut album. There are a few stinkers lurking around like the one at the end of "Parasitic Autopsy" which seem to settle for "chug this one note in an absolute monotone", and there simply aren't as many dumb, stompy breakdowns as there could be. Then there's the occasional noodling to take into account, which usually falls flat on its face and comes off less like awe-inspiring technicality and more like an attempt to box in and structure a Brain Drill riff to show off to the listener. It's also worth noting that the wank is usuallly shoved into the breakdowns as what is ostensibly an attempt to add in a bit of extra substance (but oh, you're so silly, Thy Art Is Murder; breakdowns honestly don't need to be anything more than a bunch of chugs sewn together), but in execution the simplicity of the chugs contrasted with the note-barrages gives off more of a feeling of awkwardness than whatever the band were going for.
The vocals here are probably the weakest overall performance on Infinite Death. The lower vocals are reserved to growls (no gurgles, pig squeals, etc.), but even then they're not as obscenely low and unintelligible as I'd rather them be. They're decent, but pretty hard to describe, if only because they're about as unoriginal as deathcore vocals can get; honestly, the only reason his performance comes across as having any sort of identity is because his annoyingly thick Australian accent is still easily detectable under the harshness. The screams are a bit more unique, registering pretty high (not Mitch Lucker high but still notable by deathcore standards) but unfortunately coming across as a bit whinier than I think he intended.
There are a few other flaws in Infinite Death: excluding the awesomely clunky snare, the drum kit is godawful in its tone, with the cymbals sounding like undefined whooshes of air most of the time and the kick drum sounding like someone slapping a wad of raw meat. And while it doesn't particularly bother me or factor into my opinion of the music, it's worth noting that this EP features what must be the most immature lyrics I've ever heard in a relatively extreme band: trust me, we get it, you hate women because some fucking whore bitch slut harlot broke up with you once upon a time, bless your heart. (Also, misogyny makes you gay - take your pick.) So yeah, this isn't perfect by any means, but considering the quality of the actual riffs and the breakdowns here, plus the intriguing amount of speed added to the mix, this is definitely worth a listen for people who like deathcore best when it stops trying to be melodic death metal with metalcore influences. If you hypothetically wanted more music that sounds like The Cleansing, this EP certainly wouldn't be the worst you could do.
And fuck you for trying to be smart and voicing your shitty opinions, 2011 MutantClannfear. This new review took me like an hour to write and I could have spent that time masturbating or sleeping if not for you. Fuck you.
One of my best friends recommended me this album, so I decided to give it a try. I really try to enjoy deathcore music and I'm always looking for a deathcore band that doesn't sound generic or boring. I guess I would be able to find it, after all, I read several positive reviews that claimed this to be the new sound of metal with awesome guitar work, brutal vocals ,and extremely scary lyrics. After all, some deathcore bands sound decent and entertaining.
Unfortunately, nothing here has musical value whatsoever. This album reminds me a lot of Bring Me The Horizon (not a good thing). Why? Let me start with the vocalist, or should I say ''vokillist''? That annoying vocalist kid needs to shut the fuck up. He sounds like some retarded baby crying his lungs out. He's actually whining more than screaming, and if you add the brutal wannabe lyrics, you end up hearing the angriest high schooler ever. Mostly because the vocals sound too forced, they just don't sound aggressive or good whatsoever. Infinite Death and Whore To A Chainsaw prove this.
Also notice how all the songs sound pretty much the same. Kind of like a slower, whinier version of Suicide Silence playing an infinite breakdown. What's so awesome about breakdowns? A mystery that shall remain unsolved.
Guitars sound extremely soft with very few guitar leads and endless chugging. It sounds as boring as it gets. Also the bass is pretty much inaudible and if you pay close attention, you'll be able to hear it's only the first 4 frets of the thickest string being played, so there's nothing much to enjoy in the guitar department.
Their drummer, however, seems to be able to pull some non-sucky chops once in a while. Too bad everything he plays ends up in a breakdown, so it all goes to hell, especially with the annoying triggered sound.
Overall, stay away from this absurdly bad release.
I have finally found one, my search is over for finding yet another great deathcore band, that doesn't sound like Christian metal shit. A band that shows the true influence deathcore has always had, and the very aspects to make a good band.
The guitar was written well, good riffs that keep your headbanging without needing to slow down, and a breakdown or two just to give a break, and realize this is awesome. However, the breakdown or solo, outstanding parts went on a little too long is some parts, which made you think "When are we gonna get back to those wicked riffs?" Which is not such a big deal, because the guitarist put a very technical edge to these parts, which are all very impressive. True talent.
As a drummer, I find most bands in this genre don't show their true talent, but this band's drummer blew my mind. He didn't just keep a beat by blasting all the time or just giving bursts of double bass, he MADE the rhythms, occasionally speeding up the double bass, moving around a lot, and giving a few very good fills to set the mood. He knew when to play slow, when to chill, and then when to blast you away. May I also add, he has really fucking fast feet, tremendous double bass skill.
The bass was not much of a difference, it didn't stand out that much, nothing special about it, there is some parts where you can hear him stand out and give a good line, but really, he just follows along. Show us your talent, bud.
Finally, the vocals were great to show in this EP, he did use a wide range of notes, going from high to low and not stopping. However, it's pretty much all the same, nothing really special, no pig squeals, but it does give you that feel that THIS IS GOOD.
A true technical deathcore band, a mix between Whitechapel's heaviest songs with that technical edge you might get from bands like Viraemia or Brain Drill (only really for the guitar, though) This is a great band, another anti-religion band that we don't see too often, due to so many Christian Metal bands.
But that's a different story from their greatness.