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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.