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It seems Thy Art Is Murder has been a rollercoaster of sound changes. This Aussie extreme metal five piece have already began sounding like two different bands by the time the band had mustered some line-up changes over 2009, (most notably the exclusion of original vocalist Brendan Van Ryn) and gained an almost entirely new fanbase. Since then and post-times of The Adversary, one could only wonder what would happen to the band after leaving guitarist Gary Markowski (who was a big part of the band's sound) behind. Rumor has it (and stated from the band themselves so it isn't so much of a rumor) that Markowski stole from the other members which led to his departure. Now, this wouldn't be such a big surprise of him being gone if it wasn't for the band doing great even without him. The band's latest single, "Reign of Darkness" that premiered on internationally acclaimed Australian radio station Triple J is proof of that.
This song opens up with some catchy chugs and chiming/haunting riffs before bringing it up full-force. Lee Stanton's drumming is back and better than ever. This kid RIPS on the skins. It also becomes clear that McMahon has also adopted a slightly alternative vocal style. He is more understandable in the lyrics he growls without to mention he's less breathy and his accent comes in much clearer than it did on The Adversary. The track even includes one of TAIM's renown and epic guitar solos, they pull this off stupendously even without Markowski, which had my jaw drop in disbelief. The song then reaches its breakdown, which is really nothing special to me. Stanton tries to make it sound interesting with some drum fills in between the chugs instead of just slamming onto the cymbals in 1/2 time pattern as every usual drummer would do during a breakdown, but other than that, this part of the song is just something for kids to break each other's noses to in the circle pit.
All in all, this single did more for me than just preview out on their new sound, it also conquered the fear I had initially of the band's style going downhill due to Markowski no longer being present in the lineup and that they are just fine and brutal without him. The song is not bad at all and leaves me interested for what Hate will sound like in its entirety. I've gripping in excitement for this album for months now and my biggest goal for the rest of the year is having the full-length record in my hands.