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This Hole Is Not Deep Enough for the Twelve of You — the first release by Aussie extreme metal five piece Thy Art Is Murder holds a tad distinct sound from this band, especially considering how young they were at the time of these songs. This is indeed a deathcore release. Yes deathcore, that controversial metal genre which recipes death metal and metalcore together. But here of course, we see metalcore showing dominance over the death metal side of the genre unlike Thy Art Is Murder's later works where death metal holds the much larger ratio in their sound.
First song on this release "Like a Face to a Blender" features a sound unlike many other songs in the library of Thy Art Is Murder; groovy and in-your-face without relying on speed or slams. Its 4 and a half minute run time contains an alright shine and feeling a young deathcore band. Gary Markowski's technical guitar work puts a varying emphasis on their sound as it does on their later songs and eventually becoming a trademark for the band. Here as he adds in a few of his signature sweeps every now and then, especially during the track's second or so breakdown. It isn't as major as his later riffing as a part of the band, but little things like this keep the release out of the vast sea of deathcore clones.
After this song, we take a look at the early version of "Parasitic Autopsy" where there is a noticeable fair amount of changes within this version than on the Infinite Death version. First off the pig squeals and inhale growl reverbs that Brendan Van Ryn used at ease in this version were removed in the later version along with some of the ferocity. And by ferocity, I mean the production and vocals of this song, which were definitely put at a rawer level than they were on Infinite Death. I believe the best thing about this track that shines the most is (again) definitely the vocals of Van Ryn and not only that, but on this EP as a whole. He sounds better. At the point in time of this release, his voice wasn't as whiny and his screams weren't as shrieky. By the song's climax, it reaches a pretty fancy guitar solo which is then followed by a build up for a heavy breakdown; which is thankfully a part that is still kept on the Infinite Death version.
Finally the last track "This Hole Is Not Deep Enough" opens up with a power chord before bringing upon drums and flows along normally as a TAIM song before bringing along some melody by the first verse. Fair amount of changes come and go in this last track such as melody and Van Ryn double layering his vocals — you know the whole technique that you've heard before where vocalists would dual track their screams over their growls. This track as well contains a solo, yet displays a resemblance to that of the solo in "No Pity for a Coward" by Suicide Silence. Typical deathcore song really.
All and all; not a bad first release at all for these young extreme metallers, especially considering how it was done completely independent. When it comes to songwriting on a first release, you'd usually expect something much more dull but this is definitely not the case here. Kudos to this band delivering a catchy, brutal and very fun release so early in their career.
I had a bad feeling checking out this band, I heard they were the worst kind of vapid deathcore. Deathcore is not at all a genre I am partial to - mostly because of the ever-present breakdowns. While this is definitely deathcore and certainly has breakdowns, I find it hard to hate. Thankfully there is enough other guitar work to balance out the breakdowns.
The breakdowns are undeniably a big part of this music, and they do drag it down a bit. While there are probably more than there should be, a hell of a lot of deathcore bands are a lot worse with that. Breakdowns aren't the only type of guitar work Thy Art Is Murder employ. The best guitar style by far on this demo are the tremolo riffs. While a bit melodic, they are still heavy. They function best when two guitars are playing the tremolo melody in harmony. There are also occasional riffs which sound like metalcore, which aren't great, but are good for what they are. The random riff of other varieties are also included. The lead guitar is noteworthy. There is some melodic wankery, which is used sparsely enough to be an interesting addition. This technique is most notably used in "Parasitic Autopsy".
The vocals vary a lot. There is your average guttural growl, along with a high pitched rasp. Both of these are done adequately but never spectacular. The BREE BREE vocals and the over the top death gurgle, which both call brutal death metal home turf, also make the occasional appearance. While I usually have high disdain for those vocal styles, they are very well executed here and cause no problems at all. Besides the influx of breakdowns, the drumming is one of the only things really wrong with this. The tone they get sounds very mechanical. Also, these drums are definitely triggered, and not in a very original fashion. While they don't ruin everything, they don't add that much.
While annoying in sections, as a whole this demo isn't bad at all. I'm not sure it breaks into "good" territory, but for something with so many typical highly down-tuned breakdowns, this isn't horrible. This is highly accessible and features production that would not at all reveal that this is a band's first demo. While the breakdowns and mechanical drumming do put a damper on things, I would rather listen to this than a countless number of deathcore bands.
So let's back up a few years from the abomination that was Infinite Death. Thy Art Is Murder still have another work under their sleeves. It's deathcore, like the EP that would follow. But is it as notoriously shitty as its follow-up would be? Well, thankfully, the answer is no. Suicide Silence were still a very small name around the time this demo was released, and thus they aren't a primary influence on TAIM this time around. Instead, one could say the main influences here were a combination of Bring Me the Horizon and Doom-era Job for a Cowboy. The end result is not godawful, but rather inoffensive early deathcore.
The guitars are mostly an alternation between chugged triplet breakdowns and your typical overly cheesy melodic death metal riffs. Now I'll admit I can enjoy a good breakdown every now and then, but the ones that populate this release are extremely dull and predictable. On top of that, they lack the constant, often polyrhythmic beat that a good breakdown needs. The melodic death metal riffs are just a more cheery version of something you'd hear in a TBDM song, and not only are these types of riffs boring more often, they're hackneyed beyond all belief. Being the darkest of the three songs, "Parasitic Autopsy" has at least two riffs I enjoy, and surprise surprise, they draw more influence from modern technical/brutal death metal than anything that has to do with dahlias or murders. The rest of the songs are rather worthless riff-wise, however.
The drums are mostly buried beneath the crappy demo production job, but to be fair they're not doing any of mention so the listener isn't missing much. Typical alternating blasts, waves of double bass, et cetera. The vocalist may actually be crappier here than he would be on Infinite Death - the screams are snarly and hoarse, but rather unrestrained in pitch, making them feel quite sloppy. The growls are even more boring than they would be a couple years from now, but the most terrible thing in this release, hands down, is the use of pig squeals. They're not the good, guttural pig squeals used by Guttural Secrete and Devourment - no, it's all slurry, inhaled pig shit that sounds more like a low, malformed pig squeal than the decent type.
One of my biggest complaints about this release is the general lack of coherence in these songs. It's probably partially due to the boring melodeath riffs, but the songs don't really seem to have a start or an end - they just play x amount of riffs, pad it out with x amount of breakdowns, and then end once they've played for long enough. A feeling of conclusion (and start, for that matter) would not be minded by me.
Overall, this is not utterly despicable like Infinite Death, but it's rather boring, even by mid-2000s deathcore standards. I doubt this will seriously appeal to anyone beyond -core fans who will love anything as long as it meets a chug quota.