Brutality, controversy and the beginnings of a genre
It’s the early 2000’s and for many years the metal world has been gradually growing into more genres than you can count! One of the genres to grow from the Extreme Death Metal family was Deathcore, a blend of Death Metal and Grindcore; which is fast, heavy and abrasive. Today we’ll be taking a look into the beginnings of arguably one of the most popular early Deathcore bands still around; Thy Art is Murder.
Warning: The contents of this article contain song titles, and themes that are not suitable for everybody. They contain, violent, anti-religious and misogynistic themes.
I do not support the views present in these songs I just enjoy the music.
It’s 2005 and Metalcore is a genre that has metal fans split. With a softer sound than traditional metal, it is considered by some to be a heavier version of the now, not popular, Nu-Metal genre which itself had a lot of metal fans in a bit of a clash. Some love Metalcore due to it being an easy genre to get into for people who are generally not metal fans, while some hate it because of the “preachy sing-a-longs.” The sound itself is a blend of Hardcore and Metal that many elitists discredited entirely as a sub-genre of metal. However, what could be considered as a “brother genre” that also has metal fans in a major stir is Deathcore.
A fusion of Death Metal and Grindcore, it combines elements of 2 of the most popular genres of Extreme Metal. The genre was made popular by Suicide Silence and The Acacia Strain over in the USA. Their influence spread through the metal community very quickly, with bands such as Whitechapel, Carnifex and All Shall Perish forming shortly afterwards. One of the biggest Deathcore bands still around today is Thy Art is Murder. From Blacktown, New South Wales in Australia, formed in 2005 from the members of a few local bands they released their first demo tape ‘This hole is not deep enough for the 12 of you’ in 2007, and though it clocks in at a little over 10 minutes long, it leaves a lasting impact the first time you hear it.
The first song on this 3 track demo is ‘Parasitic Autopsy,’ which has got quite possibly the most aggressive and immediate start I have ever heard in any song. It is fast, unforgiving and extremely brutal. To say the least, it is an extremely powerful first impression for the start of a demo tape. It does suffer a bit from what sounds like low production value, and of all the songs on this demo I would say this track unarguably sounds like it has the lowest quality mixing in the entire demo. That does not stop it from being an awesome song though.
Track two, ‘Like a face to a blender’ starts with some strange noises, which lead into an immediate breakdown with some almost tribal sounding drums. Quite a bit slower and more dark sounding than the previous track while retaining just as much anger and aggression. It feels like the theme for each section of the song changes drastically, and just after the halfway point, the song changes quite a bit speeding up into a more traditional death metal sound reminding me a little bit of a Carcass song.
The final track for the demo, ‘This hole is not deep enough’ starts out sounding quite dark and sinister. With a tune that sounds like it should be in a dark fantasy game or movie, its packed full of the speed and aggression seen from the rest of this demo. To me this one sounds like it had the highest budget for sound mixing and sounds like a song that would have been made by an already established band that has had years to perfect their sound. The breakdowns in this song have an odd tendency to have a sound that seems to have a feeling similar to just running a finger all the way down a piano’s keys, and back again. While it does sound very strange it is also a very good touch in my opinion.
Overall, I would give this demo a 6/10, which for a demo is quite good considering the production value. Unfortunately, due to its relative obscurity it is not on Spotify, it can be heard through this youtube video however.
Moving onto the follow up, ‘Infinite Death,’ which came out a year later in 2008.
The first track, ‘I’ll show you god’ starts out with a short drum solo and then wastes no time at all getting to business. With some REALLY powerful and heavy drums playing the whole way through, guitar tunes that change in pitch constantly, with a fast and sudden outro, it is a song that has many complexities to it which is a fantastic intro for this EP.
Unfortunately, however, it is totally blown away by any song after it. With the fan favourite, ‘Whore to a chainsaw’ leading us into the second track. Starting out with what sounds at first to be a traditional Death Metal song but which then quickly changes into what sounds like a really fast and aggressive Grindcore song (which to me sounds a little bit like Pig Destroyer). As I said before, this is a fan favourite for live shows. If you ask almost any fan of the band what their 5 favourite songs are, the likelihood is this will be in the top 5, and probably even within the top 3. If you are easily offended however, this is not the song for you, in its entirety it is a misogynistic song and has offended quite a few people.
Track three starts out with a familiar sound. A re-recorded version of, ‘Parasitic Autopsy’ which showcases what the rest of the demo could have sounded like with a decent production value. I prefer this version personally as it sounds much clearer and a few parts of the song have been changed. Overall though, not much to say about this that wasn’t said the first time around other than this was a good song to choose for the halfway point of this record.
‘Breeding bacteria,’ the fourth track, has got a very strange tempo to it but has addictively good drums and pacing. It changes speed quite often and it’s difficult to pin down if the tune is going to stay consistent in the next few seconds or not. This song is very badly mixed in my opinion, as in my experience, the vocals tend to get a bit lost and inaudible. It’s another very short track, but yet again it’s, a song that keeps pulling me back to this album. However, the next track is something of its own entirely.
‘Infinite Death,’ the self titled track, is the fastest, most aggressive, and conversely, most offensive song on the whole record. Where do I start here even? The drums, the guitars, the vocals, this whole song is a journey. About 30 seconds in when, “Enter the mind of a psychopath” is screamed, is when the song really takes off. With an extremely fast beat, and some odd tempo changes, it’s a very good experimental track that was definitely the best track to end the EP with. Much like the rest of this album, the lyrics will be offensive to some people, but this song in particular is one that should be ignored if you are of a sensitive mindset and are not particularly familiar with extreme music. Without a doubt the opening alone will put you on edge. If this is ignored though, this song is easily within Thy Art is Murder’s 10 best songs.
Take a listen ↓
Thoughts? Discuss down below!