Thy Art Is Murder THY ART IS MURDER ascended the ranks of extreme metal’s top-tier bands with a meteoric underground rise as explosive as humankind’s seemingly inevitable descent into doom and death.
Australia’s most harrowingly brutal export since George Miller’s Mad Max franchise invites audiences worldwide to join them in a fresh Armageddon. A soundtrack to a divisive postmodern dystopia.
Two-time ARIA Music Awards nominees and tourmates with genre-titans like Cannibal Corpse, Slayer, Kreator, Lamb Of God, and Killswitch Engage, THY ART IS MURDER offers a savage take on blackened death metal combined with a heady but accessible approach to social commentary.
Songs like “Reign of Darkness,” “Atonement,” “The Purest Strain of Hate,” and “Puppet Master” became anthems for outsiders, those who dare to challenge, provoke, and resist the dark world around them. They make dark, chaotic, nihilistic, heavy music with sharp smarts beneath its surface.
Chris “CJ” McMahon (vocals), Andy Marsh (guitar), Sean Delander (guitar), Kevin Butler (bass), and Jesse Beahler (drums) spent lockdown isolated even more than most. The group’s guitar players put down their instruments for the first time since they started, resulting in a type of rebirth.
“Sean and I didn’t even pick up our guitars for two years,” Marsh explains. “It was deliberate. The muscle memory… When we came back, it freed everything up. The hands went to different places than they were used to going. It was easier to get outside of the box of Thy Art Is Murder. We tried to explore new dimensions. It’s still within a tight paradigm, but we went to some new places.”
The result is Godlike, 2023’s sixth full-length entry in the band’s ever-expansive discography. Sonically, new depths and dynamics are explored without sacrificing an ounce of intensity or urgency. Songs like “Join Me in Armageddon,” “Destroyer of Dreams,” “Blood Throne,” “Keres,” and “Lesson in Pain” deliver sharp stabs, guttural descents, and groove with muscular athleticism and confidence.
Earlier in the year, the group emerged from pandemic hibernation with a tour celebrating the tenth anniversary of their sophomore album, Hate, including a pro-shot concert film captured in Melbourne. The Aggression Sessions capped off a groundbreaking collaborative series with Fit For An Autopsy begun with The Depression Sessions, joined by Malevolence and The Acacia Strain, respectively. (Fit For An Autopsy includes Thy Art’s longtime producer and mixer, Will Putney.)
Godlike is the next logical step, cementing Thy Art Is Murder as death metal’s modern torchbearers. Thematically, the songs confront how cycles of violence continue over time and feelings of separation. Album closer “Bermuda” boasts what’s arguably McMahon’s strongest performance ever.
The first group of its kind to crack the Top 40 on the ARIA Charts, the Sydney-born band has charted higher than any other homegrown extreme metal outfit in their native country. The “deathcore” rumblings of an early demo and EP, recorded when the original lineup were teenagers, opened the door to the genuine death metal force Thy Art Is Murder would become.
Their first album, The Adversary (2010), is a classic with heightened aggression well beyond most of their contemporaries.
Thy Art Is Murder first worked with Putney (A Day To Remember, Knocked Loose, The Ghost Inside) on Hate, which arrived in 2012 via Halfcut Records and earned a broader release in 2013 via Nuclear Blast.
The Sydney Morning Herald wrote that the music video for the title track from Holy War (2015) sparked heated discussions with its graphic depictions of torture and violence. Despite the controversy and conversation, the Australian edition of Rolling Stone awarded the album four stars.
Dear Desolation (2017), which Metal Injection described as “a pounding adrenaline rush,” debuted in the Top 100 in the US and Australia’s Top 5.
As Kerrang! wrote upon the release of Human Target (2019), “When it comes to this stuff, few are capable of doing it with such devastating expertise.”
Marsh notes the ambitious but controlled pace of their continued creative evolution.
On Godlike, as with every album prior, “The dissonance in my mind between what we sound like and what I imagine we should sound like gets closer together.”
MetalSucks put Thy Art Is Murder among the Top 50 Most Popular Metal Bands Right Now, According to the Internet (based on page views), next to Metallica, Slipknot, Ghost, and Iron Maiden. Six albums in and with electrifying performances in clubs and theaters across the globe and at crucial festivals like Summer Breeze, Download, Graspop, and Wacken, it’s easy to understand why.
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