Metal Hammer (UK) - - Albums - ADAM REES

on the ac­claim of 2015’s Holy

War, Thy Art Is Mur­der had the rug swiftly pulled out from un­der­neath their feet when pow­er­house front­man CJ McMa­hon pub­licly an­nounced his de­par­ture from the band, leav­ing his for­mer com­rades to sol­dier on with a re­volv­ing cast of able but ul­ti­mately throw­away stand-ins – only for CJ to re­turn a year later. Dear Deso­la­tion seems to have been rushed out in a bid to cap­i­talise on the re­union’s mo­men­tum, for­sak­ing the scope and in­ci­sive riff­ing of its pre­de­ces­sor for a cud­gel and cathar­sis through wan­ton thug­gery. How­ever, along­side fel­low Aussies Aver­sions Crown, the band un­der­stand both fun­da­men­tals of the death­core for­mula bet­ter than most, util­is­ing ugly at­mo­spher­ics while keep­ing fren­zied, tech­ni­cal riff­ing and the hos­til­ity of beat­down hard­core in per­fect bal­ance. Eerie har­monies cor­rupt the chug of The Son Of Mis­ery and scyth­ing Death Dealer while The Skin Of The Ser­pent and Fire In The Sky’s sick­en­ing tex­tures and swampy tem­pos are ideal cat­a­lysts for the meaty gui­tars and Lee Sta­ton’s crack­ling drum­ming. CJ clearly has a point to prove, with his vo­cals both more in­tel­li­gi­ble and bar­barous, un­leash­ing the hounds on Pup­pet Mas­ter’s dy­namic verses and pour­ing on the scorn through Man Is The En­emy. Though short on the pen­e­tra­tive hooks that Holy War pos­sessed in abun­dance, Into Chaos We Climb and The Fi­nal Cur­tain’s seis­mic jolts and haunt­ing leads leave an in­deli­ble mark for death­core dis­ci­ples to latch onto. In spite of tu­mul­tuous cir­cum­stances and the weight of ex­pec­ta­tion, Dear Deso­la­tion sees Thy Art Is

Mur­der snatch­ing a late equaliser from the jaws of de­feat.

FOR FANS OF: Whitechapel, Fit For An Au­topsy, Aver­sions Crown

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