Metal Hammer (UK) - - Albums - ADAM REES

Aus­tralia’s re­united ruf­fi­ans over­come their con­fines

There are two OCEANO [6].

sides to Illi­nois’ The first is an ugly, gut­tural slab of death­core that grimly flat­tens all be­fore it, but sadly the sub­tle synths that add an eerie di­men­sion on this year’s pun­ish­ing Rev­e­la­tion sound a bit ar­ti­fi­cial and ir­ri­tat­ing be­hind Adam War­ren’s crew in the live en­vi­ron­ment. AF­TER THE BURIAL [7] are a more com­plex propo­si­tion, but through the con­vuls­ing rhythms and elas­ti­cated riffs comes the ir­re­sistible crunch of Anti-Pat­tern, dur­ing which band and crowd prove the low stage and ob­sta­cle-rid­den ceil­ing of the re­fur­bished venue are still to­tally un­suit­able for such a rau­cous meet­ing. A stir­ring A Wolf Amongst Ravens brings an end to a tri­umphant re­turn for a band who are clearly de­ter­mined to over­come the tragic loss of gui­tarist Richard Lowe.

The chants of “CJ! CJ! CJ!” that erupt both be­fore and dur­ing THY ART IS MUR­DER’S [8] in­cen­di­ary set are tes­ta­ment to the in­escapable ap­peal of re­turn­ing front­man CJ McMa­hon, who’s greeted by a deaf­en­ing hero’s wel­come as he emerges to new num­ber Dear Des­o­la­tion. Though not rad­i­cally bet­ter than any other metal vo­cal­ists in a sim­i­lar mould – in­clud­ing Nick Arthur who ably deputised in his ab­sence – there’s just some­thing about his pres­ence and mag­netism that the head­lin­ers lacked dur­ing his hia­tus. De­spite a ten­dency to gur­gle his way through lyrics, di­a­tribes such as Slaves Beyond Death are de­liv­ered with re­morse­less in­tent, and he feeds off the fever­ish scenes in the pit be­low, in­cit­ing bed­lam by omi­nously stalk­ing the stage and launch­ing him­self into the mass of bod­ies that threat­ens to en­velop se­cu­rity at any mo­ment. The front­man’s ire reaches new lev­els of in­ten­sity when he talks about a dis­agree­ment with a Chris­tian group in the build­ing, pour­ing fuel onto the al­ready rag­ing Ab­so­lute Geno­cide.

Clearly re-en­er­gised, the band sound noth­ing short of colos­sal through new num­bers Death Dealer and Pup­pet Mas­ter, whose un­stop­pable charge is down to the ba­sics be­ing ex­e­cuted to per­fec­tion, while the crowd re­spond in kind to es­tab­lished cho­rus of Purest Strain Of Hate. But it’s fi­nally get­ting to hear CJ add his scorn to the clos­ing one-two of Light Bearer and the ti­tle track from Holy War – an al­bum that he only briefly toured and that set Thy Art Is Mur­der apart from the throng – that rekin­dles the ex­cite­ment for the Syd­ney quin­tet as they ve­he­mently shrug off genre lim­its and the hideously in­ap­pro­pri­ate venue. Leav­ing only briefly be­fore be­ing sum­moned back for a tri­umphant Reign Of Dark­ness, you get the sense that the next time they roll through it will be in much more es­teemed sur­round­ings.


Mur­der’s ata­le­ofdry Sean

ice­andire De­lander: CJ McMa­hon grabs hold of the reins once more


Dear Death Slaves Beyond

Strain Of Hate The Purest

Eter­nal Sin Shadow Of



Cof­fin Drag­ger


The Son Of

Pup­pet Mas­ter

Holy War

Light Bearer


Reign Of Dark­ness

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