Thy Art Is Murder have been on an upward trajectory in the deathcore world since their beginning, but the state of the band became uncertain when vocalist CJ McMahon abruptly left the band at the end of 2015. After a year of touring with guest vocalists, the band have returned and welcomed McMahon back on their strongest record to date, Dear Desolation.
From the opening onslaught of blast beats and down low guitar chugs on "Slaves Beyond Death," Thy Art Is Murder display a vicious tone and attack matched by few. The band continue this savage assault with seeming ease on songs like title track "Dear Desolation" and "Puppet Master," delicately balancing rapid-fire riffs with ominous, doomy breakdowns.
While metal elitists have lumped Thy Art Is Murder in with run-of-the-mill deathcore bands in the past, Dear Desolation will put death metal purists in their place. The record takes a much more direct influence from bands such as Behemoth and Cannibal Corpse, incorporating more chaotic solos, blast beats and lightning-quick riffs than before. McMahon's guttural vocals have also shown improvement on this album, becoming more clearly enunciated and deeper than on past releases.
Dear Desolation is a technically impressive step forward for Thy Art Is Murder, taking their deathcore upbringing and giving it a heavy dose of adrenaline. The record is ruthless from beginning to end, giving listeners sparse calmness one moment before unleashing another intense flurry of brutality the next. (Nuclear Blast)