Published Jun 26, 2015Deathcore was always about pushing extremes. The fusion genre took the most brutal elements of death metal and juxtaposed them with metalcore's devastating breakdowns, but somewhere along the way, the fledgling genre got lost and ended up doing a whole lot of trudging through mediocrity. While Thy Art Is Murder's 2012 sophomore LP, Hate, was likeable, it was certainly middling, turning down the tempos and technicality of debut The Adversary to find a comfortable medium that they rarely pushed themselves beyond.
Fortunately, it appears the third time really is the charm for these Aussies, as Holy War carves finds a happy medium between the soul-sucking breakdowns of their last release and the eccentric pyrotechnics of their first. There are more emotions than merely the titular Hate of their last, and the soaring solos sound positively triumphant.
Fortunately, these moments do not come at the expense of the crushing breakdowns or blast beats the band employ over the course of the album, a relentless assault that is reminiscent of Dyscarnate, All Shall Perish, Dark Sermon and Fit for an Autopsy. Though the album could do without the all-too-clichéd ominous riffs over chugs — let's call them chugly passages — it's a small price to pay for this victory. (Nuclear Blast)