Australia’s Thy Art Is Murder have always pushed the boundaries, cracking the Top 40 album chart in their homeland with their 2012 album Hate (a chart first for the deathcore genre) and undertaking extensive touring with the likes of Fear Factory and Fit for An Autopsy.
With the band’s latest album, Holy War, about to drop, there’s a feeling within underground music circles that this is the record that breaks the band wide open, driving them to new levels of public awareness without compromising the brutality of their sound or the clarity of their vision.
The album came together from material written on the road over the past year as well as in a vacation house on the New South Wales Central Coast. Then the band spent a few weeks in the studio before recording began.
Ultimately half the album was written in the four weeks before recording began, with the band pushing through the mounting expectations from fans and media. “I think there was a bit of pressure but I wasn’t too concerned,” guitarist Sean Delander says.
“We were going to write the songs that we were going to write and that’s that. I like to think that the vision we have is the right one and if you start to write for fans or the critics it’s going to lose something along the way.”
“Our producer Will Putney would walk past the pre-production room and probably once a day yell out ‘reign of darkness!” guitarist Andy Marsh deadpans.
“So there was that pressure. And it’s worthy of note that Sean definitely did crumble. One night, late at night I walked past the pre-production room he’d been writing riffs in and he was laying on his back playing Jeff Buckley at three in the morning singing to himself.”
Holy War sees founder Delander returning to guitar after spending the last four years playing bass. The bass role is now handled by Kevin Butler, who has toured with the band here and there for the last year or two. “It was a decision I’d been meaning to make for a few years now,” Delander says.
“I’d been jumping around between guitar and bass. And I do a lot of the writing, so I just figured it would be better if I was playing live as well to get the songs to come across the way I picture them and the way they sound on the record.”
Be sure to check out Thy Art Is Murder on the Victory Records Stage at the Mayhem Festival all summer long throughout the U.S.