Philadelphia-hailing rockers Mannequin Pussy have been conjuring music that moves, both physically and mentally, since …
To quote former Hysty goon Tom MF Hersey, “Why Facey B (death metallers Faceless Burial) isn’t as big as Parkway [Drive]” wasn’t totally accurate: he should have said, “why aren’t they as big as Thy Art Is Murder.”
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As much as we like Faceless Burial (big ups fam no cap fr), Godlike is Thy Art’s sixth record and first for own label Human Warfare tells you everything you need to know; we don’t need no steeeeenking major labels, especially during this global mini-death metal renaissance. Hey bro, have you heard of Archspire?
Thy Art will open every gig with Destroyer of Dreams because C.J. McMahon* is a total drama queen and we wouldn’t have it any other way. A stony faced riff marches towards listeners and implores them to throw hands and bodies into a blurred maelstrom—we’ll see you on the other side, my friends. Just like the the OG 80s Transformers: The Movie, it only gets better from there. Blood Throne reboots the robot powering Fear Factory‘s Demanufacture, rushing in guns blazing. Consider the hair-line between ‘core and death metal proper well and truly straddled.
This is the order of Godlike; everything is bigger, grander, bloodier.
This is the order of Godlike; everything is bigger, grander, bloodier. Lead-driven Join Me In Armageddon is mesmerising in its dissonance and churn, another track ripe for the pit. You’ll think the floor has fallen under you when the breakdown hits. Just as Rotting Christ tempts God from his heaven, Keres’ percussive attack sharpens throughout its length, skin-beater Jesse Beahler earning his time and a half in the studio for this song alone. Brutal, unyielding Kataklysm-ic beatdowns continue in Everything Unwanted, which will keep speed freaks and headbangers equally pleased from beginning to end. They even try their hand at a “definitely not a ballad, but what else could you possibly call it” at the end in Bermuda, easing off the gas for a conceptual, dissonant, and fitting coda to the album. An album that drives like a rich kid in a Bugatti who pays fines like they’re mosquito bites.
Though there are nods to synths (a dazzling lead-break driven Corrosion comes to mind) they never veer into full blown Septic Flesh or Fleshgod Apocalypse territory. Instead, it’s a sparing expansion on an already dense wall of sound. Godlike isn’t a concept album, but it’s built like one; themes building on themes, riffs connecting together and ramming home uncompromising songs with passion and purpose. The deathcore vs death metal debate is over; the crossover is complete and we’re all better off for it. Kneel to the Godlike? I won’t be saying no.
STAND OUT TRACKS: Blood Throne, Keres, Everything Unwanted
STICK THIS NEXT TO: Decapitated, All Shall Perish, Kataklysm (new)
*Editor’s Note: Hysteria was supplied with a pre-release promotional stream of the album prior to the dismissal of former vocalist CJ McMahon and subsequent remixing of the album with new vocals.