Thy Art Is Murder

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Thy Art Is Murder
Thy Art Is Murder - Rock am Ring 2018-5704.jpg
Thy Art Is Murder performing at Rock am Ring in 2018
Background information
OriginBlacktown, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Years active2006 (2006)–present
LabelsNuclear Blast, Halfcut, Skulls and Bones, UNFD
WebsiteThy Art Is Murder on Facebook
  • CJ McMahon
  • Sean Delander
  • Lee Stanton
  • Andy Marsh
  • Kevin Butler
Past members
  • Brendan van Ryn
  • Josh King
  • Gary Markowski
  • Mick Lowe
  • Tom Brown

Thy Art Is Murder is an Australian deathcore band from Sydney that formed in 2006. The band consists of vocalist Chris "CJ" McMahon, guitarists Sean Delander and Andy Marsh, drummer Lee Stanton and bassist Kevin Butler. Thy Art Is Murder has released four studio albums since formation.

Their 2008 EP Infinite Death, reached position no. 10 on the AIR Charts upon release,[1] and their second full-length album Hate debuted at no. 35 on the ARIA Charts,[2] making them the first extreme metal band to ever reach the Top 40 of this chart.[3] The album also reached no. 1 on AIR[4] and both no. 2 and no. 4 respectively on the USA and Canadian iTunes metal charts on its week of release.

The band released Holy War in 2015, and released Dear Desolation in August 2017.


Formation, EPs and The Adversary (2006–2010)[edit]

Founding member and guitarist Sean Delander

Formed in 2006, in the Western Sydney locality of Blacktown, the group originally consisted of vocalist Brendan van Ryn, guitarists Gary Markowski and Sean Delander, bassist Josh King and drummer Lee Stanton. Building on a loyal following among fans of deathcore in Western Sydney, they recorded a three track demo This Hole Isn't Deep Enough for the Twelve of You. They returned to the studio in 2008 to record the EP Infinite Death, which gained them further attention for van Ryn's sacrilegious and misogynistic lyrics and song titles (Stated in 2017 by CJ McMahon, the same reason why they no longer play material from the album live).[5][6][7] The EP reached number 10 on the AIR Charts.[1]

Following two years of relentless national touring, it was announced in 2008 that van Ryn was about to depart from the group. It was initially claimed that he left the group due to creative differences and an inability to keep up with their evolving death metal sound.[8] However it was later claimed in 2013 that van Ryn was replaced because "he couldn't sing [anymore] and he had a massive attitude problem."[9] Thy Art Is Murder searched for a year for a new vocalist, until finding Chris "CJ" McMahon from Sydney metalcore band Vegas in Ruins. The band were so impressed with his death growl vocals that he was incepted into the band during 2009. Bassist Mick Lowe replaced King shortly before the band began tracking demos for their first full-length album The Adversary. The demos recorded in 2009 included early versions of the songs "Engineering the Antichrist" and "Cowards Throne". In 2010, the group began recording the album's final recording sessions and completed the album during the summer of 2010. The album was released on 16 July 2010.[10][11][12]

Thy Art Is Murder supported the release of The Adversary with Canadian deathcore band Despised Icon's Australian leg of their Farewell Tour, which also included The Red Shore.

Hate (2011–2014)[edit]

Founding member and drummer Lee Stanton

2011 saw further line-up changes, notably the departure of founding member and lead guitarist Gary Markowski. Delander decided to switch duties from guitar to bass, making way for Andy Marsh and Tom Brown to join on guitar. Following the band's first European tour in 2012 with War from a Harlots Mouth and As Blood Runs Black the band traveled to Belleville, NJ in the United States to record their second album with producer Will Putney at the Machine Shop recording studios.

Following their Australian tour with Fear Factory in September 2012, Hate was released on 19 October 2012. The first single, "Reign of Darkness", had been premiered earlier on radio station Triple J's The Racket on 18 September.[13][14][15]

The album debuted at #35 on the ARIA Charts,[2] making Thy Art Is Murder the first extreme metal band to ever to break the top 40.[3] The album also reached #1 on AIR.[4] The album was met with a mix of some positive and some negative criticism. Kevin Stewart-Panko of Decibel Magazine awarded Hate a score of 1 out of 10 and criticizing the band for not going "out of their way to push the envelope or add a modicum of originality or value to metal as a whole."[16] In January 2013, the band performed at the Sydney Big Day Out festival; the only other extreme metal band ever to be featured on the line-up was Blood Duster in 2004. Following their second European tour in February and March[17] Thy Art Is Murder signed to Nuclear Blast on 24 January 2013 for distribution of Hate outside Australia. On 13 March 2013, Triple J announced that Thy Art Is Murder would be headlining the Hate Across Australia tour with Cattle Decapitation, King Parrot and Aversions Crown.[18]

On 11 April 2013, Sumerian Records officially announced that the group had just lost the opening support on the United States' annual Summer Slaughter Tour. The announcement was met by some controversy due to the fact that the group was to be chosen by a voters' poll and American deathcore band Rings of Saturn had in fact won the vote by 1%.[19][20][21] Eventually, promoters chose to include both bands.

On 17 June 2013 the band revealed they would be touring across Australia with Parkway Drive as part of their 10 Years of Parkway Drive tour.[22] The same day, the band lost out to Bleed from Within at the Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards where they had been nominated as Best New Band.[23] On 15 October 2013 the band were nominated in the Best Hard Rock/Heavy Metal category for the 2013 ARIA Awards, eventually losing out to Karnivool.[24] The band headlined their second ever tour through North America in November and December 2013, dubbing it the Hate Across America. The bill featured support from I Declare War, Fit for an Autopsy, The Last Ten Seconds of Life and Kublai Khan with many dates selling out. The band headlined in Europe in January and February 2014, selling out most venues. Support came from Heart of a Coward, Aversions Crown and Aegaeon. The band was announced on the lineup for Download Festival 2014.

Vocalist Chris "CJ" McMahon

The band made Australian news headlines in late February 2014, when McMahon encouraged fans to get onstage during their set on Brisbane leg of the Soundwave Festival tour.[25][26][27] Promoter AJ Maddah later tweeted his decision to take the band off the rest of the tour calling them "disrespectful arseholes" and claiming that McMahon had told the crowd that "there are thousand of you and dozens of security. Smash them. All of you get on the stage".[28] Fan footage uploaded on YouTube revealed that Maddah's version of McMahon's pre-song speech were embellished.[29] Triple J radio host Lochlan Watt, who attended the show, appeared on ABC 612 radio in defence of the band stating that the incident had been blown out of proportion. He assured that environment during their set was of "excitement and fun" and that over-the-top language was common at metal shows and statements that McMahon had made shouldn’t have been taken literally.[30][31] The following day both the promoter and the band tweeted that Thy Art Is Murder would be allowed to play the remainder of the tour.[32] McMahon later commented on the incident, saying "it’s just all bullshit... I just wanted the crowd participation, wanted people to try and make their way up on-stage and have a crazy show"; however, he also noted that "AJ [Maddah] was only doing what he thought was the right thing given the information that he was given" and that the incident provided "free publicity and exposure in the news" for the band, so it "helped [them] rather than hindered [them]" in the end.[33]

The band announced their participation in the Mosh Lives tour, headlined by Emmure, travelling the USA in March and April 2014. The band headlined a short Canadian tour with Sworn In in April 2014. The band played New England Metal And Hardcore Festival in April 2014. The band also took part at the Summer Slaughter the same year. Vocalist CJ McMahon commented on the band's activity, claiming they are "one of, if not the most hardest-working touring bands" and saying that "[there's] no other fucking band on the face of this earth that will tour as much as we do".[33] They also supported Born of Osiris on their Tomorrow We Die Alive tour in November 2014 in North America with ERRA, Within the Ruins and Betraying the Martyrs.

Holy War and Dear Desolation (2015–present)[edit]

Guitarist Andy Marsh

On 31 March 2015 it was announced that Thy Art Is Murder's then-upcoming album would be titled Holy War and would be released on 30 June in North America via Nuclear Blast Entertainment. It was recorded in secret over the winter with producer Will Putney.[34] Thy Art Is Murder, alongside other bands, supported Slayer on 2015's Mayhem Festival, which toured the U.S. from June to August.[35] Holy War had a successful first week of sales, charting at #7 in Australia and #82 in the U.S., being the fourth Australian band to chart in the U.S. as well as the first Australian extreme metal band to chart.

They supported Parkway Drive on all of their worldwide tour in support of Ire through 2015 and 2016. The band announced on 21 December 2015, that vocalist CJ McMahon has decided to leave the band to focus on his family due to his inability to afford touring. After some teaser posters, in 1 July, the band confirmed work on a split album titled The Depression Sessions shared with the deathcore bands Fit for an Autopsy and The Acacia Strain. It was released exclusively on vinyl. The same day, the band premiered a music video for the song "They Will Know Another" from the album. In 2016, guitarist Sean Delander filled in for the late Tom Searle on the Architects Australian tour.

On 14 January 2017, former vocalist McMahon rejoined the band onstage at Unify Festival in Tarwin Meadows, Victoria, where he confirmed his return to the group, and that the show was for the fans a "celebration that is me coming back to join my brothers in world domination."[36] The band released their fourth studio album, titled Dear Desolation, on August 18, 2017.[37]

In an interview in October 2017, guitarist Andy Marsh confirmed that had McMahon not returned that they would've recorded Dear Desolation with their at the time fill-in vocalist, Nick Arthur (of Molotov Solution). In the same interview, he also shared that the band had started planning a new split EP to follow-up 2016's The Depression Sessions.[38]

Musical style and influences[edit]

Thy Art is Murder's music has been described by music critics as a form of extreme metal known as deathcore,[39][40] which draws from both metalcore and death metal. Vocalist CJ McMahon mentioned in interviews with Bluestribute TV and Aggressive Tendencies that the band, individually, has different inspirations and musicians influence their particular writing and performance style. He added that the band all together are influenced by bands like Decapitated, Meshuggah, and Behemoth. The band have frequently cited Behemoth as a major influence on their style whom McMahon has referred to as "the best band on this planet."[41] Guitarist Andy Marsh has said that "We are big fans of music that can evoke a feeling and mood, but often that music isn’t very in your face and heavy. Behemoth are amazing at capturing that synergy in just the right way and it is that ethos that inspires us."[42] Their band's album, Hate, expresses the band's dislike of religion.[43] The band's third full-length album, Holy War, discusses a range of themes, from their anti-religion and anti-extremism to animal rights, war, and greed.[42]




Thy Art Is Murder discography
Studio albums4
Music videos9
Split albums1

Studio albums

List of studio albums, with selected chart positions
Title Album details Peak chart positions
The Adversary
  • Released: 16 July 2010
  • Label: Skull and Bones
Hate 35
Holy War
  • Released: 26 June 2015
  • Label: UNFD, Nuclear Blast
7 70 82
Dear Desolation
  • Released: 18 August 2017[48]
  • Label: Nuclear Blast
29 95
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.


List of EPs
Title Details Peak chart positions
Infinite Death
  • Released: 2 August 2008
  • Label: Skull and Bones
The Depression Sessions
(split with The Acacia Strain and Fit for an Autopsy)
  • Released: 12 August 2016
  • Label: Nuclear Blast


List of demos
Title Details
This Hole Isn't Deep Enough for the Twelve of You
  • Released: 2007
  • Label: Independent

Music videos

List of music videos, showing year released and director
Year Title Album Director(s)
2012 "Soldiers of Immortality" The Adversary D.O. Blackley, Steve Callanan
"Reign of Darkness" Hate Chris Elder
2013 "The Purest Strain of Hate" Savage Photo / Film
2015 "Light Bearer" Holy War Yves Otterbach
"Holy War" N/A
2016 They Will Know Another The Depression Sessions
2017 No Absolution
Slaves Beyond Death Dear Desolation
The Son of Misery


  1. ^ a b "Thy Art Is Murder | Acacia Custom Guitars". Archived from the original on 2012-08-24. Retrieved 2017-07-27.
  2. ^ a b Steffen Hung (2015-04-13). "Australian charts portal". Retrieved 2015-04-17.
  3. ^ a b Eliezer, Christie. "Thy Art Is Murder break ARIA record - Music Industry - The Music Network". Archived from the original on 2013-09-26. Retrieved 2017-07-27.
  4. ^ a b "Charts". Archived from the original on 2016-03-09. Retrieved 2017-07-27.
  5. ^ "Thy Art Is Murder's CJ McMahon explains why they don't perform "Whore To A Chainsaw" live: "That song was written by a pissed off individual"". The New Fury. 2017-11-12. Retrieved 2018-09-20.
  6. ^ "Mohs Scale Of Lyrical Hardness - Television Tropes & Idioms". Retrieved 2012-08-17.
  7. ^ "Wayback Machine" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-04-19. Retrieved 2017-07-27.
  8. ^ "METAL DOWN UNDER - Thy Art Is Murder". YouTube. 2010-08-19. Retrieved 2012-08-17.
  9. ^ "Thy Art is Murder: Hate Worldwide". Loud Online. 14 May 2013. Archived from the original on 20 August 2014. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
  10. ^ "The Adversary Review | Thy Art Is Murder | Compact Discs | Reviews @". Retrieved 2015-04-17.
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  12. ^ "The Adversary by Thy Art Is Murder (Album, Deathcore): Reviews, Ratings, Credits, Song list". Retrieved 2015-04-17.
  13. ^ "Thy Art Is Murder album details". Kill Your Stereo. Retrieved 15 September 2012.
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  15. ^ "Thy Art Is Murder - Hate | Reviews". Retrieved 2015-04-17.
  16. ^ Stewart-Panko, Kevin (June 2013). "Thy Art is Murder, Hate". Decibel Magazine (104): 103.
  17. ^ "Home". Retrieved 2015-04-17.
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  23. ^ "Metal Hammer Golden Gods 2013 Winners". Archived from the original on 2014-04-04. Retrieved 2017-07-27.
  24. ^ "ARIA Awards Nominations 2013 - Flume Dominates With 8 Nods - Take 40". 2013-10-15. Archived from the original on 2014-10-15. Retrieved 2017-07-27.
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  27. ^ Kristian Silva (2014-10-31). "Crowd overpowers security during deathcore performance at Soundwave Brisbane". Retrieved 2015-04-17.
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  30. ^ "What really happened at Soundwave Festival in Brisbane? - ABC Queensland - Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)". 2014-02-24. Retrieved 2015-04-17.
  31. ^ Kristian Silva (2014-10-31). "Soundwave Thy Art is Murder incident 'blown out of proportion'". Retrieved 2015-04-17.
  32. ^ "Thy Art Is Murder kicked off Soundwave | News". Retrieved 2015-04-17.
  33. ^ a b Crabb, Brendan (19 November 2014). "Masters Of The Art". The Music. Retrieved 19 November 2014.
  34. ^ "Thy Art Is Murder to release new album, 'Holy War,' this summer - Alternative Press". 2015-03-31. Retrieved 2015-04-17.
  35. ^ "Slayer 2015 Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival Tour Schedule". 18 April 2015. Archived from the original on 19 April 2015. Retrieved 22 May 2015.
  36. ^ "NEWS: Vocalist CJ McMahon rejoins Thy Art Is Murder! | DEAD PRESS! | Alternative music news, reviews, interviews and more!". Dead Press!. 2017-01-15. Retrieved 2017-07-27.
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  38. ^ "INTERVIEW: Thy Art Is Murder (06/10/2017)". Retrieved 18 January 2018.
  39. ^ "THY ART IS MURDER Interviewed By ROCK N REEL REVIEWS (Video)". Blabbermouth. 3 February 2014.
  40. ^ Yardley, Miranda. "Despised Icon, The Red Shore, Thy Art Is Murder live review". Terrorizer. Retrieved 2014-08-04.
  41. ^ "Interview: CJ McMahon of Thy Art Is Murder". Retrieved 2017-01-22.
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  50. ^ "ARIA Australian Top 50 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. 22 August 2016. Retrieved 20 August 2016.

External links[edit]