#aotd is Holy War by Thy Art is Murder. Musically, this album is what you’d expect from a TAIM album, Deathcore that leans heavily on the Death Metal influences but still features breakdowns galore. Holy War is a lot like the band’s previous effort Hate, from the production, to the songwriting, and general instrumentation, it would be nearly impossible to tell the two apart on a casual listen. There have been some minor improvements since Hate though, most notably in the vocals of frontman CJ McMahon. While he has always been an absolute monster, he really stepped it up on this album, showing off some great variation by employing more of his mid-range. With more of a focus on his mid-range, CJ has never been more comprehensible and distinct. When it comes to crafting punishingly heavy songs, TAIM is the best band in the genre and that holds true on Holy War. Every cut on here features relentless blast beats and breakdowns, which sound absolutely devastating thanks to the great production. The major issues with this album stem from the cut and paste songwriting which makes the whole experience very predictable. Hearing CJ scream things like “human parasite” on the track “Fur and Claw” should be way more impactful than it is but because I’ve heard the same thing from these guys so many times I have become desensitized to every trick they throw at me. Should TAIM change their sound completely? No, but the least they could do is tackle some different song topics. The huge musical similarities between this and Hate may have been less obvious had the band not written even more songs about religion and people being shit. TAIM is the best Deathcore band out there when it comes to delivering unforgivingly heavy tracks but Holy War sees the band playing it far too safe to be truly interesting. What made Hate so great was that it was a fresh sound for the band; they employed better songwriting and better production to really hone their craft. Holy War fails to evolve the band the way that album did and stagnates as a result.