From the outset, ‘The Depression Sessions’ EP is a celebration. Three of the finest names in contemporary extreme metal, Thy Art is Murder, The Acacia Strain and Fit For an Autopsy releasing a split EP is a healthy sign of community in the genre. However, it also doesn’t feel very celebratory because… listen to it!
Recorded in December 2015, following relentless months of touring by each band, the EP contains the sounds of groups of young men at their wits’ end, venting out built up frustrations into a compedium of misery. “Old world, don’t look away, I want you to watch your children die” CJ McMahon bellows on Thy Art is Murder’s ‘They Will Know Another,’ highlighting a key theme in all these songs – humaity causing it’s own destruction.
As Thy Art take on the wider world armed with blastbeat led death metal, The Acacia Strain bring their trademark sludgey grooves to ‘Sensory Deprivation’ which laments the self-destruction brought on by depression, as Vincent Bennet churns out “Walking a fine line, continue on or put a bullet through my mind,”“ which screams classic TAS, but also lacks the ambition that has made their recent output so exciting.
Compartively, Fit For an Autopsy’s contribution, ‘Flatlining’, brings more inventive lead guitar work into the fold, with traces of Gojira floating through it’s verses, before the final beatdowns bring us home with an earth-shattering impact.
Concluding with a series of covers, each band shows how established their sounds are, by taking classics by Rammstein, Soundgarden and Nine Inch Nails and giving them a sound that could belong only to each band.
‘The Depression Sessions’ is an encouraging collaboration in the deathcore scene, and though Thy Art is Murder have the real standout moments here, The Acacia Strain and Fit For an Autospy are uncompromising as ever. However, it’s six songs of all out brutality, and that’s worth celebrating.
‘The Depression Sessions’ by Thy Art Is Murder/The Acacia Strain/Fit For an Autopsy is released on August 12th on Nuclear Blast Records.
Words by Andy Davidson (@AndyrfDavidson)