Professionally filmed video footage of vocalist C.J. McMahon's comeback performance with Australian extreme metallers THY ART IS MURDER — which took place on January 14 at the Unify festival in Tarwin Meadows, South Gippsland, Victoria, Australia — can be seen below.
McMahon recently blamed his drug addiction for his departure from the group and has vowed to move forward as "a new man." He wrote on his Instagram account: "You made me a rock star, you made me a God, you made me immortal. I owe my fans everything. I made myself a drug addict, I made myself a liar, I made myself lose and destroy friendships, I made my family and friends hurt. I come back to the world a new man who, with my closest friends (THY ART IS MURDER), will prove that we are the greatest, strongest, and most powerful force in metal, I will take no prisoners, we will crush all charts and expectations. We will take over the game and raise the bar so no one will touch it or us. I am C.J. McMahon and I will stand as a king with my brothers for the rest of time."
To cement McMahon's return to his rightful throne, the band has released a brand new song titled "No Absolution".
Guitarist Andy Marsh spoke on McMahon's return and the brand new track: "A little over a year ago, we were left in a pickle when C.J. had finally reached his breaking point — the physical, emotional and mental stresses of touring, and the lifestyle had taken its toll on him. After the dust had settled, we had time to speak amongst ourselves, and with him, and we were all able to get on the same page. He was able to take time off from the road and work consistently, tick off some life goals like getting married, and enjoy the routine and familiarity of life at home with his friends and family. Conversely, the rest of us kept going, touring relentlessly, playing bigger tours to more people than ever before, going to new countries for the very first time, and had a blast taking a few great vocalists and mates out for the ride with us while we weathered the storm and figured things out. Special thanks must go out to Monte Barnard, Nicholas Arthur, Lochlan Watt, and every other vocalist who took the time to apply in our discrete vocalist auditions.
"After a few months away from the chaotic life on the road, C.J. reached out to us and we started maintaining more regular communication. He mentioned how he had started cleaning up, was focused on working hard and saving for his wedding and enjoying time at home, but he also mentioned he missed the shows, the friends, and us — his band.
"After months of working things out, gaining his voice back, and mending wounded friendships, we are overwhelmed with excitement to announce that we have completed writing for a new record to be released later this year, featuring the one and only Christopher John McMahon. Welcome back, C.J.!"
In regards to the song "No Absolution", Marsh stated: "'No Absolution' is a rich tapestry, intertwined in faith, scripture and doctrine, and a story about the process that we have endured throughout the last year. We recorded this during the session for 'Holy War' but quite simply ran out of time to finish writing lyrics and recording vocals for it in order to make the record. This song now stands alone, without a record or release — a gift from us to you, thank you for your continued support, we can't wait to show you what we're making for 2017."
THY ART IS MURDER's third album, "Holy War", entered the official Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) chart at position No. 7 — the highest-ever position for an Australian extreme metal act. The Sydney-based band has generated controversy for the strong anti-religious stance of the title track's video, as well as the album cover which features references to a suicide bomber.
"Holy War" was released in Australia via UNFD and in other parts of the world through Nuclear Blast.