Thrice adds fuel to its ‘Fire’
Over the past nine years, Orange County, Calif., quartet Thrice have held steadfast to their artistic integrity, and in turn became one of the most progressive and seminal bands in heavy music today.
From the thrash-metal sounds of 2001’s The Illusion of Safety, to 2003’s straightforward and more melodic The Artist in the Ambulance, Thrice has continually ascended the boundaries of post-hardcore to create some of the most artistic, yet heavy music in the genre.
The band’s conceptual masterpiece, The Alchemy Index, is being released in four volumes, with each volume representing a classical element of nature (Fire, Water, Earth and Air). Volumes 1 and 2, Fire and Water, respectively, were released Tuesday.
Fire is composed of six tracks that sonically sear and roar with the intensity of the element that inspired the EP. The album is set ablaze from the start with "Fire Breather’s" punishing riffs and evocative sing-along chorus, "Tell me are you free?"
"The Messenger" and "The Flame Deluge" are the most blistering tracks on the EP. The outro alone on "The Messenger" earns the track a place among the heaviest songs in the Thrice catalog.
The lyrics to "The Flame Deluge" are written from the perspective of fire itself and are not only brilliant but are in classical sonnet form. The track also supplies Vol. 1 with its most breathtaking moment as singer and guitarist Dustin Kensrue seamlessly transitions from a vicious scream to a floating falsetto in a matter of seconds.
The relentless lyrics and soaring melodies on "Burn the Fleet" embody Thrice at their best and is where this brutal yet inspiring album finds its apex.
Vol. 2, Water, restores balance to the project with its digital soundscape lapping under Kensrue’s flowing melodies.
Vol. 2 kicks off with "Digital Sea," which begins with somber keys and slowly transitions into a stripped down drum machine beat. The song’s simplistic melody sets the tone for the rest of the album. For a first-time listener, it would be easy to draw comparisons to Radiohead and Sigur Ros.
Electronic programming, heavy echo and reverb effects are new additions to Thrice’s sound and give Vol. 2 its aqueous feel. "Open Water" and "The Whaler" are driven by the electronic instrumentation, while the tracks "Lost Continent" and "Night Diving" fuse both electronic and live instrumentation. "Night Diving," the group’s first instrumental track, is inspired.
Thrice bypassed tradition and self-produced and engineered The Alchemy Index over the past year in drummer Riley Breckenridge’s home.
Since 2005’s Vheissu, Thrice has parted ways with Island Records and signed with an independent label, Vagrant Records. The shift from major to indie label has enabled the band to retain total control over its music and push the boundaries of its sound to even more revolutionary heights.The rest of The Alchemy Index, Vol. 3: Earth and Vol. 4: Air, will be released together in spring 2008. Also, be sure to check Thrice out while they are on tour with Brand New and mewithoutYou for two consecutive nights: Nov. 17 and 18 at Warehouse Live, 813 St. Emanuel St.