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Thrice - The Alchemy Index Vols III and IV : Air and Earth

  by Adrian Huggins

published: 19 / 4 / 2008



Thrice - The Alchemy Index Vols III and IV : Air and Earth
Label: Vagrant UK
Format: CD

intro

Fantastic third and fourth instalments in 'The Alchemy Index' from Californian hardcore band Thrice, which finds them experimenting with a commercial rock, and also folk and acoustic sounds


This is the third and fourth instalments of Thrice’s ‘The Alchemy Index’. ‘Air’ and ‘Earth’ follow ‘Fire’ and ‘Water’ which were released together in late 2007. If the first two parts of this four part album were a departure for what had gone before, this is an even bigger step. With this album Thrice have well and truly left their heavy guitar sound behind. This is a brave, brave step, but they do seem to have pulled it off incredibly well. It took me until about halfway through the first song ‘Broken Lungs’on 'Air' until I figured out who it was that it reminded me of. With its driving piano and sparingly used guitars, it was Coldplay at their most intense and full on. This does not mean the rest of the album delves into the radio and parent friendly indie sound of the British band, but this opening track reveals a more mature sounding Thrice, who have developed beyond their years and many of their peers. Thrice have really pushed the boundaries and themselves with this record, but there is no feeling of them just trying to do something different for the sake of it. They have grown and, while 'Fire' and 'Water' made me think they were on the way to something different, ‘Air’ and ‘Earth’ sees them arriving. Opening with the stunning ‘Moving Mountains’, ‘Earth’, in contrast to the more "plugged-in" 'Air', is stripped down and acoustic. The fantastic ‘Digging My Own Grave’ sounds like it could be being sung by a whiskey supping old gent sat at a piano in a smokey bar in gangster film. ‘Come All Ye Weary’ in contrast could be heard in a gospel church. It is really fascinating to see how both lead singer and guitarist Dustin Kensrue and lead guitarist/pianist/producer Teppei Teranishi have honed their respective skills over the last few years. With Terranishi yet again producing this album, he has made even more use of his piano skills. Kensrue also shines through with his sound writing skills put on show throughout the album, and particularly on ‘Child of Dust’ and ‘Silver Wings’. The lead singer's solo album of last year, 'Please Come Home', saw him embrace a much more roots-based and folk style and seems to have given direction quite heavily to parts of this album as well. This is a great collection of songs that sees a great band fully spreading their wings and experimenting with their own sound. Not everyone will like it when you compare it to the harder edged, riff and scream-heavy Thrice of old. True fans of the band however, should be excited to hear their heroes maturing and reaching the levels they were always destined to.



Track Listing:-
1 Broken Lungs
2 The Sky Is Falling
3 A Song For Milly Michaelson
4 Daedalus
5 As The Crow Flies
6 Silver Wings
7 Moving Mountains
8 Digging My Own grave
9 The Earth Isnt Humming
10 The Lion And The Wolf
11 Come All You Weary
12 Child Of Dust



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