Top positive review
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It's Thrice... but not as we know them!
on 25 October 2005
Stick with me on this...
Well - on first listen, I wasn't overly impressed. As I said, stick with me - I gave it 5 stars. It sounds absolutely nothing like Thrice's previous output. I find it hard to find a single track on Vheissu that has that "Thrice" sound. I was disappointed. I listened to the album and found that it has mellow and soft bits that are mellower and softer than Thrice usually does. It also has some grindingly heavy stuff that is heavier than anything I've heard them do before and again I wasn't keen. Also - the lyrics seemed bleaker than normal. While Thrice have normally seemed to have quite a degree of "Righteous anger" in their lyrics, this album seemed fed up with the world, and instead of wanting to instigate a change, wanted it to be over with. Also - the lyrics seemed a little more full of biblical imagery and phrasing than normal.
It was only when I re-looked at the lyrics to "Like Moths to Flame" that something seemed to make sense. When I'd first listened to that song, I'd thought it was about a girl. The last line about betraying my king confused me. Re-looking, I realised this is a song about Peter denying he knew Jesus at his crucifiction!
From then a lot more of the album made sense. The biblical imagery isn't just imagery but quite often retells Biblical stories and messages. The album suddenly seemed less bleak, and more looking to what is to come AFTER this world rather than simply waiting for this world to end and be done with. I'm curious to know whether one or more of the band has become, or has become more openly Christian. I'll go and find out in a mo.
As for the album - it's grown on me a lot from that first listen. They try so many new ideas in this album and do have shades of Muse about them. The album seems more about atmospheres and sounds and moods, and less about technical prowess. The guitars and drumming are an awful lot less fiddly and more mood-inducing. The band seem (as the album cover suggests) a lot more reflective. The racing energy of Artist In The Ambulance seems to have slowed a little as the band have taken the time to explore different concepts. I really think this is almost unrecognisable as Thrice. Almost. They are still as inventive as ever and the lyrics are still beautifully poetic. The new ideas are fascinating and there is so much to listen to. These boys are definitely talented. I don't think there is a bad track on here but stand out tracks for me are "Music Box" - where the epic harmonised guitars balance nicely with the delicate music box that plays throughout, and the previously mentioned "Like Moths To Flame" for it's heavy but pained almost lovesong chorus.
I would reommend this to Thrice fans for the inventiveness and talent they have always shown, but would warn that it is a new sound they are playing with so listen with an open mind and listen more than once.