On Disc: Thrice

Album: The Alchemy Index

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

The Alchemy Index by Thrice

The Alchemy Index

3.5 stars

How easily you can digest Thrice’s melodramatic lyrics will determine your appreciation for its latest album, The Alchemy Index.

It’s another case of a songwriter doing everything in his power to make sure the audience can’t decipher his lyrics. If you’re able to figure them out, The Alchemy Index becomes as a medieval progressive metal opera.

Composed of two separate discs, labeled Fire and Water, Thrice’s latest effort is a true concept album.

Switching record labels from Island Records to Vagrant Records has supposedly given the band more artistic freedom, although it’s difficult to tell if the independence influenced the record. Although there are times where the band seems to drift into prog-rock fantasyland (“Night Diving”), it’s still tied to its usual mind-numbing choruses on most of Fire.

Thrice occasionally drifts away from the slow monotonous tempo in adrenaline fueled songs like “The Messenger,” which makes its former hits “Image of the Invisible” and “Stare at the Sun” seem tame in comparison.

David Fricke of Rolling Stone trashed the band for not keeping its theme consistent, but he ignored the fact this was the point of the album.

Fire and Water are two truly different discs, and Thrice takes equal chances in both. In Fire, screaming vocals and massive guitar production are dominant, and in Water the band draws on numerous influences, including Radiohead (see “The Whaler”).

Fricke should give the boys of Thrice a chance " they’re all grown up now.

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