Some brand new Thornhill for your Thursday arvo. [PC: Ethan Zahorodnyj.]
Thornhill have been climbing a steep upward popular rise over the last 12 months. Doing sold out headline shows in Melbourne? Boom. Supporting Silent Planet and Make Them Suffer? Easy done. Getting a killer response at this year’s Unify? Of course! With so much big momentum behind them now, things are surely inching closer and closer to another new EP or even a full-length album from the quintet. Before then, the band have a new tune to share, ‘Coven‘.
A song detailing battles with anxiety and how we often feed that inner demon, whether directly or indirectly, ‘Coven‘ is another small progression in the Melbourne bands prog-metalcore sound as they move beyond their 2018 EP, ‘Butterfly‘. Namely in the heavier Karnivool vibes and Jacob Charlton’s massive growl that he lets loose during the song’s middle-eight. Written and produced by the band themselves, with bassist Nick Sjogren not only engineering the vocals, but also mixing and mastering the track, seeing Thornhill starting to keep their production process in-house.
Regardless of the methodology, there’s still an overly familiar feeling running throughout ‘Coven‘. Something that I feel stems from the band using similar tunings for their riffs, utilising similar phrasing and rhythmic patterns, and often writing within the same key as well. So whilst consistent, the song does admittedly feel like a retread at times. However, Thornhill are a young band, and there’s clearly ambition in their output. Meaning I wouldn’t be surprised to see them start to branch out by implementing new genres and instrumentation moving forward. Lest it all becomes way too samey.
Potential future surprises or not, ‘Coven‘ is quite odd because despite it’s varying sections – from the reverberant minor-key vocalisations from Jacob in the intro, the metalcore ‘djent-stick’ breakdowns at 1:57 and 3:09, the weird modulated cleans in the bridge that are too quiet, and the introduction of female backing vocals from Isabel Charlton and some light keys following said bridge – it just kinda plods through all of these passages. Other than that “I hear deafening voices” section that gets repeated twice, there’s not really a solid hook or defined chorus here. Of course, while that doesn’t automatically make something mediocre or bad, some kind of stronger recurring motif really wouldn’t have gone amiss here.
This results in a slight anti-climactic feeling of “oh, that’s it?” once the track wraps up after three and a half minutes via a short-lived breakdown and some eerie whispers over soft pianos and fading distortion. Sure, nothing of value was lost, but nothing was really gained either. Honestly, ‘Coven‘ is just sorta… there. But hey, that’s just me. Maybe you’ll dig it more? Only one way to find out:
THORNHILL’S COVEN AUSTRALIAN TOUR
with special guest Diamond Construct
Saturday April 27 – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne
w/ Reactions + Weighbridge
Thursday May 2 – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane
w/ Apate + Vitals
Saturday May 4 – Chippendale Hotel, Sydney
w/ Above, Below + Inertia
Thursday May 9 – Crown & Anchor, Adelaide
w/ Reactions + Days of Deceit
Friday May 10 – The Boston, Perth**
w/ Idle Eyes + Worlds Apart + Among Them
**Diamond Construct not appearing