Album Review: Thrice - 'The Alchemy Index: Volume III and IV'

4 August 2008 | 12:04 pm | Staff Writer

Showing us how it’s done for a second time…

More Thrice More Thrice

If you’re one of those Thrice

fans (and I use the term loosely) that’s still pissing and moaning

about the band’s lack of punk beats and guitar noodling then you can

fuck right off. This is the third official release since the Californian

four-piece took the progressive path, so I think it’s safe to they

aren’t going to be writing “Deadbolt” version two any time soon! 


Picking up where 2007’s Fire

& Water masterpiece left off, The Alchemy Index Volume III

& IV contains traces of the band’s heaviest elements, all

the while showcasing an introspective and stripped back approach to

song writing, one that is sure to win over a new army of listeners. 


“Broken Lungs” leads off the Air disc, a slowly building track that sees Dustin gently

singing over shimmering guitars and driving bass lines that finally

culminate in a series of crashing drums and discordant riffs. Although

it doesn’t have the same intensity as the first number, “The Sky

Is Falling” is captivating in its own way, the effect soaked guitars

perfectly complimenting the vocal melodies, while “A Song For Milly

Michaelson” allows Dustin to take centre stage without having

to fight his talented band for the spotlight.  


This may sound like a somewhat

strange description, but “Daedalus” has something of a bar room

swagger to it, which makes for a stark contrast when placed next to

the emotive “As The Crow Flies” and “Silver Wings”. 


Moving on to the Earth

disc, and the tunes on offer have more in common with Dustin Kensrue’s solo material than anything else in the Thrice back catalogue. “Moving

Mountains” is the perfect backing track to drowning your sorrows,

although it sounds more hopeful than desperate, while the piano driven

“Digging My Own Grave” is as evocative as anything else the band

has penned throughout their illustrious career. 


The thumping grooves of “The

Earth Isn’t Humming” are accompanied by some of Teppei’s

inventive guitar work to date, the song itself sounding like the result

of a substance assisted jam session. The haunting “The Lion And The

Wolf” follows on nicely with its piano and vocal combination and again,

the folk tendencies of Dustin’s solo work permeates through

“Come All You Weary”, which leaves the majestic “Child Of Dust”

to wrap things up.


Overall The Alchemy Index Volume

III and IV isn’t a strong as its predecessor, but that’s not

to say it isn’t a fantastic record. Rather than beat us around the

head with thick riffs and swirling, psychedelic passages, Thrice

have crafted an album that manages to knock the listener for six in

a completely different way. Another essential release from one of our

generation’s most talented bands.


Air:



1. Broken Lungs


2. The Sky Is Falling


3. A Song For Milly Michaelson


4. Daedalus


5. As The Crow Flies


6. Silver Wings  

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