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New Thrice: The Alchemy Index Vols. I & II

I've never been that big of a Thrice fan (not that I didn't like them, I just never got into their music - except for their song Deadbolt). Surprisingly I found myself looking up the band on Wikipedia then seeing that they have a new two-disk album out. Titled The Alchemy Index Vols. I & II, the CD released on October 16 is part of a four-volume series (Volumes III & IV will be arriving in April 2008) with a theme following the four elements: fire, water, earth, and air, respectively. Most of the song names (and seemingly the song styles as well) directly reflect the theme that the disk is following. The track listing for these two volumes is as follows:

Fire
  1. Firebreather - 4:42

  2. The Messenger - 2:09

  3. Backdraft - 4:08

  4. The Arsonist - 4:13

  5. Burn the Fleet - 3:47

  6. The Flame Deluge - 3:28


Water
  1. Digital Sea - 3:44

  2. Open Water - 3:47

  3. Lost Continent - 4:30

  4. Night Diving - 6:02

  5. The Whaler - 4:09

  6. Kings Upon the Main - 4:56



As you may have guessed, the disk titled "Fire" is a little harder than "Water." Full of loud vocals and heavy guitar, Fire was definitely the disk that I enjoyed the most. Neither of the disks, however, sounded exactly like the Thrice that I knew. The band's guitarist Teppei Teranishi had this to say about the album:

"We're kind of doing something that's the opposite of what a producer is supposed to do on a record--which is make everything make sense and kind of fit together--whereas this project is all about taking things apart and pushing them one way. We really wanted to try doing things our way this time around, and make this record sound the way we want it to sound, not the way it's "supposed" to sound."


While Fire is most comparable to Thrice's sound in their last album Vheissu, the songs on Water are completely different, and they made me feel like I was listening to a Radiohead album. These tracks are very slow and contain a lot of electronic/synthesized sounds, which I wasn't really expecting to hear. It's good to see that they are trying something new, though, rather than repeating their old, successful style. Although The Illusion of Safety is still my favorite album, I'll probably be listening to more of The Alchemy Index (and Thrice in general as a result) in the weeks to come - hopefully Volumes III and IV in April will be of the same, or even better, quality.

Link: Listen to samples or buy it from Amazon

Currently listening to










Thrice
Deadbolt