Release Date: October 16, 2007
Reviewed by Brandon Smith
It’s a proven fact that you do not need a major label to put out a product far superior then half the slop infecting the music scene today. Self produced album “The Alchemy Index” by Thrice proves my point to the ‘T’. The follow up album to the bands 4th full length success “Vheissu” features sounds familiar to those found on Vheissu, but offers chances most bands at their caliber would never risk. This is why to me this band will stick out much further then those bands that create music for anything other then themselves.
The two disc album representing elements: Fire and Water, make for an interesting idea but a great concept for analogy, as they are quite the opposites. It is quite apparent before even listening to the disc what to expect. Fire, being the pounding in your face Thrice we got a piece of on Vheissu in songs like Hold Fast Hope or the ending to The Earth will Shake. Quite to the contrary Water is found to be the experimental Thrice we all could not get enough of in the song Atlantic.
True to its title, the first disc, Fire starts off with an explosion. The crunchy guitar riffs and swift vocal melody of Firebreather is sure to crack skulls and leave no trace behind. The ending is rather unique as it changes rather unexpected to a fine tuned melodic harmony, sure to get you to sing along. I find myself almost speechless at the second track The Messenger. Not often do you see a post hardcore band releasing a song just over two minutes long, but I also seem to forget that this band once belonged to the music genre of what is known for short and meaningless music, punk.
I find myself skipping over the next two tracks often, not because they are bad songs but defiantly the weakest on the disc. Backdraft, has a different attempt at a verse so I will give this song originality but the most memorable part of the song is the guitar chords in the chorus. I wouldn’t say the song fail’s the CD but it seems like a filler tune undoubtedly. As for The Arsonist, I find the best way to describe this song as an irritating fly that you are swinging at but just can’t hit. The only thing that really makes me not hate this song is the guitar riffs in the verse, but I find the chorus doing as absolutely nothing for me. However the disc comes back alive with the slower of the heavy songs burn the fleet. This song does what all good songs do, flow! Poetic lyrics, complimentary musicianship, and catchy what else can you ask for? This song defiantly makes Fire that much more enjoyable.
I really try to listen to discs as I review them, but there is no possible way I could be released from the trance Water grasp’s on me. This disc too also stays strong to its title and more. The song Lost continent is a prime example of why you feel you are floating to the abyss throughout. By far the deepest song on the Album, Dustin’s lyrics will capture you as with the gritty recording that makes you feel like they recorded it in a cave on a coral reef. The strings and electronics noticeably used on Vheissu are defiantly brought to life during tracks like Digital Sea, and Open Water. Digital sea offers a unique electronic beat that allows the chorus to just make you smile and wish you wrote the song.
The originality of the CD alone is enough to appreciate even if you are not a Thrice fan. The first two disc of four of this concept album are undoubtedly thumbs up. Yes there are some downfalls on the disc but the pros defiantly outweigh the cons.