Anthology review by Thrice

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  • Released: Oct 30, 2012
  • Sound: 7
  • Lyrics: 8
  • Overall Impression: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 7.3 Good
  • Users' score: 9.7 (19 votes)
Thrice: Anthology

Sound — 7
The track from which this album draws its name is an ode to Thrice fans and their dedication to the band, filled with references to past work and heartfelt thanks; it couldn't be a more appropriate title. "Anthology" is the sad story of Thrice saying goodbye, at least for now, after 14 years of music. Their parting gift is a two-disc live collection that soundtracks their journey from teenage skaters to grown men and artists, with wives, families and sophisticated musical brains.

The diversity of the post-hardcore-cum-progressive-rock outfit is well accounted for by the fan-picked setlist, steering clear of their most eccentric tangents but offering a satisfying range of moods and textures. Among them are the break-neck pace of "Deadbolt", the rousing call of "Image Of The Invisible", the ambient pulse of "Digital Sea" and even the Iron Maiden-style guitar harmonies which featured on one of their very first songs, "T & C". That may seem silly now if this were a DVD you'd have seen the sheepish expressions on stage as they played it but it is a part of the band's history and, true to their word, they've played what fans asked for. Bound together by the familiar voice of frontman Dustin Kensrue, it's a fine collection of songs.

If there's a criticism to be had of the live show, it's that the organic, bare-bones ethos of the last two Thrice albums has started to find its way into some of the earlier material which thrived on being slick and polished. Their sound is a little looser now, a little more rock n roll, and while it suits "Yellow Belly" and "In Exile" down to the ground, "Silhouette" and "The Messenger" are a lot shakier than they were three or four years ago. Perhaps credit is due for achieving the electric, spontaneous vibe that classic live albums have and many contemporary efforts lack, but ultimately Thrice aren't the Ramones and will always struggle in that regard.

Lyrics — 8
While the music may have matured considerably over the years, Kensrue's gift as a lyricist has been apparent since day one and has only become more pronounced as he's gathered experience. Some of his finest works feature here, including "Beggars" and "The Artist In The Ambulance", a deeply moving story of a near-death experience that has long since earnt its place as a live staple. He can't quite scream like he used to but preserving his voice has allowed him to climb to higher registers on record and keep himself in good condition during long tours. Some of these recordings taken from shows on the US leg of the farewell tour reveal imperfections in his voice but rarely does this detract from proceedings.

Overall Impression — 7
The best live albums capture a moment in time. For those who went to a show on the tour this will be a nostalgic and potentially emotional listen, but for the rest it will serve as a sort of greatest hits', a reminder of what an accomplished and well-loved band we will be missing in the next few years. "Anthology", while far from perfect, is a logical, satisfying and well-executed end to this chapter in the band's history.

14 comments sorted by best / new / date

    The Alchemy Indexes are still some of my favorite albums. Best of luck to them in whatever they move on to do.
    Great review but it pains me to read that the writer thinks Dustin's scream is worse now, imo it is soooo much better but oh wells
    I haven't heard Anthology yet (waiting for my Amazon preorder), but I agree, Dustin's lower, near-death growl scream is a ****ing powerhouse.
    I listened to the online stream they had last week and was pretty satisfied. The only real sound issue was digital crackling/popping on the drums in Daedalus. That aside, like the review mentions, their newer work just sounds a lot fresher. Some of the guitar work on Artist in the Ambulance (in particular) isn't as solid as it used to be, the backing screams are awful, etc. I've followed these guys since 2003 and they've always brought something interesting to the table; I even find new things listening to their old material still. They'll be missed.
    I went to the farewell show in Philly and got a shirt and poster. As soon as I heard they were releasing this I pre-ordered the vinyl off of Amazon and drove around yesterday looking for the CD, i couldn't find it so I downloaded it off of Amazon. Listened to it at work today and I was very impressed and happy about it, going to listen to it again. Kind of lame they didn't get "Helter Skelter" on there because I heard it at the show, I guess it was legal issues with it or they didn't play it at the recording show.
    Just recently got into these guys after advice from my friend while driving to a Coheed concert. Picked up the Alchemy Indexes right away. Such an amazing band, Beggars is next.
    Also wanted to add that this is a great review. I've noticed a lot of reviews of them are either extremely glowing or a fan of pre-vheissu material waxing nostalgically over what could have been. This is well written and one of the better reviews I've read on here. Kudos.
    I saw them on the farewell tour in Chicago and I bet my drummer who was there with me that they would close with Anthology because I felt like that was why they wrote the song. They closed with it on the second encore.
    I've said it once and I'll say it again, Thrice are one the the greatest band of this era. The Alchemy Indexes(Indices?), Beggars and Major/Minor are all simply perfection.
    Big fan of all their stuff. Loved identity, illusion and artist immediately, and grew into being a fan of the rest. It will always be a disappointment that I never got the chance to see them live. Especially on the vheissu tour. Would've been glad to see any tour, but that one in particular was the one I wanted to see most.