Sound — 7
The overall aesthetic aspect of this album is more of a progression from The Alchemy Index's earth disc, but with electric guitars and more raw feeling I believe. The guitars aren't always screaming in your ear this time around for this new release as some expected, and truth be told, it's not a bad thing at all. Dustin and Teppei manage to create guitar work that both complements the new direction, and manage to maintain a certain type of Thrice feel. Eddie (bass) plays the bass in a very unique way in this album. The presence of the bass is well known throughout the songs. Especially in the first 6 tracks. It seems to play as it's own instrument and not so much with the drums like most bands do. Riley's drumming is very present and throws in beats that catch you both in rhythm, and style. Seeing as it's the only percussion instrument on the cd, he manages to play in a clean and catchy way. There is some odd timings on the CD but it's nothing to fret about.
Lyrics — 8
As always Dustin is a very articulate and intelligent person. The lyrics on this album tell their own separate stories. Although upon first listen most people will say this album lacks intensity and just because we don't hear his voice screaming at you, it's no reason to think intensity is lacking. Once you give this CD more than 3 or 4 listens you'll soon understand this CD shines because the songs all get you thinking individually about their specific theme and topic. The style of vocals on most songs compliments the music very well I think. It never feels like Dustin should be softly singing instead of singing his heart out etc. It's done and it grasps your ears and it lets you know the feeling of the song and it transcends your mind and gets you to feel the song for what it is really, and not just for the sound it makes.
Overall Impression — 9
As a Thrice fan I know not to expect the same thing from any album they put out and this album was no exception. It came out, and it delivered a new experience just as I expected. So this album fits perfectly with all their albums in chronological order. You'll know when you hear it. This album has some excellent tracks, my favorites are, The Weight, Talking Through Glass/We Move Like Swing Sets, The World Is Mad, At The Last and Beggars. (I Know that's like half the album too.) The thing with Thrice is that they always come out with a new sound on their albums and there is always something to expect and it's great because you learn to love it and accept it. Maybe even let it open the door to different styles. This cd is very "Soulful" and Blue's-like in certain aspects and yet maintains that trademark Thrice sound. This is an album I think that really speaks to a broader audience in terms of music and it's good, I think a lot of people should pick it up, or borrow it from a friend. I hope that if you do, you learn to love it as much as I have.