Sound — 7
Thrice have been pretty productive as of late; in just over a year they've provided us with 24 excellent new songs in the form of their boundary-breaking Alchemy Index project. As if that wasn't enough, they're now releasing a double live album from their show at one of America's famous House Of Blues venues. The focus is undoubtedly on their newest material, and the way they portray some of the songs live is fantastic. Unlikely opener 'The Lion & The Wolf' gets things going in a strangely appealing way, and throughout the night Thrice bring their seemingly stage-anxious 'Earth' and 'Water' songs to the crowd with style. It's great hearing the unbelievably sinister electric version of 'The Earth Isn't Humming' or the grooved up chorus to 'Digital Sea' working so well. The band's performance is not flawless, not at all, but in many ways this promotes the honesty of the band and proves that you do not have to be technically perfect to put on a showcase of wonderfully progressive music.
Lyrics — 7
Obviously a live album doesn't bring anything new lyrically, but as far as Dustin Kensrue goes, his performance is good. Unfortunately something about his live performance isn't as inspiring as his studio recorded output. In some places he substitutes his piercing screams with uninspired melodies; it may be for stamina and for holding out his voice on a tour, but you'd think that for a live recording he may keep all of the screams in, for example, 'The Messenger', one of the set's heavier tracks. Besides that and a couple of small slip ups, his performance is good, it's just that something doesn't quite correlate between what we hear here and what can be heard on records like 'Vheissu'.
Overall Impression — 6
An immediate concern for some may be the setlist; they played a generous 25 songs, however there is an obvious bias towards the newest material, with almost half of the songs played coming from that project. I certainly wouldn't complain, but it's clear from the rabid crowd reaction to songs such as 'Deadbolt' and 'The Artist In The Ambulance' that a lot of the crowd are here to see older material. It's hard to blame them though, because as interesting as some of the newer stuff is when put onto the stage ('Daedalus', 'Open Water') it's hard not to love the raw energy of their older tracks. Thrice are a spectacle to behold onstage, however something about this live album doesn't convey that effectively. It could be the reserved mix or it could be the choice of songs, I can't be sure but I would still recommend this for Thrice fans, if nobody else.