The Alchemy Index, Vols. 1 & 2: Fire & Water review by Thrice

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  • Released: Oct 16, 2007
  • Sound: 9
  • Lyrics: 10
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 9 (99 votes)
Thrice: The Alchemy Index, Vols. 1 & 2: Fire & Water
1

Sound — 9
With the Alchemy Index Thricee once again evole and expand their sound, while maintaining the base elements (no pun intended) that make them the same band that they've been for the last 9 years. Both discs have a very unique and distinct sound, and listeners will easily be able to identify which element each track is meant to represent. The Fire disc (Vol I) is the hard hitter of the two, with loud guitar parts, great riffing and incredibly strong vocals, with Dustin's harshest screams to date. The Water disc (Vol II) is the mellow laid back disc, reminiscent of Atlantic from Vheissu. This disc is incredibly synth and piano heavy, with little noticable riffage.

Lyrics — 10
As the discs are written around the base elements of fire and water these elements are involved largely in the lyrics as well. Dustin has once again proved his abilities a lyricist, and has done an excellent job of encorporating the feel of the elements into the each songs individual lyrics. Lyrics on the fire disc deal with strength, power and destruction, which is what what fire is associated with. The lyrics on the water discs have a nautical tone, focusing more on the sea rather than water itself, with themes of loneliness and despair, yet manages to avoid a sense of depression. Dustin's vocals are as strong as ever, and certain tracks have an undeniable sing-a-long feel (especially the closing chants of Firebreather). Surprisingly the album's one instrumental track, Night Diver, is a highlight, which is strange given Thrice's reputation for strong lyrics and vocals.

Overall Impression — 9
The Alchemy Index Vols I & II is a great addition to the Thrice catalogue. It was a bold step, and one that some fans questioned, but in the end the band has proved their talent and have pulled off the conceppt with aplomb. Highlight tracks from Fire include The Arsonist and The Flame Deluge, the closing epic. From the Water disc include Digital Sea and the aformentioned instrumental Night Diver. This is not Thrice's strongest work, but it is still an exceptional album. If lost or stolen a replacement copy would be bought immediately, as this is one record that I am proud to own and couldn't stand not having.

37 comments sorted by best / new / date

    avengingender
    To be honest, I didn't really like where Thrice was headed with Vheissu (only song I liked was Image of the Invisible), and I don't see how this album is getting great reviews everywhere. Maybe I'll look into it. I still prefer the earlier stuff, especially Illusion of Safety.
    Tmor586
    easily one of the more biased reviews ive read. the cds alrite, but this guy was obviously giving it a ten no matter what
    aliceinnirvana
    I thought both were fantastic albums. I love every cd by Thrice, and that is a hard thing to say. I can't believe they haven't let me down yet. Great stuff. Though I would have to say Vheissu is my favourite.
    lostinpieces
    nolanxxx wrote: i just don't really like the singing, its less unique, theres a lot of bands that sound the same
    are you serious? this is the most individual step ive ever hear from a band, this album is amazing, thrice are amazing.
    aggiefan33
    Take off screamo/punk revival PLEASE! Night Diving is way more like Isis/CoL than Flame Deluge...
    duncang
    Tmor586 wrote: easily one of the more biased reviews ive read. the cds alrite, but this guy was obviously giving it a ten no matter what
    No matter what? ...what? The only thing that would have stopped me from giving it a 10 is if the music and lyrics weren't both ****ing incredible. They are.
    pyritmann
    GoodCharlotte92 : okay, i've only heard a little bit of thrice (image of the ivisible, artist in the ambulence, stare at the sun) and i really like those songs. should i get this????? i really don't know so please answer!
    the sound is much different then those songs listed and i personally did not like the sound of the new album. i would not recommend it. but then again, ,seeing your a good charolotte fan you might enjoy it. not a good album, was looking forward to this album so much but i feel very let down oh well i still love thrice.
    duncang
    mr. riff wrote: Dang, the UG team even gave this a 10/10! Wow. If anyone cares the unregistered review is mine. I feel so lame for not signing in when I submitted my review.
    The UG team are people too, with this reviewer in particular being, well...me.
    Phorgot
    all their albums evolved, they never played the same stuff over and over again identity crisis was really different from IoS, and IoS itself was different from TAITA... change was inevitable (in a good way)
    duncang
    pyritmann wrote: GoodCharlotte92 : okay, i've only heard a little bit of thrice (image of the ivisible, artist in the ambulence, stare at the sun) and i really like those songs. should i get this????? i really don't know so please answer! the sound is much different then those songs listed and i personally did not like the sound of the new album. i would not recommend it. but then again, ,seeing your a good charolotte fan you might enjoy it. not a good album, was looking forward to this album so much but i feel very let down oh well i still love thrice.
    !? That was a really odd answer. Why on earth would a Good Charlotte fan enjoy this more than you?
    craftmydemise
    i really think they've tried to hard to create beauty out of music rather than , like everything else in the world worth existing, let it just happen and create itself.
    depth
    i agree with the UG review, vheissu was one of the greatest albums ever made...how can you not see that! it doesn't make sense how people can listen to thrices music hard or soft and say, "yeah this sucks so bad...blah blah blah illusion of safety..." the illusion of safety was GREAT but is a completly different type of music, i do think it would be cool if they had songs of that nature but they don't and that doesn't mean what they do have isn't genius. if you think thrice sucks, you like a more mainstream sound, great, go listen to that, don't act like your opinion applys whatsoever.
    sylic
    I listened to them starting out when I was younger and came back to listen to vheissu. I was shocked that there wasn't one song I found even decent.I have listen to quite a broad range of music in my life, yet the songs were just quite dull and lifeless to say the least.I didn't feel like they put much work into it. I don't think I'll be picking this one up, from the things I've read it hasn't changed much.
    Jalopy1919
    Vheissu is such an incredibly under rated album, EVERY song I found was enjoyable except the first track on the album which was to please the older fans. I did not like their old stuff at all but I will say that they did have some very nifty guitar parts. This album is good Fire is average, it has only 3 good songs (I'll let you pick those :p) And water is good except for lost continent I am not sure if Thrice will ever be able to pass Vheissu quality wise but they are certainly one of the more capable bands out today.
    KaiserX
    Vheissu was definitely their crowning achievement in my opinion... this one falls short. Granted they're going for a new sound, it is a long departure from their old guitar riff driven songs. Dont like it at all.
    GoodCharlotte92
    okay, i've only heard a little bit of thrice (image of the ivisible, artist in the ambulence, stare at the sun) and i really like those songs. should i get this????? i really don't know so please answer!
    Sirnogbert
    avengingender wrote: To be honest, I didn't really like where Thrice was headed with Vheissu (only song I liked was Image of the Invisible), and I don't see how this album is getting great reviews everywhere. Maybe I'll look into it. I still prefer the earlier stuff, especially Illusion of Safety.
    Some people just prefer the more metal heavy sound of Illusion of Safety. Thrice is the sort of band whose music evolves so much that it would be simply impossible to please every fan. Still, check out the fire disc at least, it should please.
    =Thunderbird=
    oh it's already out.. cool i think i'll buy it, thrice is such an impressive band good idea to sell 2 records, a 4 cd record surely would have been quite expansive and a lot of people wouldn't have bought it.. maybe many would have feared that a lot of stuff was just to fill the cds if they sold all 4 cds together.. and so we get some new stuff of them earlier, too. excellent
    GiantRaven
    avengingender wrote: To be honest, I didn't really like where Thrice was headed with Vheissu (only song I liked was Image of the Invisible), and I don't see how this album is getting great reviews everywhere. Maybe I'll look into it. I still prefer the earlier stuff, especially Illusion of Safety.
    People like different things to you oddly enough Great album, i'm loving it
    bbsbass
    avengingender wrote: To be honest, I didn't really like where Thrice was headed with Vheissu (only song I liked was Image of the Invisible), and I don't see how this album is getting great reviews everywhere. Maybe I'll look into it. I still prefer the earlier stuff, especially Illusion of Safety.
    Yeah I agree with you. I said something to that effect in the news article about this cd and got ripped apart by fans, although I admit the way I said it was harsher than I intended. Really the fact is whenever a band makes such a drastic change in their sound (and I don't see how anyone could argue there wasnt a somewhat drastic change) they are inevitably going to leave some fans behind who liked how they used to sound. I wasn't a fan of Vheissu and I gave this a few listens and am not a fan either.
    Junesongtrigger
    I like this better than Vheissu and I wasn't ever into the old Thrice, so this is probably my favorite work by Thrice. Vol. II is my favorite but Fire is good too.
    Haff
    well it all depends on what you like thrice for...i loved the taita for the time signatures and the dark sound...and of coarse the guitar parts on that cd cause im a guitarist...but the alchemy index definitely has some cool time signatures and a mysterious/dark sound on a lot of the songs.
    nolanxxx
    i just don't really like the singing, its less unique, theres a lot of bands that sound the same
    Styx
    Vheissu was not really good i'll say is the worst i've heard from Thrice. This sounds better so i'll check it out.
    t_godin
    Ya I didnt like the new album at all.. im not a fan of that really slow mellow, boring stuff. Firebreather was not bad
    mrmac
    The review was just a tad f#@$in biased. Its a damn fine album, I will NOT argue with that. Its not worth a 10, tho. It IS worth a listen, or 2, or 3, or 4...
    duncang
    mrmac wrote: The review was just a tad f#@$in biased. Its a damn fine album, I will NOT argue with that. Its not worth a 10, tho. It IS worth a listen, or 2, or 3, or 4...
    Reviews are meant to be opinions, you tit.
    mr. riff
    Dang, the UG team even gave this a 10/10! Wow. If anyone cares the unregistered review is mine. I feel so lame for not signing in when I submitted my review.
    Chili2122
    FIRST!!! Great album all the way through. I can't wait to hear the III & IV volumes in spring!!!!