Sound — 10
When I heard the first track of "Vheissu," I thought it was just another "Identity Crisis" or "Artist In The Ambulance" (which were/are good albums). By the second song, I realized that Thrice has extending their musicianship and songwriting skills to encompass more than their well-known hardcore/post-hardcore/metal sound. "Vheissu" is very reminiscent of experimental/progressive/punk revival bands such as Mars Volta. Instead of the usual, all-out headbanging distortion (mainly those riff-roaring licks by lead guitarist Teppei Teranishi) and the like, Thrice also incorporates keyboards, rhodes, and even a unique element of Morse Code.
Lyrics — 9
The lyrics are meaningful in the traditional Thrice sense, using such rhetorical strategies as metaphors and symbolism and including themes of humanity, hope, faith, strength, etc. The lyrics combined with the music make a very poetic feel to each song. It's great to listen to Dustin Kensrue's growth and development as the head lyricist for the band.
Overall Impression — 10
If you are unopen to change in bands' sound and style, don't buy this album. This album was meant to test their skills of song and lyric writing, not to pull out another "Identity Crisis" or "Artist In The Ambulance." If you're curious on Thrice's sound on "Vheissu," check out "Image Of The Invisible," "The Earth Will Shake," "Hold Fast Hope" and "Stand And Feel Your Worth." If you truly love Thrice no matter what, you will appreciate the effort they have put into this album and put it up with your Thrice collection.