Written by: PP on 23/12/2019 21:49:04

I noticed the other day that we were missing a record of the new Thrice album "Palms", which was released last year. Some albums are just too good to pass a review on even this late, so here we are dissecting the next one in the Dustin Kensrue show, which is how many lovingly refer to the magnificent display of vocal talent and expression that each Thrice release essentially is. And what an awe-inspiring album it is, arguably one of the best records the band has written aside their 2005 and 2009 masterpieces "Vheissu" and "Beggars".

"Only Us" is a spectacular opening track, delivering the brooding complexity and emotionally-charged, beautiful soundscapes of Thrice material spot on from the get-go. Most importantly, it feels a little rougher, a little bit dirtier, and a little rowdier from the previous few records in just about every aspect. Kensrue comes to crackle and break his voice more as we go through the record, delivering a harsher and scratchier expression that almost crosses over into screams in places. Some proper "Vheissu" vibes mixed with the atmospheric beauty that was "Beggars", a near-perfect mix of what I've always considered being the two best Thrice albums.

That's not to say Thrice is back at sounding metallic by any means. Rather, they have taken a conscious choice to incorporate heavier instrumentals and less polished production to give their soundscape more grit and raw power. Songs like "The Grey", "Hold Up The Light" and "A Branch In The River" are astonishing mixtures of Kensrue's brilliant pipes, intricate instrumentals, and undertones of heavy guitars. Especially the latter feels like something straight off the abrasive post-hardcore on "Vheissu" with a lovely raw production to top it off.

On the other hand, "Everything Belongs" is a softer and more touching in its nature, here referencing balladic, stadium-size rock bands like Muse in the process. Similarly, "My Soul" is signature style soothing Thrice, allowing the instrumental and soulful side of the band to shine.

Together, these two styles bring out the best of Thrice. The distorted guitars and gravelly vocals of Kensrue on "Vheissu"-style material gives their expression the needed oomph, and the softer passages highlight the instrumental prowess and vocal magnificence of Kensrue's clean vocal ability. Less ambiance, more substance is what's going on here. The songs are also shorter and more to the point, without necessarily sacrificing any of the intricate complexity the band's output has been renowned for over the years. More of this, please!

Download: Only Us, The Grey, Just Breathe, My Soul
For the fans of: City Of Ships, Thursday, Balance And Composure, Poison The Well, As Cities Burn,
Listen: Facebook

Release date 14.09.2018

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