The Alchemy Index - My thoughts


Giu 23 2008, 21:43

I was just thinking about this album and i thought that i really ought to review it or praise it in some way more formal than just posting on Thrice's shoutbox. So i decided to write a journal about my feelings on all 4 mini albums. I may go into some depth as i feel very strongly about this album.

Fire is very powerful, and whilst it is nothing like the thrash-like, heavy screaming, Thrice of old, is is the heaviest of the four, and quite right too. When you think of Fire, you very rarely think of calm, but raging and angry.
Firebreather i think is the best possible choice for the opener. It crashes down on the listener and actually makes them listen. This song is powerful and heavy throughout whilst using beautiful melodies and rhythm .
The Messenger is somewhat of a new prospect for Thrice fans as we are treated to mechanical drums for the introduction, which just shows how Thrice are starting to expand their genre even more than they did in Vheissu. The Messenger is probably the heaviest of the 6 in the Fire section. Listening to this really does make you feel like your in the middle of a raging fire.
Backdraft calms things down a bit and we get a bit of acoustic for the introduction. Dustin's voice is much quieter which leads us to believe that this song may carry on this way until the electric and the drums come in with an extremely powerful chorus. Again, the pace is just right for the fire genre. Thrice nicely change the pace between chorus and verse to prove they can still do both very well.
The Arsonist follows on from the messenger with a metal like guitar riff, but when coming on to the chorus, Thrice don't disappoint with another beautiful melodic beat. And then the bridge with the best riff on the album. The more i listen to this song, the better it gets. I think the best part of this song is the ending, which culminates in a mess of drums, guitar and vocals. Brilliant.
Burn The Fleet may be heavier than the other songs on the other parts of The Alchemy Index, it is the slowest on Fire, not saying that's a bad thing at all. The lyrics are what really make this song, seemingly perfectly fitted to suit Dustin's voice. One could say that musically, this song is the weakest on the album, as it isn't as heavy as the others.
The Flame Deluge is in my opinion the weakest that fire offers, however this doesn't stop it from enticing the listeners in from the very first second. It's more of an ending; and a link to Water than a song. It starts off very like the rest of fire and ends as the fire dies out and gives way to water.

The 6 songs from water are almost like you'd expect them to be. Whilst water can be both calm and raging, i think Thrice side more with the calmer water, although i think it's placed with Fire to give it that angry edge.
Digital Sea is the best name for this song, as it gives Thrice to make use of their digital effects whilst not forgetting the Water feel. This song doesn't have any guitars in which i think is a nice touch. "Here my voice goes to ones and zeros" fades away becoming less audible as Thrice take you under the water.
Open Water is one of my favourite songs from The Alchemy Index. It uses the calm atmosphere of water to give way to a beautiful song. This song gives off a very soothing floaty effect with it's slow pace. Nothing too complicated which helps and Dustin utilizing his voice to the best of his ability.
Lost Continent doesn't go far away from the last track, with Dustin proving that he can sing high as well as low. His voice sounds just beautiful and perfectly fits this calm and somewhat eerie song. Another great thing about this song is how it builds itself up into the great choruses and the eventual perfectly fitting ending. I can't find one fault with this song.
Night Diving is the only instrumental song out of the 24 songs from The Alchemy Index. This also gives Water a chance to branch out to display the more lively side with the bass and electric giving us a few good sections. With the lack of guitar from the most of Water, i feel like this also gives Thrice the chance to show us how softly they can play.
The Whaler once again makes way for Dustin's great voice and again has a lack of guitars, but this just adds to the beauty of the song and Thrice who have used Water to showcase their talent to make brilliant music without needing guitars. This song also makes me feel like Thrice have really broken free from the labels and tags that have once bounded them.
Kings Upon The Main finishes with style. Whilst keeping things still pretty slow, it almost doesn't seem calm and that things could flare up at any moment. The lower piano mixed with Dustin's whispery voice gives it some kind of mysterious and unpredictable vibe.

The Air songs are again, what you might expect. Similarly to Water, Air can be both violent and very calm and Thrice displays both sides of this, but not with heavy guitars like in fire, but with powerful guitars and singing, which makes it my favourite out of the 4, although if i have to be honest, it's the least faithful to the element it's described as.
Broken Lungs is the opener and it starts off very softly, with the chorus and ending head more towards a more violent air. This would probably appeal more towards newer fans as it is something completely different to what older Thrice fans would expect.
The Sky Is Falling is a more livelier song than Broken Lungs, with a faster pace and Dustin singing much louder. Whilst this is another of my favourite songs, i'm not sure whether or not it fits in with the air moniker.
A Song For Milly Michaelson is my favourite song from Air. With just an acoustic guitar and Dustin singing, it really tells the tale of Eric Gibb very well. For those who are not familiar, Milly Michaelson is the girl from the film "The Boy Who Could Fly" that discovers the autistic boy's (Eric Gibb) talent. I had to look it up, but knowing and seeing the film makes this song more beautiful. It is beautiful in it's own right.
Daedalus gives us both sides of air, starting off calmly, whilst gradually going into the more agressive side but keeping to the softer guitars and singing. Once again Dustin shows off his singing ability with very powerful vocals.
As the Crow Flies is another acoustic and singing song and probably the weakest off this part of the index. There isn't much substance to it, but it does once again prove that Thrice are maybe one of the most diverse "Rock" bands out there today.
Silver Wings for me is very much like the songs off Water, as it uses an electric drum kit and very little guitars. Dustin's voice is very similar to that of how he sings on Water too, but this all adds to the beauty of the placement of this song. This is another song which the lyrics really add to the wonder of the song.

Earth is probably the best executed of the 6 because it mainly stays true. The band recorded this part of the index in an empty room with wooden floorboards, with only acoustic instruments and without drums (apart from one) making the ambiance true to the Earth element and makes it feel very natural.
Moving Mountains is a very raw song, and feels very natural to be placed in this part of the index. It's quite a lively song and has recognizable lyrics which i could imagine would be a hit at live events. This is a great acoustic song.
Digging My Own Grave uses a piano is calmed down a bit from Moving Mountains. Dustin's voice is very well accustomed to this kind of song due to his country roots. The lyrics again are outstanding and Dustin delivers them without fault in this somewhat sombre performance. Brilliant nonetheless.
The Earth Isn't Humming uses an array of different styles of guitar, with a deeper guitar giving a basic riff and the higher guitar being the lead which executes some brilliant melodies perfectly. The lyrics are once again flawless and delivered in the way that Dustin knows best.
The Lion And The Wolf is another piano delivered song which acts as a type of poem, depicting the relationship between the two animals. This song is sung very sweetly which is very ironic given the end result of the story that Dustin sings to us. I like to believe that Thrice have used this song to let their fans they do have a sense of humour as they have apparently got a reputation of being a boring "grown-up" band.
Come All You Weary is the only song on the Earth section which uses drums and electric guitar. This adds to the magnificence of the song, which is easily the best song on this fourth element. The multi-voices that sing during the chorus make it a clear sing-a-long favourite. This comes at just the right time for those who thought that there would be no drums in the earth element.
Child Of Dust really does finish things off perfectly not only for the Earth element, but also for the whole Index. A simple song, but with extremely powerful vocals which make it clear that things have come to an end, especially when the voices start to drown out and you start to hear the foreground noises over the top. A perfect ending to the perfect album.

Overall, I think that The Alchemy Index is definitely the best work that Thrice have ever produced, and i think that it is some of the best music I've heard. Especially from a modern band. Thrice have evolved so much over the years and this really leaves an impression on all that listen to it. This is influential stuff and very inspiring. Thrice have proved that they are not a one trick pony and have displayed many sides that and shown the world that they are capable of anything.

I hope you have enjoyed reading this as much as i did listening to and writing about The Alchemy Index.


  • tashxxx

    Have you ever thought about doing official reviews and sending them off!?

    Giu 25 2008, 11:22
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