Review by: Zach Kinney
The Californian rock band Thrice, returns with their eleventh studio album, Horizons/East! This album is set to hit the shelves on September 17th, so make sure to drop some pre-orders!
The opening track, Color of the Sky, begins with a wave effect panned right, with a synth coming in on the left side. Together it creates a feeling of a full circle. Dustin comes in with a low vocal line, at a calm, almost whisper tone. The drums pop in with keeping the beat, at around 40 seconds, and coming full force with the bass at 1:08. The bass is very groovy and fun, and the vocals are raised higher. All throughout the song, the original synth continues, and creates a relaxing feel. At around 2:30, it drops to just the synth, low vocals, and an acoustic guitar. The song finishes the same way, with the synth rippling, and the acoustic instrument fading away. It reminds me of an audible depiction of a dream.
Track two and three do a great job of starting an emphasis on a particular instrument. Track two, Scavengers, Showcases the guitar on top of the instrumentals, with a sixteenth note repeating pattern. Track three, Buried in the Sun, gives the bass the melody, and it stands on top of the mix.
Track four, Northern Lights, is a mixing pot after these previous tracks. It starts with a little piano warm up. The song then begins with piano chords, and a groovy bass line that seems like the perfect beat to go dancing to. The guitar jumps in with a semi-scale like couple of measures. Overall this song seems like a perfect song for any movie soundtrack. It would fit perfectly as a band playing for some kind of fancy casual event, like a cruise ship or fancy casino.
My personal favorite track is Summer Set Fire to the Rain. The great thing about this song is I could run with it, and feel pumped and energized, and I could rest up afterwards and get lost in the music as I slowly drift to sleep. It can fit any mood you’re in, and it will retain the amazing nature of it! I love how beautiful the guitar tone is, and how the bass helps build up in the chorus. My favorite part is the end, when it starts getting really heavy! It serves as a full steam ahead finale, and sounds so powerful!
Still Life begins with a minute of a buildup/interlude. It sets the mood of the song, until the lyrics can drop in to tell the message. It tells of objects of the past. Old photographs, scraps of leather, and a weathered axe. The final line tells a great message though. “The way is closed now and I can’t go home, But what if just let go.” The past is what it is. It’s important to look back, but it’s also important to not get caught up in it, and sometimes you need to let go to have a good future.
The Dreamer has some of my favorite lyrics. “And everything went black when the sun fell But it was bright beneath the trees.” This line hits home for me. When everything seems lost, you need to keep your hope there, because there will always be a bright side.
Robot Soft Exorcism starts soft. It slowly layers the instruments and shows off Dustin’s amazing singer voice. Everything goes all in at 1:50, with the instruments instantly increasing the dynamics, and Dustin powering through on top. I personally love the rhythm of the guitar and drums synchronized in the quieter dynamics.
Dandelion Wine, features a slow jazz-like instrumental section. With the climax being an all in combination of melodies at 2:47, you can really get lost in the music. When the lyrics pick up again you can hear the two guitar lines separated with one on each channel. One is more distorted and one is a clean tone with a slight reverb. This separation and contrast perfectly match the lyrics, with the “chasing winter away,” and all of the discussion of the cold temperatures and returning to summer.
The final track, Unitive/East is a slow layering of piano melodies to slowly create a meld of notes. It slowly drops off again, and resolves into one melody at 2:08. At 2:42, the last chord of the album is struck, and everything fades, with a lingering sound that fades away later like wind. It is a very relaxing track by itself, but as the finale to the album, it serves as a great conclusion. When the album is repeated, it eases into Color of the Sky again to create a great cycle.
Overall, Thrice struck gold again with a great and welcomed addition to their discography. Seeing new music is always exciting, but Thrice’s new album Horizons/East feels like much more than that new album excitement. I’m excited to see how you all feel about the album! Make sure to show the band some love and preorder the album, which is being released September 17th! Keep rocking everyone!