Thrice – “The Alchemy Index, Vols. I-IV”

Saying goodbye to elemental gods.

Earlier this week, Orange County’s very own Thrice announced their indefinite hiatus, stating:

“…we will be taking a break from being a full-time band, and the upcoming tour in the Spring will be the last one for the foreseeable future.” – Dustin Kensrue, vocals/guitar

(read the full statement here)

That said, I would like to pay tribute to the band that initially excited me about music, introduced me to profound philosophies and ideas, and keeps me searching for meaning in this “mad” world.

This week’s pick is none other than my favorite Thrice album, “The Alchemy Index.” While not the album that initially reeled me in to the band (see “First Impressions”), it is without a doubt their most triumphant effort.

The album is comprised of four separate and sonically different EPs to form one cohesive idea. Each 6-song EP is sonically and lyrically themed after a particular element (Fire, Water, Air, Earth); Fire being heavy and gritty; Water being somber and electronically influenced; Air being a flowing mixture of sounds between chaotic and peaceful; Earth being a raw, stripped down performance. The final track on each of the EPs is a sonnet in the voice of the particular element speaking back at humanity, each ending in the same three chords, unifying all of the EPs together into a collective whole.

Not only is Thrice’s performance stellar on this record, it should also be noted that it is the first of their albums to be produced and engineered entirely by the band themselves.

On top of that, the artwork (presented by lead singer Dustin Kensrue) is presented as an ancient text with hand-crafted illustrations and design. No matter how the album is purchased (two separate CDs containing two EPs each or the vinyl box set containing all four EPs in a single volume), it is represented in what looks of the coving of an old hardbound book.

There is no doubt that there is something “different” about this collection of art, from the music, to the lyrics, to the artwork. It showcases the various talents and sounds of one of the most influential bands of our modern time. It is also one of the most cohesive collections of art to date. It is a must own for music and art lovers of any taste.

Thank you Dustin, Teppei, Ed, and Riley. You have inspired me to no end. Without your blood, sweat, and tears, I would not be half the man I am today.

iTunes: Vols. I & II: Fire & Water | Vols. III & IV: Air & Earth

Amazon MP3: Vols. I & II: Fire & Water | Vols. III & IV: Air & Earth


Kyle Starr is the writer of and The State of Gaming. Find Kyle on Twitter at @_kylestarr.


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