| Every five to ten years a successful band will radically diverge from their genre and shock their large audiences. In 2000 we had Radiohead's Kid A: wow. And in late 2005, we have Vheissu. Put simply, this is nothing you have ever heard from Thrice before.
Being Thrice's fourth album, Vheissu had many expectations, but one thing was for certain: change. No Thrice album has ever sounded like the last. Their debut Identity Crisis introduced their punk/screamo potential to the underground world, but The Illusion of Safety, with its metal riffs, irregular structure, and changing time-signatures gave modern indie its first Thrice-brand shock. Island Records released The Artist in the Ambulance two and a half years ago, bringing a more straightforward yet equally passionate Thrice sound into the billboards.
Like I said these four albums are totally different, even the guitars are tuned in different keys for each one. But out of all of them, Vheissu has the most variance. We have three or four anthemic screamo songs, such as "Image of the Invisible" and "Hold Fast Hope," a few contemplative mellow meanderings such as "Atlantic" and "Red Sky," and everything else falls between.
The way I just described it makes the album sound like Story of the Year's Page Avenue. But no, Vheissu is completely different. Youíll hear some very different sounds, such as the use of Egyptian scales on "For Miles," gospel-like choir chants on "The Earth Will Shake," and great keyboard and bell work.
Overall, this CD is amazingly haunting and chilling, compared to the occasional warmth and sentimentality on the last album. You wonít hear anything like "A Subtle Dagger" or "Paper Tigers" on Vheissu, but youíll hear a much more developed and different melodic sense, broader and smoother vocals from Dustin (while retaining much of its signature gruffness), and captivating lyrics similar to what Dustin has been writing for past albums.
By further development in mellow aspects Thrice presents much less of its metal-derived thrash dimension. Also, the Breckinridge brothers seem to have simplified their parts. Eddie's bass lines and Riley's drum parts are not as groundbreaking as they were on the fastest and heaviest of Thrice songs of the past.
I usually put guarantees with my reviews, but for this one I just can't. It's just so different and I'm sure a lot of fans are going to shun it. Some prick is going to say they sold out, some other prick is going to say Dustin is trying to imitate Thom Yorke, blah blah. Understand that: 1. Vheissu is not pop at all, and 2. yeah Dustin does sing like Thom but he is definitely still himself.
I was stunned when I first heard this album--the change was more intense than I expected--but after several plays it really grew on me. Thrice has really escaped the confines of todayís "scene." If you don't like it at once, donít sell it back just yet, let it sink in. Embrace the change.
Oh, and if you know what "Vheissu" means please email me. Thanks.
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<< 1) Image Of The Invisible >>
2) Between The End And Where We Lie
3) The Earth Will Shake
5) For Miles
6) Hold Fast Hope
7) Music Box
8) Like Moths To Flame
9) Of Dust And Nations
10) Stand And Feel Your Worth
11) Red Sky