Written by: PP on 25/10/2021 19:07:27

Despite having reached their eleventh full-length album on "Horizons/East", Thrice continues to demonstrate breathtaking songwriting and incredible consistency this late in their career. Almost everything the band has released in recent memory can be classified as music that touches your soul, save for maybe the still-solid-but-less-memorable "To Be Everywhere Is To Be Nowhere" five years ago. But given the brooding complexity and magnificent performance by vocalist Dustin Kensrue on previous album "Palms", few thought they'd deliver an album simultaneously as experimental and as good as "Horizons/East" is.

Where "Palms" revisited the harsher soundscapes of "Vheissu" as an inspiration, "Horizons/East" throws us straight back into the ambient exploration and expansive, far-reaching atmospherics we've heard on their other albums lately. Minimalist electronics are on prominent display during "Robot Soft Exorcism", for instance, whereas "The Dreamer" may feature scratchy, mildly aggressive vocals during its verses, but morphs into a back-chillingly beautiful, soothing chorus that's best categorized as hummable.

In that sense, this record is quite different from its predecessor. It's loftier, more dreamy and spacious, and more contemplative in its approach - just listen to "Dandelion Wine" as an example. That said, the way Kensrue utilizes his voice as a balancing instrument adds a dimension to the soundscape few other bands possess, much akin to what Matthew Bellamy does on Muse records.

The record's opening duo "Color Of The Sky" and "Scavengers" showcase the incredible songwriting they are capable of, with the latter in particular featuring a chorus so infectious it's an outright Thrice classic from the first listen. Here, Kensrue's ability to deliver awe-inspiring passages of scratchily soaring howls is unparalleled in the modern-day music scene. The sheer amount of emotional charge is stunning, resulting in one of the most beautiful songs Thrice has written to date.

As usual with Thrice albums, "Horizons/East" is a massive grower. The more you listen to it the better it gets. And where that's usually an indication of a record that's difficult to absorb on the first few listens, that is simply not the case here. The instrumental prowess and spectacular atmospherics ensure even a new Thrice listener feels welcome from the get-go. Don't be surprised to find this record near the top of pretty much every magazine's best-of list come December this year.

Download: Scavengers, Color Of the Sky, The Dreamer, Dandelion Wine, Summer Set Fire To The Rain, Still Life
For the fans of: City Of Ships, Balance And Composure, Brand New, Jim Ward, Sparta
Listen: Facebook

Release date 17.09.2019
Epitaph Records

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