Two decades after their debut, the ever-evolving rock quartet Thrice have finely crafted a dynamic set of songs that are not only sonically pleasing, but lyrically awakening. Their eleventh (Self-Released) studio album, Horizons/East, is an eclectic collection of songs that practices extensive experimentation while maintaining the rawness of previous releases.
Opening with “Color Of The Sky”, layers of pulsating astral effects suck you into the album’s stimulating domain. Vocalist Dustin Kensrue comes in with vividly picturesque lyrics to give a clear taste of the journey that follows; “As I made my plans, my head would spin and swiftly dance between the whys, like why the roads were all dead ends, why we’d no word to name the color of the sky.” “Scavengers” dwells deeper into these notions, questioning the world’s intentions and purposes with a cascading guitar riff that guzzles you further into the philosophical rabbit hole.
The snappy groove and bouncing bassline of “Buried In The Sun” preceding the jazzy piano of “Northern Lights” clearly attests to the record’s versatility. The band repeatedly introduce new elements such as these early on, all without straying from their core identity and artistic sincerity.
Blustery single “Summer Set Fire To The Rain” uses rain and sunlight to illustrate the destructive habit of missing out on the positives of life because of being too focused on the negatives. Kensrue’s belting of the title strikes like lightning at the height of a storm. Anticipation builds throughout the bridge as he sings “How long, holding true, how long until the bloom, how long must we wait for you”, and lingers on after the climactic downpour of screams and havoc.
Post-rock influence is scattered throughout the record, substantially in the brewing “Still Life” and slow-burner “Dandelion Wine”. The peculiar “Unitive/East” closes the album with one last surprise as disoriented piano twinkles overpower Kensrue’s monotone croons, mirroring a state of perplexity taking over the mind.
Horizons/East is the musical epitome of a team effort – after so many years of creating together, the band have become experts at bringing Kensrue’s poetic mastermind to life. Tying together facets of the many styles they have toyed with on past albums, Thrice encourages fans to embrace life’s many mysteries and search for their own meanings.
Buy the album here: https://thrice.net/
8 / 10