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Thrice’s latest album is a testament to the quartet’s growth, who’ve quickly transcended from slicing Cali screamo band to universally appealing rock band with strength and grace while not selling out a bit. On VHEISSU, there’s a discernible attention paid to dynamics, as the rumbling buildup of “Image of the Invisible” portrays arena rock anthem ability without sacrificing the band’s regimented attention to detail. Another huge change in the sound for the Warped Tour veterans is the intentional different instrumentation used throughout the entire 11-track disc, and how the use of numerous pianos, synths, and programming gives the band a voracious versatility, culminating with “The Earth Will Shake”. Entrenching Thrice firmly as a band whose convincing storytelling transcends lyrics, this track combines the outfit’s old guitar-fueled and lung-ripping passions with their newfound experimental approaches, providing the most intense moments of the disc. Excruciatingly pensive, the lyrics across VEHISSU are spiritually charged, yet Thrice doesn’t push beliefs down your throat with fire or brimstone. Instead, they allow crushing instrumental outros like the one on “For Miles” and dueling bone crunching vocals and guitars on “Hold Fast Hope” to speak, albeit with the volume way up, so you can hear the message and music evenly and can decide for yourself. Way less reckless than their days on Sub City, more clever than any other band in the genre, and overall providing a glorious rock album, Thrice have tapped the mainline that crosses punk, metal, and alternative, making an timeless album that will be a point of reference for generations.
- Mike SOS