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The Alchemy Index: Vols. I & 2 Fire and Water

Hardcore has always been this generation’s version of Opera. It requires a keen ear to be able to catch all of the quality composing but it also requires tolerance for someone literally screaming in your ears for an hour. It’s a genre that has a diehard following and nothing else. There’s really no such thing as a casual hardcore listener. One thing can be said for the musicians and songwriters in the genre, and that is that they are all super-talented and artistic people.That’s why it’s not surprising that one of the genre’s staples: Thrice- has put out a concept album that’s as ambitious as this is. Thrice’s “The Alchemy Index” is a 4EP release that’s actually on two releases released months apart. Recently the first part of “The Alchemy Index” came out- Vol. I- Fire and Vol. II- Water. And both volumes of what I’ve heard from the index are awesome. Fire comes right at your face with some tight vocal work from Dustin Kensrue who remains one of the genre’s best all-around vocalists. The guy is an amazing screamer, but his normal voice can stand up to anybody else’s in any kind of music that’s rock related. Fire is his disc to where he really shines. Everything melts your face on volume 1 and so far that’s my favorite off of the collection.Volume 2- Water is more about the band’s techno/computer-based influences and is generally just slow melody after slow melody. It’s an enjoyable listen through Water because you don’t normally get that kind of music from Thrice. Everything in Volume 2 is sweeping choruses or sweeping verses and generally it sounds like it was recorded underwater. I prefer Fire slightly over Water but both are great sets in their own rights.The Alchemy Index is an awesome achievement for Thrice… so far. I can’t wait to hear the other two parts of the collection because the first two are awesome. Even if you’ve never cared for anything hardcore related you’ll dig the water volume, and even if you don’t dig the water portion of the collection you can respect the art that goes into creating what these guys are doing. Some lofty goals and expectations for Thrice, but they’re halfway there to pulling it off.


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