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The Alchemy Index: Vols. I
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Reviewed: 10/23/2007 by Ryan

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Hardcore has always been this generationís 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. Itís a genre that has a diehard following and nothing else. Thereís 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.Thatís why itís not surprising that one of the genreís staples: Thrice- has put out a concept album thatís as ambitious as this is. Thriceís ďThe Alchemy IndexĒ is a 4EP release thatís actually on two releases released months apart. Recently the first part of ďThe Alchemy IndexĒ came out- Vol. I- Fire and Vol. II- Water. And both volumes of what Iíve 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 genreís best all-around vocalists. The guy is an amazing screamer, but his normal voice can stand up to anybody elseís in any kind of music thatís rock related. Fire is his disc to where he really shines. Everything melts your face on volume 1 and so far thatís my favorite off of the collection.Volume 2- Water is more about the bandís techno/computer-based influences and is generally just slow melody after slow melody. Itís an enjoyable listen through Water because you donít 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 ThriceÖ so far. I canít wait to hear the other two parts of the collection because the first two are awesome. Even if youíve never cared for anything hardcore related youíll dig the water volume, and even if you donít 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 theyíre halfway there to pulling it off.

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