Thrice
Red Sky


3.5
great

Review

by Ross Delany USER (35 Reviews)
October 15th, 2007 | 25 replies | 10,097 views


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist

Review Summary: If We Could Only See Us Now-lite, less content, not as satisfying, but not bad by any means

2 of 2 thought this review was well written

Music can be a beautiful thing, it can make you see things in a different light, it can compliment a mood or set a tone; any great film has a stirring score that compliments it's most dramatic scenes. On the other hand, music can be one of the most frustrating entities on the planet; a band makes one incredible album, then spends the rest of its career trying to emulate its success (Are you listening Anthony Kiedis?) However one aspect of life the music can capture more than any other art form (perhaps with the exceptions of dance and drama) is emotion. The best composers wrote pieces of music that tugged at the heartstrings, conveyed chaos or just made people happy. Strangely enough; the emotional aspect has developed and grown and evolved into its own scene; where bands such as My Chemical Romance and Fall Out Boy can produce lacklustre albums which are adored by the music press who back this scene 100%. The result of this is; somewhat ironically; the “emo” (and I use the term loosely) scene becoming a mockery of itself; its gooey outpouring of faux- teen angst becoming almost sickly.

However, that’s not to say that emotion conveyed in music automatically herds a band in with the scene. Emotions can be conveyed tastefully, it can be put across by way of the instrumentation, or the lyrics, or both. Unfortunately, there isn’t exactly a reliable stream of bands and artists who have the ability to be emotional, yet tasteful; technically proficient, but not overly reliant on it; lyrically talented, whilst being able to wrap the lyrics around a melody. As well as this, there’s not a great deal of bands or artists today who have a distinct duality to them; there’s not a lot of bands like Radiohead; who have been comfortable in experimenting with their sound after achieving critical success. Similarly, there aren’t a lot of bands like Thrice; who are just as at ease with the distortion off and the screaming toned down or removed as they are with the guitars tuned down, the volume set to 11, the distortion on and the screaming at the fore.

The Red Sky EP shows off this duality. There’s Flags of Dawn perhaps best described as a montage of Atlanticand Between the End and Where we Lie from Vheissu, and four live recordings which differ – sometimes drastically - from their album counterparts. Under a Killing Moon has been transformed from the dark monster that appeared on The Artist in the Ambulance into a simple acoustic song which – dare I say it – is far better than it’s album counterpart. For Miles is another track that’ benefited from a little bit of tweaking. Whilst it doesn’t vary greatly from the version found on Vheissu, this version’s instrumentation has a slightly airy feel which compliments Kensrue’s vocals as opposed to the comparatively harsh piano on the original. The live version as also devoid of the song-ruining screaming at the end of the version on Vheissu, which leaves the whole song feeling as relaxing as a long soak in a hot bath.

The four live tracks are really boosted by subtle changes to their instrumentation; for example, Red Sky is just Dustin’s vocals and a few guitar chords in the verses with an instrument which – if I’m brutally honest – I don’t know of plays in the chorus, all I know is that it sounds roughly like a mandolin and a guitar. The overall effect is a calming one, which, bar Weight of Glory is a recurring theme throughout the EP, with Dust of Nations having been given the same mellowing treatment in the instrumentation and having had the tempo knocked down a bit. As a whole, the live tracks all benefit from the changes made to the original versions – much like the improvements to So Strange I Remember You et al on If We Could Only See Us Now.

If the live tracks are this EP’s “ups”, then arguably, the studio tracks are the “downs”; right? Well, almost. The two new tracks on the EP are completely different to each other. Flags of Dawn, as mentioned earlier is like a cross between Atlantic and Between the End and Where we Lie from Vheissu. This is mainly because of the tone in Kensrue’s vocals and the quiet/louder/quiet dynamics of the song; it also holds one of Kensrue’s best lyrics: Sleep with one eye open/ live with both eyes shut. Weight of Glory on the other hand, is a completely different animal; perhaps best described as a the vocals of Hold Fast Hope from Vheissu, thrown in with the simple but crushing guitar and bass of Artist in the Ambulance’s Silhouette and the drums of pretty much any track off of Identity Crisis. The end result of which can be said – rather strangely – to be a definition of Thrice’s sound pre-Alchemy Index, albeit watered down slightly to give an impression which doesn’t really flatter them; in fact, depending on the sound of The Alchemy Index, I’d possibly go as far to say that the musical direction hinted at in the live tracks and Flags of Dawn.

And so, to the important part; is it any good as a whole? The simple answer to that is “yes”. However, here’s where it gets complex. Whilst in many aspects, the live tracks blow their album contemporaries out of the water, there’s a certain something they lack. They lack the raw energy of the album versions, in fact, Dust of Nations feels relatively flat, they may be mellow, but with parts Dust of Nations and Red Sky the slightly stripped back approach doesn’t flatter. Additionally, whilst Flags of Dawn is a very good track, it doesn’t quite have the implicit strength that Atlantic or the Vheissu version of Red Sky had. Weight of Glory suffers a bit as well, mainly for the reasons outlined, but with the added problem of sounding like Hold Fast Hope-lite; despite all of the different elements it has.

It’s at this point that I’m torn; whilst I personally love Flags of Dawn, the variations on the original versions of the Vheissu tracks and the acoustic version of Under a Killing Moon; I know in my heart of hearts that the Red Sky EP has some pretty irritating flaws. I also know that - no matter what I think – the Vheissu variations aren’t so good as to warrant this a 5/5 or even a 4/5. whilst they’re good, they’re just not quite as good as the live/acoustic songs on If We Could Only See us Now; which I’ve listened to relentlessly over the past few weeks, and in all honesty, puts this EP firmly into the shade
__

Rating: 3.5/5

Recommended Tracks:

Under A Killing Moon (acoustic)
Flags of Dawn
For Miles (live)



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Comments:Add a Comment 
innerdark
October 15th 2007



749 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

First review in like... forever :p

probably won't get another one done till xmas sort of time

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
October 15th 2007



17914 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

um the version of "of dust and nations" is effing amazing and one of my favorite recordings ever


also i very much hate all the coding you used

innerdark
October 15th 2007



749 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I had it with just Song titles bolded 1st.

looking at it again, I think I'll take out the [u][./u] tags

plane
Staff Reviewer
October 15th 2007



6073 Comments


Just makes songs "quotations" and albums italics.

The first paragraph is gratuitous and isn't really needed unless you can shave off a lot of it to make your point clearer.

innerdark
October 15th 2007



749 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'll re-remember that for the future, this is the 1st in a good while (see: 10 months)This Message Edited On 10.15.07

Neoteric
October 16th 2007



3243 Comments


Yeah, the bolding is kinda irritating.

Good review.

Flyggeli
October 16th 2007



45 Comments


Did you just learn what a semi-colon is

innerdark
October 16th 2007



749 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Punctuation's one of my weaker points, I try though

spoon_of_grimbo
October 16th 2007



2240 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

nice review, pretty much sums up my views of the EP, although what annoys me most about it is how incomplete it is. i hate when bands do b-side/live discs and leave really obvious tracks off. in this case, another vheissu outtake - "lullaby."

clairvoyant
October 16th 2007



765 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

decent review. i agree about flags of dawn, its a great song.

innerdark
October 16th 2007



749 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

God yes, lullaby is an ace track, would have taken that over "Weight..." any day

cbmartinez
October 16th 2007



2525 Comments


Flags Of Dawn is so beautiful, one of my top 3 Thrice songs. Weight Of Glory is so awesome too, heavy as hell, the lyrics are very very religious though. Lullaby is a alot different, sounds more like a Artist song to me.

Flags Of Dawn > Weight Of Glory > Lullaby

innerdark
October 16th 2007



749 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I think Lullaby would've "fit in" better though, seeing as WoG has all the subtlety of a kick in the balls.

StrizzMatik
July 26th 2008



3158 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Ummmmmm "Weight Of Glory" is effing awesome. "Lullaby" is good but I've yet to find a copy with decent quality. Some of these songs are my favorites from the whole Vheissu sessions.

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
July 26th 2008



17914 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

versions of red sky and for miles are really weak on here but the rest is amazing

razedtotheground
October 14th 2008



366 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

just got this

Society Sellout
October 14th 2008



292 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

The two originals on this album are amazing. The rest is alright, some of the acoustics are well executed and some sound flimsy.

handoman
October 14th 2008



2380 Comments


but Of Dust And Nations is so good.

razedtotheground
October 14th 2008



366 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Of Dust and Nations is awesome on this but I'm kind of disappointed with the live version of Red Sky.

Deathcar
November 5th 2009



1534 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I love the two studio's on this, and the lives of UaKM and Of Dust and Nations are spine tingling.

Good review.



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