Review Summary: “Can you feel a pulse? It’s been stopped for so long. Let’s restart it!”
Thursday is a band that once stood at the top of the post-hardcore world with their album Full Collapse
, but for the last couple of years they appeared to be a burned out group whose good days are past and on the edge of being forgotten. It wasn’t until recently, with the release of the Thursday/Envy Split and the participation of front man Geoff Rickly in United Nations that Thursday started to be mentioned with any sort of anticipation. The split with Envy showed that maybe Thursday wasn’t done after all and that they still have the ability to make powerful and emotional music. With that ray of hope we come into Common Existence
and what we find is nothing short of excellent.
Thursday has never been afraid to evolve, to progress, to try new things; it’s what kept them one step ahead of all the other bands that tried to make a Full Collapse
of their own. Following that tradition, this album is highly experimental with the band’s sound. From the album’s first song 'Resuscitation of a Dead Man' one can hear the new screamo influences that were found in the Envy split. This is something that will be noticeable throughout the album and that along with the more focused atmosphere is what makes Common Existence
stand out from Thursday’s previous efforts. When compared to the likes of Full Collapse
and A City by Lights Divided
, this album is clearly darker, harder, and more technical.
expands the post-hardcore sound that the band itself helped establish. It takes the formula used in Full Collapse
and War All the Time
and explores its limits. People shouldn’t think that with this album Thursday abandoned their roots and the sound of their first albums. They took that sound and added influences, pushed it to its limit, evolved it. Remember that when you evolved your Squirtle it continued being a turtle, but now it is a cooler and stronger turtle, that’s what Thursday did with Common Existence
. There are always going to be many who wished they could have stayed with their older sound, but if you don’t evolve… well lets just say that you won’t defeat the Elite Four.
I don’t think it is possible to deny the improvement the bands shows when it comes to instrumentation and musicianship. When listening to songs like 'Friends In The Armed Forces', 'You Were The Cancer', and 'As He Climbed The Dark Mountain' one can’t help but be impressed with what the band has been able to accomplish. The drumming is one of the things that stand out the most, especially considering how in previous albums it wasn’t something deserving of high praise. Another thing that is definitely worth mentioning is how Thursday has mastered the atmosphere of the album. It is like painting and decorating a house. You need colors that compliment each others, decorations that match with the theme and that fit together, in the end create a place that you can live at and be at ease and happy. That’s what the band did with this album; they complimented the songs, the melodies, the vocals, the instruments, everything fits together, everything adds to the theme, all the singulars come together to create a piece of art.
That is not to say this album doesn’t have its flaws. In their attempt to expand and progress their sound there are occasions in which the band goes too far and fails to keep the song cohesive. Also, it can be noticed how the slower-softer songs can tend to drag and sometimes lack the same emotion that is so strongly present most of the album, an example of this is 'Love Has Led Us Astray'. Even so, regardless of their flaws, those songs are still very good and do a great job in changing the tempo of the album and keeping things fresh. The final flaw of this album is that, overall, the first half is stronger than the second half, but consider than the softer songs are in the second half and because of what I previously mentioned it drags the half down a little.
In conclusion, anyone who is a fan or used to be a fan of the band owes it to himself to listen to this album. With Common Existence
Thursday created an album with nothing to envy from their first releases and in the process laughs in the faces of all those who believed them to be finished after A City By Lights Divided
. Rickly himself found the best way to describe this album and what it means for the band; on the track 'Resuscitation of a Dead Man' he sings “Can you feel a pulse? It’s been stopped for so long. Let’s restart it!”
As He Climbed The Dark Mountain
You Were The Cancer
Friends In The Armed Forces
Resuscitation of a Dead Man