Thrice
The Alchemy Index Vol. II: Water


4.5
superb

Review

by Eucatastrophe CONTRIBUTOR (78 Reviews)
August 28th, 2014 | 26 replies


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Where all the children have a place to sleep...

Imagine being plucked from your room and placed in the middle of the ocean during sunset. On one hand, you have the fear which leads to hopelessness, the sheer vastness of the ocean immediately crushes any inkling you may have had of escape. All around you is nothing but water for miles and it’s deadly quiet, you can’t even hear birds this far out. You have the fear of the unknown -- who knows what kind of creature is waiting for your arms to give out, for you to descend far enough into the sea to become just another meal for them. On the other hand if you listen closely it’s actually not that quiet, you can hear the roar of the ocean as it froths and crashes on itself ceaselessly. The water is tinted a beautiful magenta from the sunset’s red sky and underneath you, living with those hungry creatures, is an entire world of life.

With the release of Thrice’s Alchemy Indexes, the band cemented their musical direction for the remainder of their duration but none of them captured the essence of the element it represented more than Volume II: Water. Dustin Kensrue’s awakening to the beauty behind his singing voice during the recording of Vheissu may have set the tone for the band’s subsequent releases but intertwining with the airy, delicate ambiance set forth by the band here, he has never accomplished his goal so completely and utterly. Kensrue’s voice doesn’t soar as freely as the Air Index nor does he roar as savagely as he displays in the Fire Index but his wispy delivery fits so well with the music of Volume II: Water his performance can easily be viewed as the superior offering of the lot. Even with Kensrue’s voice meshing with the music so well, it is the music that makes Volume II: Water such a creative force. Thrice employs a generous helping of piano and ambient electronics to create layers of serene soundscapes that channel the isolative nature of the ocean in a variety of ways. “Digital Sea” is the most upbeat track of the EP and peppers a slight helping of glitch to achieve the desired mood. The instrumental track “Night Diving” accomplishes similar results but does so in a completely different fashion, by way of some slight distortion and reverb on guitar, creating some crash to juxtapose with the soft ambient passages. It really shows the state of mind the band was in during recording and their creativity matched their vision perfectly.

In a scant six songs, Thrice managed to encapsulate both the loneliness and the vitality of the ocean. Volume II: Water may have a cold outer shell, but Thrice made sure the vibrancy of the ocean was also aptly represented through layers of sometimes twinkly and buoyant, sometimes serene and bleak ambiance. Thrice would go on to create two more great albums after The Alchemy Index but never has intent and execution gelled so smoothly and flawlessly as it did with Volume II, a beautifully real interpretation of water.



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user ratings (87)
Chart.
4.2
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Calc
Contributing Reviewer
August 28th 2014


16115 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

The oldest release I've ever written about how sad is that?

Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
August 28th 2014


41594 Comments


fantastic album though

Digging: Broken Social Scene - Let's Try the After - Vol. 2

XingKing
August 28th 2014


14538 Comments


Strange to review this on it's own. Even stranger that it has a separate entry in the database when it was released with Fire

Calc
Contributing Reviewer
August 28th 2014


16115 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

crazy world we live in xing

Emim
August 28th 2014


27716 Comments


Good review, man. Great album too

SowingSeason
Moderator
August 28th 2014


30254 Comments


I loved this part of the AI, probably my favorite disc from the series tbh. Although Fire and Air ruled too. Earth was the only one I was never really too keen on.

Digging: Glen Hansard - This Wild Willing

Snake.
August 28th 2014


21586 Comments


The Alchemy Index Vol. II: Wat

PappyMason
August 28th 2014


5702 Comments


A great review for a quality album. Water is my favorite volume hands down. The others are great too, although I think I liked Fire the least.

On a side-note, it is a bit weird having all the volumes listed as separate EPs. Although it probably suggests that Sputnik users had a lot to say on each one and saw them as separate entities.

DirEnRefused
August 28th 2014


3533 Comments


i've always had trouble rating this because it totally does what it sets out to do and embodies the feeling of being surrounded and immersed by a massive body of water. the only problem is that the massive body of water is boring as fuck.

Snake.
August 28th 2014


21586 Comments


Open Water is UNF

Atari
Staff Reviewer
August 28th 2014


24541 Comments


spiffy review Calc, pos. I think you're missing a period in the first sentence of par 2 tho. I'm not too big on Thrice, but I've always dug this album for some reason

Digging: The Tallest Man on Earth - I Love You. It's a Fever Dream.

Notaflower
August 28th 2014


333 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

this and fire are my shiiiiiiiiiiiiieeeeet

Calc
Contributing Reviewer
August 28th 2014


16115 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

aww sank you atari it's fixed.

Calc
Contributing Reviewer
August 28th 2014


16115 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

the average was 4.3 before I wrote this review I'm sorry....

Hopelust
August 28th 2014


3414 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

That's only cuz dokidoki over here decided to post 6 comments somewhere on the site and give this a 2.0 rating. His rating stands alone.

Calc
Contributing Reviewer
August 28th 2014


16115 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

"calc i dislike you very much but i want you to know i pos'd this review."



dawwwww thanks :]

wacknizzle
August 28th 2014


14521 Comments


Ugh, there's actually a band called The Alchemy Index now, so fucking retarded. Nothing against Thrice

XingKing
August 28th 2014


14538 Comments


Calling this the worst of the Indexes lolol

Atari
Staff Reviewer
August 28th 2014


24541 Comments


ten thousand men sleep down with davey jones...

Drpibb
August 28th 2014


159 Comments


Havent had a chance to spin this; loved Illusion but kind of fell off the wagon after Vhisue



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