Review Summary: A swansong from which rose a phoenix...
In 2005, Thrice bet their very existence on a dangerous gamble. Vheissu saw the group venture into a completely foreign realm of sound musically for the group up until that point and to say it was received well would be an understatement. Thrice was evolving, and nothing was going to stop the inevitable transformation. In a way, Volume I: Fire
can be considered the band’s homage to their early career. In many other ways however, Volume I: Fire
is the heaviest the band has ever been. Dustin’s voice has never roared with the ferocity he displays throughout these tracks, which are beautifully actualized by thick, hazy ambient hums and a sweltering dissonance produced by Teppei Teranishi’s guitars.
Throughout Volume I: Fire’s
run time, the listener is certainly beaten over the head with the EP’s concept, but through the band’s newly found nuanced songwriting and sampling the songs never come off as contrived or gimmicky. The EP maintains a methodical pace throughout which allows for the concept to retain relevance musically without devolving into the aforementioned gimmicky status. A good amount of variety is also displayed as effects-laden and blistering “The Messenger” has the band at their most overtly violent while the more pensive “Burn The Fleet” brings together sounds from both Volume I and II of the Index while telling the tale of a doomed voyage on burning seas. Where Volume I: Fire
really captures its concept is with the closing track “The Flame Deluge”, which is every bit as violent as “The Messenger” while adding a palpable aura of hopelessness to the mix which really cemented the band’s dedication to their new musical direction.
Volume I: Fire
was fan’s last glimpse into the hidden beast within Thrice. The band would go on to create some fantastically emotional and thought-provoking songs in later releases but the energy and fervor brought forth on this EP was both completely familiar and an all too brief flash of what could have been had minds and motivations not changed. And while Volume 1: Fire
doesn’t encapsulate it’s element as fully or elegantly as Volume II: Water
did, both its familiar energy and bombastic violence served to prove that this was one band who had the vision to create whatever they wanted.