Thrice
The Alchemy Index Vol. III: Air


4.0
excellent

Review

by Eucatastrophe CONTRIBUTOR (78 Reviews)
December 4th, 2016 | 12 replies


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: And after all of this, I am amazed that I am cursed far more than I am praised...

With Fire and Water, Thrice’s elemental motif was beautifully actualized both musically and conceptually. Fire blazed with a fury the band had never shown before and has never shown since while Water’s representation of the element stands as one of the most creative and beautiful portrayals ever created. With Air, the band doesn’t wield the theme like a hammer but instead employs it like a paintbrush, applying light touches throughout the music but never dabbing to heavily at any one point. Because of this, Air never sounds airy the way Fire was fiery and Water was watery, but still presents as one of the most powerful indexes by way of Kensrue’s lyrics and the band’s minimalistic approach in instrumentation.

Thrice’s representation of air is comes off as an agent of death as well as a giver of life. “Broken Lungs” and “The Sky is Falling” both tell tales of horrible tragedies carried out via the sky. Namely the 9/11 attacks and the psychological fallout indiscriminate bombing on a foreign country’s people. These politically charged songs are the most energized on the album and begin a sort of recurring theme of political activism and moralistic themes found in Thrice’s future work. Where Air really succeeds is the last three songs, which bring to light a secret theme hidden underneath the overt one, namely Dustin’s bringing of a child into the world for the first time. Kensrue’s apprehension is highlighted in no uncertain terms in “Daedalus” (a sister song to “The Melting Point of Wax”) which recounts the story of Icarus from his father’s point of view. “As the Crow Flies” sees the band at its most delicate and serves as a dual metaphor, that of raising a child, and that of creating music.

Air by its very nature, leaves a lot of room for interpretation compared to Fire and Water. With the exception of “Silver Wings”, the elemental theme is hidden beneath metaphor which consequently both helps and hurts the album. Sonically, the music is simply not as engaging as Fire and Water are but it seems Thrice was aiming for a more cerebral and conceptual approach with Air. The subject is painted in here, it just takes a different way of thinking to uncover it.



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user ratings (68)
Chart.
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Calc
Contributing Reviewer
December 4th 2016


16110 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Look at that blurry ass album art. I appreciate this way more now as an old fuck than I did when it first came out. Please point out any mistakes.

calmrose
December 4th 2016


4671 Comments


great review

two minor things i found:

1. "Fire blazed with a fury the band has never shown before and had never shown since..." I think you should switch the has and had here so it reads, "Fire blazed with a fury the band had never shown before and has never shown since..." This reads a bit better, I think?

2. "Where Air really succeeds is the last three songs, which bring to light a secret theme hidden underneath the overt one. Dustin’s bringing of a child into the world for the first time." I would just put a colon after "one" so it's "...hidden underneath the overt one: Dustin's bringing..." Having them as two sentences is a bit clunky for me

But like I said, review is great!

I definitely prefer and enjoy this over Earth

Digging: PUP - Morbid Stuff

SowingSeason
Moderator
December 4th 2016


30223 Comments


Broken Lungs is one of my all time favorite Thrice songs

For me this EP is better than Earth but lower than Fire and Water

Digging: Glen Hansard - This Wild Willing

Calc
Contributing Reviewer
December 4th 2016


16110 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

k calm i changed it, does it read better now? and yeah sowing we have the same ranking it looks like

calmrose
December 4th 2016


4671 Comments


looks good and reads well friend

FullOfSounds
December 4th 2016


15771 Comments


"the elemental theme is hidden beneath metaphor which consequently both helps and hurts the album"
How so?

Fine review otherwise

TalonsOfFire
Staff Reviewer
December 4th 2016


18260 Comments


This is one of my favorite EPs and has some of their best songs, like Broken Lungs and Daedalus. Great review Calc, pos'd

Digging: Amon Tobin - Fear In A Handful Of Dust

Ebola
December 4th 2016


3553 Comments


o shit this is the one with the bush did 9/11 song

DirEnRefused
December 4th 2016


3532 Comments


best of the indexes

Calc
Contributing Reviewer
December 4th 2016


16110 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

""the elemental theme is hidden beneath metaphor which consequently both helps and hurts the album"

How so?"



I sort of allude to it, it results in the album being more "cerebral", coupled with the music being simply not as engaging as fire or water could leave a lot fans not liking the EP cuz it doesn't seem very "Airy"

Hopelust
December 4th 2016


3413 Comments


Summary is fucking LEGIT. That lyric sticks with me more than any other out of the Index albums. Silver wings is fucking killer.

DinosaurJones
December 5th 2016


10038 Comments


Daedalus is amazing. One of my favorite Thrice tracks. Perhaps my favorite overall.



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