Review Summary: What's the point of life if we can't be together.
Melbourne, Australia's Thornhill are one of the most interesting bands to hit the metalcore scene in some time. A genre synonymous with bands striving to do the same sound but in better ways, the genre rightfully received criticism of its efforts in the last few years. The genre needed a fresh outlook on things, a fresh sound and new ideas to become a force again. Thornhill can now lay a claim to the brand new metalcore crown.
The band came together straight out of high school and it consists of Jacob Charlton on vocals, Ethan McCann and Matt Van Duppen on guitar, Nick Sjogren on bass and Ben Maida on drums. The band quickly formed an underground fanbase with 2 EP's, the success of the 2018 EP 'Butterfly' being a catalyst for the band to embark upon the crafting of their debut full length record. 'The Dark Pool' is a tremendous achievement and is sure to gain the band deserved recognition and fandom.
The album begins with the track 'Views From The Sun' and the band immediately establishes what their sound is all about with a groovy intro riff before the soaring voice of Jacob Charlton takes over, he then shows his screaming ability before seamlessly hopping back into his soaring high cleans voice which is a fundamental part of the band's sound. 'Nurture' and 'The Haze' follow the same path with interesting riffs, great vocals and fantastic drumming from Maida.
The guitar playing from Van Duppen and McCann is continually interesting and the progressive tendencies are prevalent throughout the record. The way they are able to mesh with the vocals by Charlton is superb and is one of the reasons why this album works so well. The atmosphere created in this record is also worthy of praise and the way in which everything is able to connect seamlessly within the songs. The interlude 'All The Light We Don't See' goes perfectly into album highlight 'Lily & The Moon' where vocalist Charlton sings of his love for his old dog Lily and his belief in the afterlife.
''Lily and the moon
I see you everywhere
If there’s another world
I will meet you there''
''Lily & The Moon'' is able to standout through its great lyrics, excellent vocal delivery and the riff that kicks in after the chorus which allows Van Duppen and McCann to showcase their talents.
Another member of the band worthy of praise is drummer Ben Maida. While his playing may sound simplistic, he is able to produce some interesting fills that never seem to be boring or out of place. Interlude ''All The Light We Don't See'' is a good place to anaylse his drumming as they are on full show with the vocals taking a back seat. The intro to 'The Haze' is also a good way to hear Maida's drumming with nice fast playing and his style of drumming fits the band to a tee.
The production of the record may come under criticism from some with Nick Sjogren's bass not as prevalent as it probably should be. The bridge of 'The Haze' is the best place to hear Sjogren's playing as he gets a little chance to show what he can do. Production and mixing of the record was mostly done by the band itself presumably to cut down the cost of making the record and they do an admirable job showcasing their talents.
A small criticism of this record is that l would have loved to have heard some more lows from vocalist Jacob Charlton. His one solitary low is on 'Coven' and the breakdown that accompanies that low is outstanding. 'Coven' also shows the band at its best with Charlton showing some versatility in his vocal delivery, a powerful riff and a good atmosphere.
The album closes on the fantastic finisher ''Where We Go When We Die'' which also harkens back to 'Lily & The Moon' as Charlton sings about the afterlife and what happens when we get to the other side.
''Well what’s the point of life?
If we can’t be together
I need you here with me
I need you to remember''
The lyrics are a strong aspect to this band focusing on the themes of afterlife, sickness, love and loss. and a strong lyrical talent is just another notch in the belt for this very promising young quintet and will be sure to take them further into the future. For a band as young as Thornhill are, they have been able to craft a superb record that has put them on the map as one of the fastest rising stars of the metalcore scene. Their debut is a solid foundation for years to come and l can't wait to see what's next for these talented young Aussies.