I wouldn’t call myself a religious person.  I don’t want to attach myself to a specific sect and probably, till the day I pass on, I’ll wonder if everything I was taught in school was true(I went to Catholic grade school).  However, I do find myself to be quite a spiritual person, I believe that some higher entity put the Big Bang into motion and that we are all made up of energy/a soul and if we are good people our energy/soul will pass onto something bigger and better(ie. Heaven, reincarnated into something better than we are now, feed the universe and ultimately make it better, ect.), but that’s just me.  I really don’t care for the constitutions of religions, but one thing I do like about religions is most of them say the same things, “Be a good person” and “Each individual is unique” and those are things that I can get behind.

So, why am I talking about religion and spiritual beliefs on my album review/recommendation.  Well, case in point, religion and spirituality are a major theme on today’s album,”Vheissu”, the fourth album by Thrice.  Thematically, the album deals with faith, spirituality, and individualism from a Christians perspective.  The big thing I love about this album is that the band says what it likes and doesn’t like about certain things and personal beliefs in religion and does not get preachy or try to convert the listener to their beliefs.  But more just asks the listener to keep an open mind and to be an individual.

Musically, I would say “Vheissu” is a rock album peppered with bits post-metal and melodic metal.  The music isn’t very heavy by any means, but when it wants you to pay attention it certainly knows how to grab you.  One thing the music definitely is, is emotional.  Thrice does excellent work on creating a great musical atmosphere that matches what the lyrical themes are of each song.  Teppei Teranishi’s guitarwork is very technical and Dustin Kensrue’s vocals are diverse, going from somber singing to powerful shouts and growls often within the same song.  Another high point of the music of “Vheissu” is how well layered the songs are.  Often Thrice creates a thick wall of sound but never do you feel like you ran into it at full speed.

A personal favorite song of mine off of “Vheissu” are “Image of the Invisible”.  It starts off with the sound of frantic Morse code giving the sense of an emergency and progresses into a loose guitar tremolo, rolling bass line, and very free drum beats with powerful vocals about free will placed on top.  When the chorus hits everything tightens up giving a sense unity(in the sense that we are all humans with free will and we can all do as we choose).  Another song that I highly enjoy is “The Earth Will Shake”.  This is definitely one of the heaviest songs on the album and the rhythmic “crushing” of the music fits perfectly with the theme of breaking free of loneliness or oppression by knowing that there is something more out there, whatever it may be.

I think that anyone with an open mind, musically and spiritually, will highly enjoy “Vheissu”.  Check it out if you want to hear something unique and challenging.  This is not a mediocre “Christian Rock/Metal”  album, but it’s an emotional look into questions and beliefs that most of us think about, whether you are Catholic, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, agnostic, atheist, or whatever it may be you believe in.  Enjoy!  Peace, Love, and Metal!!!

P.S.-One of my favorite authors, Dave Eggers, drew the great album art for this album!

P.P.S.- The official videos I wanted to post have copyright stuff on them, so click on the links to watch the video on another tab on youtube.

Image of the Invisible

Red Sky