The Alchemy Index Vol I & II

Brilliant! A four-volume ‘suite’ from everyone’s favourite conscientious Orange County post-hardcore monkeys, each detailing a different nature element! Toto, I don’t think we’re in the Vans factory outlet any more… ‘Air’ and ‘Earth’ will follow in the spring, but for now there’s the ferocious ‘Fire’ and ‘Water’, with their ambient soundscapes doubling up to cancel each other out. Ridiculous, yes, but to Thrice’s credit, wanting to be Deftones (which they attempt here, at length) is a noble endeavour. But the results are still clunky – naming the Fire songs ‘The Arsonist’ and ‘Backdraft’ only highlights their melodramatic scenery-chewing. It’s the lightness of ‘Water’ that really wins the day. The plutonic ‘Digital Sea’ actually makes a better stab of this sort of thing than Chino Deftones’ own Team Sleep project and ‘Lost Continent’ is a pretty cousin of Muse’s ‘Unintended’.

Daniel Martin