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Thrice - Beggars

It’s frightening to accept that Thrice can a

Released 15 Sep 2009 // By Phill May // Rating: 4/5
Thrice - Beggars

One of a number of bands afforded a level of respect from those who don’t even consider themselves fans that equates to quiet awe (you’ll find Radiohead and Brand New at such a level), Thrice’s seventh album arrives to a dented anticipation, as those too impatient to allow the band to release their album when they wanted pushed the digital release of 'Beggars' forward nearly two months. While their momentum was damaged, the quality of the record was not, and makes the downloader’s impatience more understandable. This is a treat.

Dustin Kensrue’s vocals are breathtaking and soulful, combining with the emotive and often haunting music to cover you with goosebumps with startling ease. Opener ‘All The World Is Mad’ is one of their finest moments, the soaring chorus alone will haunt your thoughts for days, while ‘Circles’ is the kind of bleak ballad that until now only Deftones and Dredg have mastered. The album sounds lush in places, huge in scope, but is surprisingly basic considering their back catalogue. There is little in the way of prominent electronics, there’s little trace of the time changes of their early work or the experimentation of their Alchemy Index EP project. But despite this, the album always feels full. It uses less but feels like more.

That said, it is no longer Thrice taking a step forwards. That’s not to say it’s a step back, but those whose love for Thrice was largely due of their constant efforts to push themselves past boundaries may find themselves slightly disappointed. After the concept of The Alchemy Index it seems relatively comfortable. But even in their comfort zone, Thrice have the skill and power to craft jaw-dropping rock songs like heart-stopping masterpiece ‘In Exile’ and the stripped down intimacy of the title track (sure to bolster the Radiohead comparisons they have attracted). Lyrically impressive and musically mesmerising, it’s frightening to accept that Thrice can actually do better than this.