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The Artist in the Ambulance

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(313 Reviews)

Metal Album Reviews[RSS]

  • I had heard of them from a few people, you know through word of mouth. One day I wanted to go CD shopping, and I bought this CD along with Hot Hot Heat’s “Make Up the Breakdown”.This CD is superior, I must say.I am so impressed.I’m a fan of metal. Not Korn/Papa Roach metal. You know, Metallica, Megadeth, etc. When I heard this CD, the sounds were reminiscent of metal, actual metal. Actual rhythmically diverse metal. Lets just say that I like music that is musically diverse and has something important to say.This CD is fantastic. It’s got so much to listen to. You hear different things every time. The songs are different from each other, and you notice the difference more and more with every listen. There’s uneven time signatures, nice vocal harmonies, intelligent lyrics, and a furious rhythm line (percussion and bass). The guitars are once again, reminiscent of metal. When I listen to a few riffs on this album, I can’t help but think of Master of Puppets by Metallica. That’s how good this sounds. Not only that, the guitars have riffs that harmonize with each other. That’s even sweeter.Here’s my opinion of every song.1. Cold Cash – beautiful way to start. It’s hard, pounding, uneven time. Strings are definitely an addition. Middle of the song gets softer, nice dynamics. Not too many bands use effective dynamics.2. Killing Moon – that Master of Puppets similarity… right here. Wonderful opening riff, catches your attention. Great lyrics, good guitar harmonies. You know… I was thinking… you know how the drums on this song heavily accent the downbeats? I wonder how it would sound if the drums would heavily accent the upbeats instead, and syncopate the rhythm. I’m interested in how that would turn out.3. All that’s Left – I love how the vocals and rhythm section can have separate ideas but still go together. I love the vocal harmonies. What I’ve noticed about Thrice (at least on this record since it’s my only one) they thrive on using harmonies, not only vocally but with both guitars as well.4. Silhouette – probably my least favorite song on the album. But it’s still really good. It’s a bit slow, but still good. It’s kinda overshadowed by the next track.5. Stare at the Sun – MotherF’N wonderful bass line. I’m like… WHOA. Fast tempoed, energetic, especially with that bass line. The highlight of the song, definitely. The bass line is repeated in the chorus but with the lead guitar instead… I love the guitar work as well. Shows that bands now can still play solos.6. Paper Tigers – I hated this song. I didn’t understand it. But i took a look at the lyrics, and it grew on me. All this hardcore screaming was difficult to understand. But the chorus is simply amazing, with the separate vocals, and once again, a killer bass line. It’s such a powerful song, and can easily be overlooked. This song is one of the reasons why you can’t get tired of this album. Because it won’t catch your attention at first, but with repetitive listening, you’ll really learn to appreciate it.7. Hoods – nobody likes this song. But I really do. I think the 8/8 time is fantastic. Good drums, good color to the rhythm by the guitars. Once again, effective guitar harmonies. Man, they sure know how to use them.8. Melting Point of Wax – Definitely caught my attention at first, I love this song. Good lead guitar work in the verses. The chorus is a lot simpler with the instrumentation, but it makes more sense that way. It’s just so impressive.9. Blood Clots – This song is SO metal. It just is. The instrumentation, the pounding drums, the melodic minor riffs. The speeding, muted 16ths of the rhythm guitar. Sweet vocal harmonies in the chorus.10. The Artist – wonderful, wonderful song. Sounds completely different than anything else on this record. Great lyrics… very emotional. Hey, I got really emotional when I heard it. A bit of a poppy sound at the beginning, but they do it so well. Miraculous towards the end… I guess that’s the best word to describe it.11. Abolition – quite a change from the last track. This one is a lot more distressing, once again with those pounding downbeats. There’s a change of time in the last part of the song, and it’s sooooo awesome. Very unexpected, just shows you their superior diversity.12. Don’t Tell and We Won’t Ask – This is arguably my favorite song on the record. IT’s so mysterious. Many people overlook it… and especially what he’s trying to say. The lyrics can be easily interpreted however the listener chooses. Just look at the name of the track. It’s basically the rewording of a U.S. military law… thats the first thing I thought when I saw that title, which intrigued me to listen to the song. “we dont need to know”. “don’t we all bleed the same red blood”? It makes too much sense that way, if you know what I mean. Hopefully none of you take that the wrong way, or become offended by it.It’s all in the interpretation.

    Posted on March 16, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • I’ve loved Thrice since Identity Crisis, and it’s relaly awesome to listen to how they have progressed and matured over the years. They have definately not sold out, but some of the songs now have a definate radio-friendly, straightforward approach. Some past songs were mad chaos…they just kept you guessing. This has its pros and cons, i suppose…Here’s a rundown:1) Cold Cash and Colder HeartsThis song isn’t bad…but it is definately the worst song on this album. I just never really got into it…nothing memorable about this one. 2/52) Under a Killing MoonI began listening to this song on over a month before the release of the CD…this song is excellent. Sort of radio-friendly, but the metal is still there. Some extreme guitar work here. 5/53) All That’s LeftI’m sure alot of you have already heard this one on your local alternative radio station. Even so, I just can’t get sick of it. 5/54) SilhouetteClassic Thrice. Major time sig changes…this song rocks! 4/55) Stare at the SunThis song is VERY radio-friendly, but it’s still awesome…reminds me alot of “In Years to Come” on the previous album. The songwriting on this track is sweet. 4/56) Paper TigersOne word: STRANGE. Hardly any lyrics (7 lines worth) yet it spans four minutes. Second worst song on the CD, but just the bizarreness keeps me listenin to it. 2/57) Hoods on PeregrineSome extreme time sig changes to be found here. This song is also strage…but it’s really good. 4/58) The Melting Point of WaxOne of my favorites…I just cant say enough about this one. The part after the first part of the song sends chills down my spine, as does the lead guitar at the beginning of the song. 5/5 9) Blood Clots and Black HolesEven though Metallica is overrated IMO (Go ahead…disagree), the guitar riffs of this one really point back to them. This song is pretty cool…I like it, but it’s not really memorable. 3/510) The Artist In the AmbulanceThis song just doesn’t sound like Thrice…but it’s AWESOME! That’s what I love about them…always trying new things. This is another radio-friendly one. 5/511) The Abolition of ManHard and phenomenol. This song just gets everything right; killer guitar, houling screams, and a rocking chorus. 5/512) Don’t Tell and We Won’t AskThe finale is awesome…definately one of my favorites. Just speechless about this one…the emotion just pours out. Can’t say enough about the talent level of these guys. 5/5

    Posted on March 16, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Anyone who enjoyed the earlier Thrice releases will also enjoy this one as well. It seems to have a much harder edge to it than the previous releases. With songs such as “Paper Tigers” and “Silhouette”, you not only get to hear the amazing guitar timing, but you also get to experience Thrice’s power. The vocals in these two tracks are structured very differently than other tracks on the disc. “Paper Tigers” is brutal as far as Thrice goes, and it’s easily one of my favorite songs on the disc. “Stare at the Sun”, another well writen song, has a winding bassline that keeps the listener tuned in while the guitars bounce off each other perfectly to create a very catchy song with great lyrics. “All That’s Left” and the opening track, “Cold Cash And Colder Hearts” are also very catchy. “The Artist In The Ambulance” is probably my favorite track, just because of the lyrics, and the delivery. It’s an extremely well written song, and it’s not the kind of song that you stop listening to as the CD gets older… Then again, I really can’t see this CD getting old, highly recommended to anyone who likes Thrice, or other similar bands. I could go on and on about the rest of the CD, and the percussion, vocals, riffs etc. but I believe there are enough other reviews out there for this CD that do a better job than mine.

    Posted on March 16, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Thrice have proven themselves to be one of the most promising new bands out there today. Their unique blend of emo/hardcore and Maidenesque metal is always compelling, and never disappoints. After being completely bowled over by their last release, “The Illusion of Safety”, I wondered if they could ever top such an immaculate collection of music. Well, with “The Artist in the Ambulance”, Thrice may very well have done that very thing.I have noticed that many have accused Thrice of “selling out”. They have joined Island records, and as such are no longer “indie”, and that combined with their recent break into the mainstream has led many to shun them, and dismiss this album as a sellout. However, this is nothing but a short-sighted, narrow-minded jump to conclusions, and couldn’t be further from the truth. First of all, who cares how “indie” something is? Since when does a band have to be “indie” to be good? One listen to this CD will surely confirm that Thrice have stuck to their guns, and haven’t compromised their creativity a bit. Rather than dumbing their music down to the mainstream (as many may have expected), they have developed and refined it, and it’s only made them better. The guitar work is even tighter than before, Riley’s drumming is even more interesting and complex, and Eddie is coming along nicely as a bassist. But if anybody really stands out, it’s Dustin. As good as his vocals were before, they’re even more amazing now. His clean vocals are smoother, and his screams more aggressive. The power and raw emotion that has always heavily manifested itself in their music has been increased tenfold here. From the slow crunching riffs of “Silouette” to the rapid-fire attack of “Under a Killing Moon”, to the lighter catchiness of the title track, every song hits like a ton of bricks. And, those complex rhythms in “Paper Tigers” will assure you that these guys are far more than some “whiny emo band”. It’s a bit difficult to describe the songs here, or on any Thrice album, because one of the most interesting characteristics of their music is that they can pack such a large amount of diversity into a 2-3 minute song. There’s so much going on that you can barely even comprehend it, leaving you to merely sit in inferior awe. I really can’t even begin to describe how fantastic this album is. You’ve just gotta hear it yourself. With the possible exception of Maiden’s “Dance of Death”, I have not heard a better album this year. Thrice are true artists, whose genius should set the standard for popular music as we know it. They deserve every ounce of recognition they get.

    Posted on March 16, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Like many other albums with staying power, Thrice’s third full-length release, “The Artist In The Ambulance,” takes some time to fully understand and appreciate it as the amazing body of work it is. Thrice are easily one of the most original bands making music out there today. Although they seem to be, unfortunately, lumped in with the emo explosion, they are more about fusing melody with classic hardcore and heavy metal influences. Frontman Dustin Kensrue’s empowering words are emphasized by his confident and obviously well-trained vocals. This album is all about the lyrics, and most of what is presented here is of a positive and uplifting nature. Teppei Teranishi is fastly becoming one of my favorite guitarists. He can definitely hang with the best of them and really gives Thrice their signature sound. Everyone who knows of Thrice are more than likely familiar with the two singles, “All That’s Left” and “Stare At The Sun.” The former is a fast-paced anthem, while the latter is a more somber, emotionally charged piece, being one of the many bright spots of the album (and is, incidentally, my favorite of the bunch). The rest of the songs all pretty much fit somewhere in the middle, with the highlights being “Paper Tigers,” “Under A Killing Moon,” “Don’t Tell and We Won’t Ask” and the title track. With this album, Thrice have created their best music yet, and have evolved a bit since “The Illusion Of Safety” and “Identity Crisis.” It is also their first major label release, and surprisingly, they come out of everything with integrity intact. Everything you love about heavy music is here. If you like intelligence with your metal, Thrice will be right up your alley. Expect big things for them with their next album, they are too good to be overlooked.

    Posted on March 15, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now