Thrice are not the band they used to be. They’ve always played about three steps ahead of their teammates on the field of posthardcore/screamo, but with Beggars they’ve walked off that field entirely.
The transition that began with 2005’s Vheissu, and blossomed with the ambitious quadruple album The Alchemy Index, has been completed. Thrice should no longer be disregarded as just another young, emocore outfit, from here on out the underappreciated foursome are a genre-less band. After experimenting with different facets of the Thrice personality on their last endeavor (The Alchemy Index was broken up into four discs to represent each element of nature and their musical approach changed accordingly), they’ve strengthened the core of their sound in a way that feels much more solid than anything they’ve done thus far.
Beggars showcases the band’s roots as an aggressive band keen on allowing Dustin Kensrue’s from-the-gut screams to ride high above the driving rhythms and melodic guitar riffs of Teppei Teranishi (who also produced the album), while also allowing more room than ever for the band’s spacier, somewhat progressive rock side to bloom. It’s in the way these two polar opposites come together within the same song, as on “The Weight,” “Doublespeak,” and “In Exile,” that the new face of the band shows best. And when they slow it down even further, as they do on “Circles,” Kensrue sings them into serene Mute Math territory.
Comfortable and confident, completely unafraid of losing a portion of the fanbase that just wants them to remake 2002’s mosh-churning The Illusion of Safety, Thrice’s sixth (or, technically seventh, since their last album was released in two parts) album is their so-far opus. This is the record that should weed out the nonfans, as well as usher in a whole new legion of listeners who may have previously ignored them.