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When Thornhill dropped The Dark Pool in 2019, they seemingly changed the landscape of Australian metalcore.
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It felt like after its release progressive elements like djent riffs; a reliance on clean vocals as the songs main cadence and slower genre-bending breaks started creeping in as common components to metalcore. Meaning, Thornhill arguably one of the most influential acts in the scene, all of the back of their first album.
Making it incredibly surprising that their second release, Heroine, takes such a drastic departure from the group’s initial sound. Which may be to the dismay of The Dark Pool purists, in particular the fans of the group’s heavier side, but for the vast majority, Heroine will be an album that showcases an exciting new direction for the band.
Through the use of a tapestry of sounds, Heroine almost feels like an ode to the 90’s and early 2000’s. The Hellfire Club delivers post-punk riffs and vocal harmonies akin to acts like Jimmy Eat World and Sunny Day Real Estate, whilst Blue Velvet gives off more of a Radiohead vibe, through the use of Jacob Charltons drone of moans dominate alongside a series of relentless percussive fills and ambient programming.
Heroine may be an album that leans slightly too into its influences, but considering it’s Thornhill stepping away from their old sound entirely to almost reinvent themselves from square one, it gives an exciting indication that as a band, Thornhill want to keep ahead of pack.
Although, it’s Hollywood that truly highlights Thornhill’s new sound, which is much more industrial metal. With Charlton trying out new vocal styles such as a Chino Moreno inspired mumble and the group tying in anthemic intervals and frenetic programming over the top. It’s more of a stripped back approach than their previous work, but there is certainly not less going on.
Varsity Hearts shines due to its impressive juxtaposition between light and dark tonal qualities. Most notably its use of synths and strings, which coincide so well together that the combination of the two almost sounds like an uplifting horn section, adding quite a contrast behind the shrieked backing vocals.
If you hadn’t realised by the many references to bands above, Heroine may be an album that leans slightly too into its influences, but considering it’s Thornhill stepping away from their old sound entirely to almost reinvent themselves from square one, it gives an exciting indication that as a band, Thornhill want to keep ahead of pack.
STANDOUT TRACKS: Blue Velvet, Hollywood, Varsity Hearts
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