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Album Review: Thornhill – Heroine

Artist: Thornhill
Album: Heroine
Release Date: June 3rd 2022
Label: UNFD
Reviewer: Belinda Mann

Thornhill’s new album Heroine, due for release 3 June 2022 is a vivid anthology of stories set to a dynamic cinema inspired score. The album references sounds and styles of some of Hollywood’s most classic titles like Singing In The Rain, American Beauty and Baz Luhrmann’s epic Romeo & Juliet. 

Vocalist Jacob Charlton had this to say about how he set about bringing the style and atmosphere of the record to life: “I realised you’re not just singing your lyrics, you’re emoting. You’re conveying a message or a feeling not only through vocals, but through performance. Ethan [McCann, guitar/production] really brought that vibe to the instrumentation, and I was left thinking, ‘Oh, I can’t just sing or scream over this…. what can I do to match that energy he’s presented here, but in a way that people haven’t heard it in a metal setting?’ I realised I needed my own character. I needed to bring that Elvis-y confidence and emotion to my performance to really be able to bring people into the world of what I’m singing about.”

Opening with The Hellfire Club, Thornhill immediately demonstrate that they aren’t here to confine themselves to a single particular sound. Casanova and Arkangel are both seriously memorable bangers. Casanova has a level of energy like no other on the album and is one of the best tracks in my opinion. It’s infectious and for me is reminiscent of Supermassive Black Hole by Muse, which like this track, got stuck in my head for days. The ethereal qualities, the djenty riffs and big choruses give you a glimpse of The Dark Pool sound, just differently. The band actually covered Supermassive Black Hole on Triple J’s Like a Version in April this year, which was a mind-blowing performance!

Hollywood is just special. The vocal mix is cool, doesn’t quite show off how good a singer Jacob can be like in their early work, but it serves the actual song really well. It’s haunting and dramatic vibe push and pull the band and its desires into exciting new places, it’s outstanding.

Leather Wings is heavy and intense with its punishing brutal screams and breakdown. Valentine’s slow ethereal vocals with its off kilter sound is probably my least favourite track on this album. It’s a great song, don’t get me wrong, the whole vibe is just a bit too sleazy. While it’s not a standout track, Jacob’s falsetto vocals are noteworthy however, he has one hell of an amazing voice.

Something Terrible Came With The Rain – a complete curveball song and totally unexpected! As an instrumental, its more like something you would hear on a movie score which is exactly what the band were going for. It’s emotional and tells a story all on its own with no vocals whatsoever. Building layers upon layers of sound with every second it takes you on a journey.

A little more rock inspired and not so much metalcore, this album channels music, cinema, visual art and storytelling into a cohesive body of work. Metalcore purists may despise it, and from the purist standpoint, I can totally understand why they wouldn’t enjoy this. I’ll be honest, I found the first listen of this one challenging, it wasn’t what I was expecting at all. Being a fan of the bands previous releases, with The Dark Pool being one of the most played albums on my Spotify, the new rejuvenated sound this album brings is going to take a while to grow on me.

This album is for fans that enjoy the shoegaze type of sound sprinkled across a metalcore track. 

I get it’s no The Dark Pool but this is something fresh and still packed with emotions, a profound new sense of clarity, vision and intention. Praise to Thornhill for flexing their skills in the alternative and rock worlds.

Heroine track listing:

The Hellfire Club
Leather Wings
Blue Velvet
Something Terrible Came With The Rain
Varsity Hearts

Thornhill Are:

Jacob Charlton / Vocals
Ethan McCann / Guitar
Matt Van Duppen / Guitar
Nick Sjogren / Bass
Ben Maida / Drums

Hear2Zen Magazine
Hear2Zen is a "Non Genre Specific" publication that celebrates all things sensory.

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