Twelve years since their last full-length release, 'In Therapy', it would've been a fair assumption that Yorkshire's Thine were defunct. Not so; rather, they had some sort of unsaid hiatus as, apparently, they never officially split, and nor did they plan such a long break. Whatever the reason for so many years passing by, over a decade later, they've resurfaced with a brand new studio album in the form of 'The Dead City Blueprint'. And some thought their onetime label-mates, Anathema, were somewhat slow with a seven year gap before returning in 2010 with 'We're Here Because We're Here'!
So has album number three for this bunch of Yorkshiremen been worth the wait? Oh yes. On the surface, there are discernible sways towards the idioms of Anathema and Katatonia. In places, the music is reminiscent of the emotively expansive soundscapes of the former's 'Judgement'-era output and the dissonant/consonant duality of the latter, plus the sublimely crafted melancholy of both. But Thine are in no way expressive plagiarists, and they even evade any direct undercurrent of pastiche as, through its undeniable aural depth, 'The Dead City Blueprint' treads its own sonically stylistic path, and one that has seen Thine progress through their own musical journey. With such a long gap between releases, it would've been mightily disappointing had they not progressed their aesthetic, although progressed they have and the results are an overwhelmingly captivating suite of tunes that subtly lure you into their sonic sublimity.
Managing to inject a healthy dose of atmosphere into their compositions throughout, their rock/metal core has been adorned with both folky and symphonically ethereal layers. And it's these very layers of music (which have been magnificently mixed in, what is, an overall great production), that give Thine's music so much depth and spellbinding appeal. The true mesmeric essence of their songs thrives within the more down-tempo, melancholically swayed passages of music, of which there are many. However, Thine also excel within the album's more up-tempo, upbeat moments such as 'The Precipice', albeit the guitar part on the intro sounds inescapably like a nod towards Cliff Richard's 'Wired For Sound', which then veers towards a vibe that brings to mind The Cult (... fortunately, the song develops to sound like neither). A word, too, about Alan Gaunt's vocal delivery - amazing! His smooth-toned singing perfectly complements and accentuates the captivating qualities over the music.
I'm sure there'll be many people who will be discovering Thine for the first time with 'The Dead City Blueprint', as well as those who'll be rediscovering this band of yore. Either way, there's much to get excited about for all as they've delivered one of the year's most melancholically beauteous, atmospherically rich, and melodically sublime albums thus far. Incredible stuff.
THE DEAD CITY BLUEPRINT
Review by Mark Holmes
28th April 2014
1) Brave Young Assasin
2) Flame to the Oak
3) Out of Your Mind and Into a Void
4) The Precipice
5) The Dead City Blueprint
6) The Great Unknown
7) The Rift
8) The Beacon
9) Scars from Limbo
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
"...they've delivered one of the year's most melancholically beauteous, atmospherically rich, and melodically sublime albums thus far."