In Spanish, the phrase “No Devolución” means “no returns.” As the title of Thursday’s newest album, that is exactly what they promise.
Since the release of their first album, the post-hardcore classic “Waiting,” Thursday have evolved musically into what feels like an entirely different band, though the majority of members have stayed intact.
Over the years, some fans have grown weary of the bands constant evolution. Despite this, the band has continued to mature and move forward in what they felt was their natural progression — a more ambient and melodic sound, which is a far cry from the rapid fire, angst-ridden roots from which they came. And although many fans don’t agree with the new direction, the band’s musicianship has increased exponentially.
“No Devolución” as a whole, sounds like Thursday’s take on “White Pony”-era Deftones. The guitars are loud and heavy, with vast, prominent keyboard and synthesizer work provided by Andrew Everding. The most drastic departure from Thursday’s traditional sound however, is Geoff Rickly’s vocals.
His former desperate yell has been replaced almost entirely by a much more subdued and melodic singing style. Rickly even went so far as to record some of his vocal parts in the woods surrounding the band’s recording studio, in order to provide an even more unique sound.
“Past and Future Ruins” stands out due to its inclusion as one of the most screamed vocals on the album. Listeners find Rickley belting out: “And so you want to die and leave this shadow land behind/To eviscerate the truth from the lie.” The track is led by lightning-fast drumming by Tucker Rule and intricately minimal guitar work during the verses, which becomes faster and more aggressive as the chorus breaks out.
As promotion for “No Devolución,” the band released the single “Magnets Caught In A Metal Heart” a month before the album’s release. Probably the most drastic departure from the band’s earlier work, the track contains abbreviated guitar lines and Rickley bellowing behind a chorus of: “There’s a silent charge/In a coil of wire/When the currents pass right through it/We’re coupled lines in lightning strikes/We jump like birds on a vine.”
Some fans might be critical of Thursday’s risky choice to change their style. But in reality, a band can’t rewrite the same album over and over without becoming repetitive. Thursday’s progression has not only helped them become more diverse as musicians, but has lead them to create unique music that defies traditional genre limitations.