Thine – Dead City Blueprint (Peaceville)Tuesday, 20th May 2014
Lots ‘o can’t-miss ingredients here: Peaceville, Academy Studios (Anathema, My Dying Bride, Paradise Lost), the U.K., an early 90’s formation, etc. etc., which gives Thine’s first album in 12 years a nice little boost, for frankly, they’re a bit of an unknown quantity. One is prompted to kick the tires on such bands for those reasons alone; the track record of Thine’s contemporaries is enough, prompting one to figure some sonic trickle-down was going to happen. Alas, Thine are very much their own entity, as evidenced by the brooding, mostly enjoyable Dead City Blueprint.
At the heart of the matter, Thine is a fragile rock band, purveying deep lyrical themes and melodic sensitivity. Such terminology would indicate the album is soft, but it’s not. Rather, the exploratory “Brave Young Assassin” and up-tempo rocker “The Precipice” show Thine has some muscle in their sound, although one would be hesitant to dub this as metal; it’s more along the lines of harder, hard rock. The album’s best moments come by way of “The Beacon,” which is probably the only song here that draws comparison to any of the above-mentioned British bands (My Dying Bride being the choice), and closer “Scars from Limbo,” which gives vocalist Alan Gaunt a chance to show how contemplative and stirring his vocal chops can be.
A mature, mostly on-the-spot effort, Dead City Blueprint might not cajole emotions the way one would have initially hoped. However, the songwriting sensibilities, thought-provoking lyrics, and casual plunge into the depths should give Thine something they’re deserving of: A face. And in this current climate of bands willingly foregoing any strain of individuality, hearing a long-dormant band like Thine throw caution to the proverbial wind is quite refreshing.