October 11, 2019 Thousand Below – Gone In Your Wake (Album Review)
Riding on the wave of their 2017 debut album, The Love You Let Too Close, the San Diego band Thousand Below collectively chose to take their sound and turn it on its head with their second release. Out Friday, October 11th via Rise Records, the band’s sophomore album, Gone In Your Wake, introduced the world to their inventive and compelling new sound.
In fact, with this new record Thousand Below proved that their musicianship goes far beyond the Post-Hardcore box that they have been placed in. While traces of their heavy roots are still evident, the emphasis on clean vocals, melodies, and electronic influences truly shine brighter. Moreover, Gone In Your Wake plays out like an intricate anthology, full of intense emotions, expressive lyricism, and a musical brilliance that festers until it reaches its peak and exhibits its true power.
The decision Thousand Below made to change things up was no accident, and certainly was not a new concept. After losing their Guitarist Devin Chance, who essentially did all of the heavier vocals on their debut, they decided to go with the original plan to do something softer. All this said, with the reveal of the album’s first single, “Disassociate,” Thousand Below surprised the world. According to the band, “[the song], is about the common lapse of emotional and mental attachment to your immediate surroundings or present place in life as a result of traumatic experience or depression”. It taps into every feeling you’ve ever felt while in a crowded room yet feel detached from everything and everyone around you. The band continued, “we wanted to capture that feeling in a heavier, high temp, and more chaotic song than we’ve ever written before.”
The opening of the eleven in total, “Chemical” is perhaps one of the most radio-friendly songs on the record. With its repetitive chorus and infectious melodies, it is the one that is bound to be stuck in your head long after the album concludes. This efforts to diversifying their catalog opens the door for more people to tune in. Furthermore, in the midst of blaring guitars and electronic instrumentals, the song soars and reaches out to the deepest parts of your psyche and leaves its mark.
However, despite the shift in direction, Gone In Your Wake is anything but ‘soft.’ This album still has plenty of heavy hitters that OG Thousand Below fans can sink their tenth into. For example, tracks like “Vanish” as well as “Fake Smile” still possess those intense and traces of heavy vocals, but it is the lyrical brutality that invokes that familiarity. “Fake Smile” touches on those nagging thoughts of mental illness that creep up and take over. Heavy topics, one thing the band does well is tapping into these underlying moments to invoke a visceral response that lasts.
Which leads us to “Gone In Your Wake,” truly a perfect closing. Wrapping up the entire saga with a piano ballad that was ambient and sentimental in a way that stays with you. It is beautiful, with a concentrated ambiance plus it is a grand gesture encompassed with sentiment that reels you in and takes control until the very last note. In the end, leaving you breathless as you process everything you just experienced.
Overall, Thousand Below returns in strong way with a unique album that showed their true musicianship. It is emotive, compelling, and laden with elements that embed themselves into your very being, leaving a lasting impression. Thousand Below truly reinvented themselves into the band they were meant to be, and with that being said, Cryptic Rock gives Gone In Your Wake 4 out of 5 stars.