The Dark Pool is a colossal offering from Aussie hardcore outfit Thornhill. Heavy lyrical themes are neatly concealed by chugging guitars and powerful vocals to create an album that refuses to be pinned to one genre.
The style and power of into track ‘Views From The Sun’ are gripping. Lead vocalist Jacob Charlton’s vocals reach impressive highs and convey defiance as he sings “I don’t need you around”. Coupled with an onslaught of riffs and pounding drums, it’s attention-grabbing nature introduces the band brilliantly.
From one assault of guitars to another, ‘The Haze’ showcases not only Thornhill’s impressive sound, but their lyrical ability. Filled with intelligent metaphors, Charlton’s vocal is enchanting. Contrast between frenzied guitars and subtle moments of calm prevails throughout The Dark Pool. The addition of synths in ‘Red Summer’ creates a depth not always possible in hardcore music.
Following this beautifully atmospheric song is one which brings us back to 2013. ‘In My Skin’ is upbeat and explosive, a sound easily comparable to Pierce the Veil. It’s generic moments like this that will remind you that Thornhill are still a relatively new band, one which is still experimenting with different sounds.
Yet interludes ‘All the Light We Don’t See’ and ‘Netherplace’ more than make up for these rookie mistakes. Their artful sound is shockingly different to the other nine tracks and they offer a wonderfully ethereal depth to the record.
Furthering this artful depth is ‘Lily And The Moon’. Offering both heavy guitars and gentle vocal-driven moments, it’s an immersive track that perfectly encapsulates wanderlust. In contrast to this is ‘Human’. It feels repetitive, but the lyrics keep our attention from waning. Charlton explores human connection in his words and with his inviting vocal, you’ll be drawn into his lyrics.
Thornhill’s desire to experiment really drives this album, ensuring each song flows into the next. The listening experience will be difficult at times due to some generic moments, but these are few and far between. The five-piece have focused on the listening experience for their debut album, and their attention to detail does pay off. The Dark Pool shows a different side to hardcore – it’s sentient and artistic, a side not always seen.
The Dark Pool Is Released October 25th Via UNFD.