Thine - The Dead City Blueprint 01Down here at AMG, we work our asses off to bring forth “similar band” references and genre classifications, define the intentions and directions of an album, and even evaluate the recording/mixing/mastering processes of the release in order to satisfy the insatiable hunger of the AMG hordes. We review the good, the bad, the meh and all in between. But occasionally something else happens during the late-night, booze-soaked hours of promo research. Occasionally you come across another band in your member searches and band references that distracts you so badly from the promo at hand that you completely forget you have a fucking review due that night. Thankfully, the Mighty Overlord has allowed us to pursue those other releases that we would otherwise have passed over [When did we allow this?!Steel Druhm].

While researching for my review of The Deathtrip’s debut album, I assumed guitarist/songwriter Host’s other project was also an old-school black metal band. Wrong! Turns out Mr. Paul “Host” Groundwell writes, plays, and does backup vocals for Thine; a UK-based progressive rock band that shares similarities to Katatonia, Anathema, and Green Carnation. Curiosity piqued, I was immediately taken by their very Katatonia-esque sophomore release, In Therapy. But it wasn’t until I finished my review for The Deathtrip, that I realized that Thine had a 2014 release called The Dead City Blueprint. One year, one man, two awesome releases? Could this be a Christmas miracle?

TYMHM 2014 bound, TDCB’s moody landscape is haunted by the Katatonia-meets-Ava Inferi guitar and vocal progressions of opener “Brave Young Assassin,” the Watershed-era Opeth organ passages found in “Flame to the Oak,” and the Green Carnation worship of “The Rift.” An album with a constant flow of moodiness throughout could potentially suffer from an overly repetitious formula from song-to-song (much as In Therapy does), but TDCB has just the right amount of diversity to keep everything memorable.

Thine - The Dead City Blueprint 02

The excellent songwriting, the simplistic leads that lay melody over every track and the captivating vocal performances by Alan Gaunt gives this dead city tons of life. Add duel vocal harmonies to beautifully arranged choruses and you get standout tracks like “Out of Your Mind and Into a Void,” “The Precipice,” and “Scars from Limbo.” Gaunt can get you shamefully swaying with the upbeat, Audrey Horne-like “The Precipice” or drag you deep into a calming sadness with “Scars from Limbo.” Doesn’t matter which moody mood you’re in, he nails them all.

But the crème de la crème of TDCB has to be the production. This is one of the best productions I’ve heard this year. When I ran the numbers for this little DR9 beauty, I just about shit my pants. This album is about as smooth and clip-less as it gets. While not as seamless as the production of Opeth’s latest, it’s pretty damn close. So, cuddle up, pour some brandy and pull TDCB from that vinyl-shaped sock you have hanging on your furnace.

Tracks to check: “Out of Your Mind and Into a Void,” “The Precipice,” “The Rift,” and “Scars from Limbo”

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  • Robert Turnbull

    One that I did miss. Another band/album that the AMG has found for me!

    • Dr. A.N. Grier

      Enjoy. Neat album for sure.

  • Oh Doc, you have been on a roll of late.

    • Dr. A.N. Grier

      Yeah, I have been one lucky SOB lately.

  • clarkey

    If you look through member searches please look to mine and review babymetal. Just for comedic purposes.

    • Dr. A.N. Grier

      Oh babymetal…..

    • Jean-Luc Ricard

      I am going to see Babymetal in Tokyo in January. Be jealous.

      • Dr. A.N. Grier

        I am the opposite of jealous. Anti-un-non-jealous.

      • clarkey

        I dont really want to see them, or listen to them, but i very much want to see AMG do a review..

        • Jean-Luc Ricard

          I don’t know what AMG’s review would be, but mine is something like すごいです!!!びっくりするような!!

  • Danno

    Cool find. I’m new to the site – what are you a doctor of?

    • Dr. A.N. Grier

      Mostly a doctor of hate… And hugs!

      Welcome to the site! Glad to have a new reader. Hope you enjoy all the reviews!

  • Doomdeathrosh

    We have missed quite a few this year(evidently) and you sir are picking some nice ones! awesome find!

  • jorge

    I think this is the greatest metal site ever… for a few years I’ve been reading you and let me tell you this is just plain fun… and the findings in the site are overwhelming… so many new bands… and the reviews are wise and entertaining… keep up these wonderful job

    • Thanks for the very kind words! We will keep writing if you keep reading.

  • Niedobry Pan

    I remember being blown away by their debut album – A Town Like This from 1998. Good review.