- Revelation Through Tribulation
- You Were There
- Purpose and Plan
- Sackcloth and Ashes
- The Ghost
Thin Ice is an aggressive hardcore band representing Texas. They formed in the summer of 2009 and have signed with Blood & Ink Records, even before playing their first show. Featuring members from melodic hardcore act Goldmill it’s obvious that these guys are comfortable in the hardcore genre. With their heavy and sometimes “dark” sound, Thin Ice has produced a respectable debut EP titled Revelation Through Tribulation.
Once I received this EP it took me a few days to really get around to forming a solid opinion. The first few listens revealed a very heavy sound that I liked, and only one track on the EP was an instrumental song which meant you had 5 songs to get an idea for what Thin Ice was all about. What started off as optimism quickly began to fade though, as the more I listened the less memorable each song became.
I’ll admit that this brand of hardcore isn’t really my favorite; hardcore music with more focus on the palm-muted chugging of the guitars and a vocal style that is unchanging almost throughout the EP. Often is I see Thin Ice compared to Advent or Figure Four and while they get some of the elements down, the creative moments are too few and far between, for now at least. This EP, according to Blood & Ink, is “a glorified demo” that was recorded at a band member’s house, and that these songs “barely scratch the surface” of what’s to come. I’ll agree that there is a lot of potential here, but unfortunately their best is probably yet to come.
Lyrically Revelation Through Tribulation deals with the issues of doubt and pain, especially in the last track “The Ghost” where the writer asks “Where were you that day, when they wouldn’t believe, no matter what I said?” Lyrically it’s a heavy track, asking some tough questions and showing some vulnerability, while musically it’s probably my favorite, it’s really the most diverse song on the EP.
While there is a dark, intense feel to Revelation Through Tribulation there are also hopeful moments, like during the title track when it’s repeated that “Our own strength: never enough.” The 2nd track “You Were There” is basically hardcore’s version of a worship song proclaiming “You are the Solid Rock” and “I give it all to you, I lay it down at the foot of the cross.” While I’m encouraged by some of the messages on Revelation… I think the song writing needs a little work; a few more elements of creativity on each track would go a long way whether it be a breakdown, or some creative guitar riffs or changing up the vocals a little like on the track “The Ghost”.
These guys haven’t been together for very long and that could be to blame for the conventional hardcore sound on Revelation Through Tribulation. Each song sounds very familiar to the last; the guitar work is not very dynamic or unique to each individual track, and the drumming is also very one dimensional throughout the EP. If you were to tune in mid-track you would have a hard time distinguishing exactly which song you were listening to. I know that these guys can write good songs, elements are there on this EP and also in Goldmill, it may just be a matter of time and support from their label before we get to hear the best of this group.
OVERALL: I think Revelation Through Tribulation is a good starting point, it is solid and really gives Thin Ice something to build from. There is a lot of buzz starting to build around this band and I’m optimistic that it will only get better from here. This EP definitely fits its description of a “glorified demo” and not much more. I’m interested to see what happens next with these guys.