ALBUM REVIEW: Thornhill – The Dark Pool

Release Date: October 25th 2019
Label: UNFD
Website: None available


Spending 18 months to create and fine-tune their debut record, Thornhill have finally released ‘The Dark Pool’.

Creating a departure from their 2018 EP ‘Butterfly’, ‘The Dark Pool’ reveals an almost different group, one that sees the five-piece explore different avenues and re-define their soundscape.

Toggling between atmosphere and heavy EQ to create a laborious build up, ‘Views From The Sun’ finally unleashes a bouncing groove alongside vocalist Jacob Charlton‘s rapid and urgent delivery. Not focusing on standard structure for too long, the track soon incorporates lush synths and falsettos alongside walls of distortion and lightning fast breaks to display a more ambitious group than the one shown on ‘Butterfly’.

Rapidly switching gears on ‘Nurture’, guitarists Ethan McCann and Matt Van Duppen flit between crunching distortion and circling riffs to create a solid impact alongside Charlton‘s falsetto led choruses. Again showing another element to the group, ‘The Haze’ soaks in jagged riffs, wide synths, and swinging drum beats to craft a dense soundscape. With the inclusion of floating synths and lush harmonies, the track closes the first act of the record on a strong note.

Standing out in a mid-tempo second act, ‘In My Skin’ injects a much needed burst of energy, delivering spiky riffs and aggressive vocals to a strong effect. Boasting a sludgy yet harmonious chorus, the song reigns in some of the band’s more experimental factors to create a direct representation of the record.

The same can be said for ‘Lily And The Moon’, a circling track that drags the energy back to the record. Built on a foundation of thick distortion and pumping double kick patterns, the track brings a bounce whilst unfurling delicate layers that poke above Ben Maida‘s kinetic drum patterns.

As the record continues on, the group begin to place themselves in a more melodic manner, with songs like ‘Human’ leaning on Charlton‘s clean vocal delivery, and ‘Netherplace’ relying on melancholic pianos to navigate its structure. Ultimately compared to the start of the record, the sonic diversions lose their impact.

Ending on ‘Where We Go From Here’, Thornhill manage to bring the energy back with a final burst of distortion and soaring vocals. Recapturing the balance of melody and aggression, the track closes the record on a strong note.

Whilst a little uneven at times, ‘The Dark Pool’ retains enough highlights to keep interest whilst showing further promise.