New Jersey’s Post-Hardcore Icons Make Comeback

No Devolución

Cult rockers Thursday have long been stalwart residents of the post-hardcore scene with their familiar mix of caustic instrumentation and crisp, screaming vocals. But on No Devolución — the band’s sixth studio album — the New Jersey outfit aims to incorporate a darker, more melodic approach, marking a significant shift from their earlier albums without compromising their distinctive style. The result is an intriguing blend of somber instrumentals and powerful vocals that deliver a welcome revamp of the genre.

Opening track “Fast to the End” immediately recalls Thursday’s earliest work, with its distorted wall of guitars punctuated by desperate drum fills. But the album soon steers into more melancholic territories, piling layers of moody atmospherics under frontman Geoff Rickly’s emo lyrics.

The new formula’s most radically epitomized by “Empty Glass,” whose dramatized and haunting melodies are infused with such emotion (by way of Rickly’s polished crooning) that the track achieves near tear-jerking poignancy.

The rest of the album mixes both the old and new aspects of Thursday’s expanded musical repertoire, interspersing abrasive guitar pieces and episodic screaming with softer, accessible keyboard compositions and gently whispered verses. The transitions between disparate instrumental approaches are skillfully traversed, most notably on epic closing track “Stay True,” which steadily builds from a mellow intro toward a  frantic climax, complete with impassioned screaming that harkens back to Thursday classics “War all the Time” and “Signals over the Air.”

Thursday may be evolving from traditional post-hardcore, but they clearly haven’t forgotten their roots. No Devolución triumphantly reestablishes the band’s fading relevance in the crowded screamo scene. (7/10)