One of the more head-scratching pairs to share opposite sides of a wax cylinder, New Jersey's perennial post-hardcore behemoths Thursday and Japan's post-screamo warriors Envy don't exactly go together like two punks in a pit. In fact, from the outside looking in, they appear to be diametric opposites; one is mysterious, methodical and crushing, while the other is a rather ubiquitous fixture on the Warped circuit, as well as the (acknowledged) bridge between mall-core and credibility.
But the proof's in the pudding as they say, and while you probably believe you've already heard all Thursday has to offer, the two instrumental tracks they offer here take their sound into an entirely new realm. By turns bombastic, stark and mercurial, "In Silence" and "Appeared and Was Gone" takes definite cues from Envy and their post-metal ilk, casting a shifting, cumbrous shadow over their new terrain. Even their two more "traditional" offerings ("As He Climbed the Dark Mountain" and "An Absurd and Unrealistic Dream") are more venomous than we've heard them in a long time, huge walls of sound clash with frantic rhythms, but remain grounded by signature Rickley lines like, "we hold our hearts like cigarettes."
Envy's side, while proficient and bone-crushing in their usual slow-burning manner, isn't quite as exhilarating as Thursday's bow on the A-Side. "An Umbrella Fallen Into Fiction" roils along at a snail's pace, gaining momentum and volume until (eventually) erupting into shards of molten melody and a frenetic finish. But while they definitely begin on a high note, the two songs that follow, "Isolation of a Light Source" and "Pure Birth and Loneliness" are quite standard Envy-by-Numbers affairs, full of loads of start-stop/quiet-loud dynamics, yet they lumber along aimlessly, never really reaching the prescient peaks we're used to hearing.
A lovingly assembled package on all fronts (the packaging, courtesy of Dan Grzeca is absolutely stunning), this split is proof positive that, not only do, sometimes, diametric opposites attract, but that Thursday's creative well, far from having run dry, is far deeper than was anyone had previously believed.