Thyx – Super Vision (2014 album)

Album links

Bandcamp: n/a

Soundcloud: n/a

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/5aXV1Y6cXl16zqlvGD9NKd?si=Lg6MMEbrTOOX6VQM983xtA

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=OLAK5uy_n8CBSooWqwMoKIK6Pd68vAuNqtjHenCeo

 

 

Introduction: It’s Thyx again! This way I can maybe maintain an illusion of not overloading you entirely with Mind.in.a.box! Is it working? I even skipped the usual “Last Time on Thyx” Joke to try and disguise the density of my Mind.in.a.box reviews. Did you know I’m reviewing Mind.in.a.box a lot? Well worry not. I think I am about half caught up with Mind.in.a.box over all so eventually I may have to give the man a break from reviews (until there’s a new release). But for now, let’s bring out the magnifying glass and give a close inspection of Thyx’s third album, Super Vision.

 

 

 

Thyx – Intro (6): Ok, I shan’t be too long on this one. This intro, after all, only lasts a minute, and there’s really very little interesting standout content that differs from any other album intro I’ve ever heard. I mean, at least with the one other short intro I’ve reviewed (“Welcome to Scatland”), there were some words establishing the theme of the album. This, however, is just some slight cinematics with a common arp. Overall, there isn’t really too much for a reason for this song to exist. It’s only a minute long and the next song begins with the exact same arp. I guess this song could be argued to set the mood for the rest of the album, but it just feels a bit unnecessary. The rest of the album sets the mood for itself, and with some edgy vocals and lyrics from the later songs on the album, it doesn’t quite match this victorious cinematic intro.

 

It just doesn’t quite fit.

 

But perhaps I’m being a small bit unfair. Album context, while definitely worth noting, shouldn’t fully affect a song’s quality. And if you ignore the context, this song does sound quite good. There is a slight bit of suspense here and it does have a great build. It just doesn’t really have the time to go anywhere and really explore the thematic mood it begins to express here. Bit I guess that’s what the next song is for.

 

Also, fun fact, since I’d spent so much time talking about this short intro, longer than I’d expected, you could easily finish listening to it before you finish actually reading about it here. “Shan’t spent too long on this one” indeed.

 

Thyx – Will They Learn? (8): Like I said in the last song, our second song of the album (or first if you only want to count full length songs), begins quite similarly to the preceding intro. It has the exact same arp. It has a very similar melody with the only difference being the instrumentation. The similarities don’t last long though, as the cinematic drums are completely absent, replaced with that good ol’ syncopated drumbeat I know and love. Sorry, Intro, but Will They Learn? is an incredibly significant improvement.

 

And that’s not even mentioning all of the other interesting elements that make this song stand out significantly in comparison to the last. Instead of cinematic drums, there’s an eerie synths that explodes into existence only fifteen seconds in, creating a chilling atmosphere that’s present throughout the rest of the track. Now this is an intro to the rest of the album. One small difference completely changes the mood and it matches quite well with this song. Also, as with plenty of Mind.in.a.box songs, there’ some great distorted vocals, these ones providing more variety than usual. Nearly every voice of Poiss is accounted for. The verses with a slightly nihilistic view on the crumbling world exclusively feature the edgier gritty side of Poiss’ vocals, not completely guttural, but certainly not clean either. The verses of existential pondering and perhaps hope, however, feature a mixture of the highly distorted robotic voice and the cleaner victorious vocals that suit Poiss best. And it’s this variety that really immerses me in the song the most.

 

But it’s not just about how the vocals sound. It’s also about what these vocals talk about. I’ve givn a slight hint to this song’s lyrical content already. A mixture of a nihilistic outlook on the state of society while still trying to keep hope that one day, we’ll find a way to live in peace. Again, this is a common theme in many of the artists I obsess over, likely because I agree that society isn’t in the most fantastic place yet and something needs to be done about all this division. The verses focus on wanting no part in a broken society, hunkering down, knowing that the storm will always come. But the verses envision a society in which peace and some sort of agreement can be found. Sure, there will always be some form of disagreement, but if the ideal of peaceful disagreement can be found, we’d all be better off.

 

But for now, this is all a hope, a question of possibility. It might not happen any time soon, but we must have hope that it will happen in the future.

 

Only if we work for it.

 

Thyx – Robots Don’t Lie (8.5): Apparently robots are quite truthful and incredibly trustworthy. That’s what the title of this song implies. It also implies that humans are liars by default and I can definitely see where such an idea comes from. Everyone lies. Not robots though. Robots don’t lie.

 

Robots are all about those arps and distorted vocals (Oh wow, the song praising robots uses the robotic voice, who would have guessed?). Of course, you also have to have a bassline and some great melodies to finish the song off. Seriously, most of the song is rather simple in its variety, but those last few melodies really do feel quite refreshing and unique compared to the rest of the song. Nothing wrong with everything else, the mood the rest of the song creates is great, but the last bit is exceptional.

 

While the song may be titled “Robot’s Don’t Lie,” the lyrics themselves seem to focus more on the idea that humans do lie. And that’s perfectly acceptable in my book. Maybe even better as I can relate a bit more to being a human than to being a robot. Because that’s what I definitely am. I am definitely a human and in no way could I be anything else that would be suspicious in any way. I may lie sometimes (because I’m human), but I assure you that I’m not lying right now. That’s definitely for certain.

 

This song explores how we hide our true selves constantly, placing some sort of filter on ourselves depending on who we’re around, constantly shrouding bits and pieces of our identity in the darkness, invisible to the eyes of an outsider. Only in rare cases will the truth be revealed, if ever. At least, that’s how I view this common, yet clever deception. For all I know I could be the strange one, a strange human that is. I don’t want to create any confusion that might imply that I’m not human. Because I am human.

 

But this is a false inauthentic way of living, hiding constantly from the truth, sometimes deceiving our own selves to be something we’re not. And if enough lies are told, it can definitely become an unhealthy lifestyle in my opinion (or maybe I just despise inauthenticity). It’s only when you remove the shroud and bare the soul that feels so dead that you can truly revive yourself. Inauthenticty is poison. Don’t give in.

 

Because otherwise, if we continue to lie, we will fall and the robots will take over the world creating a society of constant truth and as someone who is definitely human and certainly not a robot or anything else, I have to say that I definitely am not a fan of the idea of humans going extinct in favor of robots. That doesn’t favor me in any way, nosiree.

 

Thyx – Für Immer (6.5): As horrifying as the impending fall of humanity would be, Robots Don’t Lie, doesn’t sound nearly as ominous as Für Immer, a song covered in foreboding ambiance and the grittiest foreign vocals, all of it depicting an inescapable cult. Für Immer means forever. And to be lsot forever within this enigmatic emotionless cult sounds to be a nightmare. If there’s a THYX universe that I don’t know of, this makes White and his Agency of Stalkers look like small potatoes.

 

Thanks to the bridge, it does sound like perhaps a revolution within the cult as the people stand up against those still loyal to the cult. Whether, this revolution is successful remains to be determined. Of course, this could just as easily be some sort of propaganda as the cult may tend to adopt those who feel betrayed and outcast by society. I’m going to go with the latter. After all, if this cult is forever inescapable, then a revolution sounds quite infeasible.

 

Cryptic inescapable cults working in the shadows aside, this song doesn’t do much beyond the intro to set the mood for this song. The ominous ambience combined with the foreign vocals that remain to be deciphered unless you speak German (or have convenient access to Google Translate). But after that, the song doesn’t really much go beyond the typical arpeggiated vibe that’s essential to Poiss’ projects. The drumbeat is a bit irregular, but other than that, it’s pretty nonexceptional. Good and creepy concept, but that’s about it.

 

Thyx – Waiting For You (7.5): The lyrics in this song are… vague… I don’t really mind them, but they feel quite like they’re trying to tell some sort of story of a man searching for someone during an apocalypse in which much of mankind has likely died off, soon to fade into history forever. And so, the singer scours the world looking for… someone. Probably another human. Though for all I know he might not be human himself (unlike me because I most definitely am human and there’s no reason to think otherwise). Regardless, the one he is waiting for is gone and may never come back. That’s pretty much the entire story. Pretty simple. Not all that though provoking (except maybe for the idea of mankind’s disappearance. That sounds fascinating. I want more)

 

Thankfully, the music in this more than makes up for the lack of lyrical content. The song really has a good old school trance vibe with a hard hitting well tempoed drumbeat driving the song forward as well as an arp to match. It develops quite well, becoming more intense over time as the arp becomes bassier and the technological influences of Poiss’ usual work begin to take over. However the intensity does take a couple of short breaks now and then with a quite calming section about three minutes in where the drumbeat drops out in favor of some more focus on the vocals and ambience (and then creating a build-up from nothing, haven’t mentioned one of those in quite a while). There’s very similar break at the end with one last utterance of the song’s title, ending the song on a note of longing.

 

Waiting.

 

Thyx – Don’t Let Yourself Go (7.75): Don’t Let Yourself Go is perhaps the most easygoing song on this album. Most of the song lends itself to a near bass solo with only some essentials like a drumbeat and some ambience accompanying it. Oh, and also a small few lines of vocals, but they don’t lend themselves to much discussion this time around, going no deeper than the song title. The title still displays a good message what with the importance of self-identity and all, but there are other songs in which I have gone more in depth into this topic and there will also be other songs in the future that allow me to explore this concept. For now, I’d rather focus on the slightly ominous introduction that this song begins with. Extra focus on the bassline, means there’s quite little room for any uplifting sounds to break through. Plus Poiss’ vocals here are barely above a whisper which only add to the implied threat of a tune most of this song displays…

 

Most of the song…

 

For in the last third, the song takes a much more uplifting approach, adding a couple of new melodies with a joyful cadence that contrast so well with the bleakness preceding their introduction. Most prominently, there’s a guitar playing the melody of this portion. It isn’t overzealously energetic. It simply plays a few notes during its tenure in the song while taking a short break every fourth measure for a piano to take over for a couple brief seconds. This last third is incredibly refreshing in comparison to the darker basslines overtaking the majority of the song and it really sends that simple motion of holding on to one’s self- identity close, even in the darkest moments.

 

Because there will be light.

 

Thyx – Loyalty (4.75): Not to be confused with Mind.in.a.box – Loyalty, though they are produced by the exact same person. I’ve already reviewed the one by Mind.in.a.box and this is completely different. First off, the Mind.in.a.box version of loyalty has a narrative attached to it. Thyx isn’t about that. More importantly, when Black’s loyalty is betrayed back in Dreamweb, he breaks it off, refusing to trust again. However, in this one, the betrayal takes a different. Even when betrayed, this singer’s loyalty remains unbroken despite his desires to let go. Now, I’m not exactly certain of the context of the relationship these two have, but it sounds to be quite a toxic situation to me. The singer here is defeated, trapped in a misery he can’t escape from. And frankly, that causes this song to lose a lot of points in my book.

 

Alternatively, there might very well be a third unseen party in this story. Perhaps we’re not speaking of betrayal this time, but the absence thereof. What if, instead of our singer refusing to break his loyalty to the one who betrayed him, he is instead refusing to break the loyalty to another despite the urges of another. He is instead steadfast to his true values, regardless of his temptations to abandon them.

 

And yet he’s still resigned towards misery… So not exactly inspiring… The song still suffers.

 

And unfortunately, the music isn’t really exceptional enough for me to give it any recovery from its subpar lyrical analysis. It’s fine but it feels like the bare minimum for a Mind.in.a.box/Thyx song. It’s got his vocals with some minor distortion. And a few matching synths with an equal amount of distortion. But arpwork? Absent. Any sort of energy or immersion? Absent. Any reason to return to this song? Absent.

 

So yeah, they can’t all be winners. Probably the worst Poiss song of all actually.

 

Thyx – Our Only Home (7.5): After the most depressing bleak song on the album, let’s take a look at something completely different! Our Only Home begins with cleanest most peaceful vibe ever. No grit, just calming piano backed up by the softest arp and drumbeat possible. And other than the whispers of the song’s title, there’s absolutely no sign of the unedited vocals that took up the brunt of Loyalty. It’s all the brightly distorted vocals describing the world we live in and how important it is to keep it alive. Yup this song is environmental. Not a problem with that. I too, am a fan of trying to make this world we live in last as long as possible. I’ve got some goals I’d lie to achieve in my lifetime, so I’d really appreciate it if we could make this place last another century or so. Humanity’s extinction would be really inconvenient for me, seeing as I’m human and all. Any other possibility would be a lie. And as we all know, I don’t lie. I mean I could because as a human, I’m definitely capable of lying but I don’t.

 

Human treehugging aside, I do very much enjoy the refreshment that this song has to offer in a mostly darker sounding album (and discography for that matter). And it does so without sacrificing the technological vibe that’s iconic to Poiss’ work. There’s still that underlying arp that structures the song nicely and a small bridge with a synth that provides a slight bit of MIAB spice without feeling too out of place.

 

This song is simply pure.

 

Thyx – Believe (8): Five songs ago, we had Robots Don’t Lie, a song about how authenticity is so uncommon and how a common weakness among all of mankind is hiding our true selves. Believe is the absolute antithesis to that, focusing on looking for authenticity within humanity. Digging deep into the layers of lies that deceive ourselves and others. We have to try and find the truth. Something to believe in. Let go of all deception and remain true to ourselves. Only then, can we truly succeed.

 

Overzealous passion for authenticity aside, this song, while more authentically sound, than Robots Don’t lie, just isn’t quite as musically interesting. Oh, I still quite enjoy this song and would place the music on its own well above the music from Loyalty (And when you compare lyrics, then there’s no contest). It’s just a bit too overly simple for my tastes. Same slow arpeggio over and over throughout the song. And there’s a good syncopated drumbeat that’s nice, but these two elements simply can’t carry the whole song. The lyrics thankfully save it, significantly improving my opinion of the song.

 

Thyx – Forgotten (9): The penultimate track of this album is absolutely fantastic and definitely my favorite Thyx song so far. It’s not even inspiring or anything. It’s just got that odd Mind.in.a.box narrative vibe that fascinates me so much. Either two options arise from this song’s existence. It could be a rejected storyline from the main Mind.in.a.box story following a different character than our main Man in Black. Or perhaps, I’ve been underestimating Thyx’s purpose. Could there be a separate narrative here that I don’t know of? Either way, the short story that this song is telling gives me chills. The singer this time around is likely a robot of some sort. Either that or their thermometer is extremely precise, let alone that the temperature, if Celsius, sounds insufferable hot. Then again, perhaps I’m spoiled by northern US temperature. I’m getting distracted by making a huge deal of this all too accurate. Of course, despite accurate temperature signifying a robot, I’ve never heard of a robot riding a bike either. Regardless, this character, be they mechanical or flesh and blood, seems to be wandering the desert all alone, desperately trying to find more of his kind. He sends out a worldwide broadcast, begging any who hears to answer. Whether or not an answer is received remains to be seen.

 

Thyx – Every Time (8.25): Listen, this is a good song and all, but I kind of wish the previous song was the finale. The way the song gives me chills with that final “Transfer Complete” would have been an amazing way to close the album on par with the two Mind.in.a.box albums I have yet to review (Really looking forward to 5ynchr0ni73 and Command: Decode. Those songs are on a level of chilling storytelling unparalleled by anything else other than the Machine Run/Redefined dichotomy and maybe Dead End).

 

Sorry about that, I guess I enjoyed Forgotten so much that it overflowed into the next song. Fittingly enough, Every Time is about unrealistic expectations, such as the unrealistic expectation that this could at all compare to Forgotten. It’s a good song and it does deserve its own praise as it does stand out as perhaps the grittiest edgiest song of the album (excluding the toxicity of Loyalty, which was less of a gritty experience and really just sad). Plus, every instrument stands out quite well here. There’s quite a variety of drumbeats in here, none of it following the typical driving 4 on 4 pattern and the chorus has some great guitar riffs that contrast well with the grittier verses. And that’s not even mentioning the arpwork in the second half of this song, which was strangely missing from a lot of THYX’s work this time around. This is probably one of the best songs musically on the album.

 

And the lyrics are quite relatable as well, exploring the overwhelming desire for the perfection demanded from every direction, authority, peers and even from within one’s self. Just like true authenticity, this confidence sabotage is another issue that I’ve found a bit overbearing sometimes. It’s so easy to get overwhelmed with trying to perfect certain aspects of yourself like living an efficient life and rising up to other’s expectations, regardless of whether or not these expectations are true to your authentic self (It all circles back).

 

Conclusion: This album does roughly match the quality of other THYX albums. All of them seem to be getting the same rating, though Headless remains to be seen. I end up enjoying it a bit less than typical Mind.in.a.box. This album in particular is a bit divided, with a few songs rated a bit lower than I’d typically desire for Poiss’ work. Especially Loyalty. That song was such a disappointment. Thankfully though, many of the other songs like Robots Don’t Lie and Forgotten made up for that mistake and proved this album worthy of checking out. But I could say that about both the Mind.in.a.box and Thyx discography

 

Final Score: (7.5/10)

THYX – Below The City

Album links

Bandcamp: n/a

Soundcloud: n/a

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/7jwiiOaHaRDQsQCGhAEo9a?si=OIc15JgSSPa9T_cA8EfgPA

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=OLAK5uy_nGsYb4-1vHXJdUS5DVl-wjviN9Xva9GVU

 

Introduction: Let us continue with the Mind.in.a.box side project known as THYX.  In a Mind.in.a.box review, I’d skip the whole introduction thing and go straight for a summary, but THYX is different. As far as I can tell (I could always be missing something), the THYX discography has no overarching story of its own and it certainly isn’t connected to the Mind.in.a.box universe (at least not directly. Maybe there are some obscure connections I don’t realize). Narrative or no narrative, Poiss always delivers when it comes to great music, even on THYX albums such as this one.

 

THYX – Searching (8): First song on the album and we’re already off to a good start. Searching brings a good amount of energy to the table with its significant drive and significant focus on the basslines. Considering the fact, that Poiss is typically the master of arps, this song stands out a bit among much of the rest of the Mind.in.a.box and THYX discographies. Not saying it’s the best song (Redefined already took that spot with its 10/10), but it’s definitely different with its energetic approach to a variety of basslines.

 

Other than its focus on the bassline, Searching has several other elements to offer: a couple of simple melodies dot the track here and there. It’d nothing to write home about but it does add a slight bit of melodic flavor to an otherwise non-melodic song. There’s also some great variety near the end of the song as the song explores a new chord progression in comparison to the rest of the song (which was slightly growing repetitive at that point, so the variety is very much welcome). There’s also some grittily distorted vocals in there. Speaking of which…

 

The search that this song centers on is an introspective search for life’s meaning, an enigma that has drowned minds across humanity for endless generations. We spend so much tine digging down into the depths of our minds trying to conjure up some meaning as day after day leads us closer to our end. We search our past and expected future for any trace of an answer. We desire a safe place where we can feel complete. But such a place isn’t something one can just happen upon. I believe you must make such a place for yourself.

 

My personal introspections and worldviews aside, this song wouldn’t be that out of place thematically in Black’s cyberpunk noir journey, though I can see how Poiss decided it wouldn’t quite tell the story he wanted, which is why it likely got retooled to become a THYX song, and a very good one at that.

 

THYX – The Endless Journey (8.5): Taking a step back from the energy of Searching we have, the slightly slower- paced Endless Journey. Not that the song suffers from this decrease in tempo and intensity, it merely excels in a different flavor of Poiss’ expertise. I think I do prefer Searching as this song does’t have quite the same variety as the introductory song. There’s a bit more highlight on a slow arp and a decent guitar solo near the end, but the former isn’t exactly exceptional for Mind.in.a.box/THYX standards and the latter is quickly overpowered by the arp so it doesn’t truly get a chance to shine like it could have.

 

However, this song does have an overwhelming strength that Searching can never measure up to. What’s better than a song focusing on the search for life’s meaning? A song that actually attempts to decipher the significance of this endless journey we call life. Well, there is an end, but sometimes it’s easy (and preferable) to forget about that little complication we call death… Until then, let’s explore all the intricacies in Poiss’ emotionally driven lyrics of The Endless Journey

 

There is almost too much to go over when it comes to this song’s lyrics. That doesn’t hamper the song’s quality at all as I quite enjoy the rapid-fire variety of ideas thrown in my ears’ direction. It’s just difficult to write about all that in a review. So, let me just give a quick rundown of some of the many themes this song includes. There’s the balance of ignorance and bliss and how to receive the latter without relying on the former. There’s the struggle to upkeep the happiness and contentment that has a tendency to fade as we grow older. There’s mention of the constraints of general every day living that make it difficult to break free and follow one’s own individual goals. And then there’s a general fear of the future and the unknown and how we must overcome it. My short synopsis doesn’t do this song justice. Listen to it for yourself.

 

THYX – Network of Light (7.5): Network of Light is a fantastically interesting song. It’s a bit more cryptic in comparison to some of the other songs on the album but crypticism works quite well for the THYX style so there are no single complaints. This song masters that cryptic nature by beginning the song with an almost threateningly deep voice demanding you to survive. Yeah, I was planning on surviving and I think I’m still going to go through with that plan, but I could do without this particular flavor of reinforcement. Ah, who am I kidding, I love the creepier edgy side of music. Bring the darkness on!

 

And that’s the odd thing about this song. Despite having the world “Light” in the title, this song, at least tonally, is awfully dark. This is especially noticeable in the beginning with the threat of not dying and the distant smooth bass soon overwhelmed by the slightly harsher (and much more prominent) bassline that accompanies the threatening vocals I have been repeatedly mentioning. And while the rest of the song (excluding reprises of those specific vocals that I’ve been repeatedly mentioning) doesn’t really contribute much to the darkness, it doesn’t really do much to provide much light to the song either. The chorus does have some calmer pads, but these sections are only light in comparison to that vibe the song starts with.

 

Am I complaining that a song that falsely advertises itself as light? Oh no, not at all, I quite enjoy this song despite its darkness. In fact, I could argue that I enjoy the song because of its darkness. I’m not the most happy-go-lucky guy after all. A bit of edge is quite pleasing in my opinion. That’s what this song has for the musical portion of this review. The lyrical portion, however, is a bit more cryptic. It sounds as if this song is being sung by a personified network of light, an AI that’s attempting to reach out to an unknown person. If this were canon to the Mind.in.a.box story, I’d say it was Black due to mentions of erased memories, but even if there is no narrative connection (and I’m pretty sure there isn’t), this song is simply enjoyable to take in for its instrumentation alone.

 

THYX – The Street (7.25): Continuing on with the personification then, we have The Street. But I’m getting ahead of myself. We need to take a moment to appreciate the nonlyrical elements of this song too. This song has its strengths and weaknesses when it comes to its more instrumental sections. The weakness? Well it doesn’t really have as prominent of a mood as some of the other songs, especially the introductory energy of Searching and the surprisingly ominous mood of Network of Light. Tonally, it’s more on par with The Endless Journey which only got its high rating due to its lyrical content. Ok, perhaps it’s a bit better than that. After all, this song does have a few sections that allow it to stand above an instrumental version of The Endless Journey (not that that exists, just trying to take lyrics out of the equation for a brief minute).

 

First off, let’s take a look at two of the continuous elements that are prominent throughout the entirety of this song’s stay. First off, there’s the echoing pair of drums that are introduced at the very beginning of the song. This percussive duo gives the song a slightly cinematic flavor, allowing for the rest of the song to feel a bit more powerful than it would without. Secondly, there’s the bassline that plays funky pairs of notes underlying the rest of the track, giving the song a slight groove to compliment the cinematics of the drumbeat.

 

One other part of the song, I’d like to highlight is only there for a small section of the song leading into the second verse. It’s the piano. Really, the main reason the piano stands out is because you only get the occasional Poiss song with the piano so it comes in as a treat that differs a bit from the songs that are almost completely technological. This melody just does a great job of climbing up and down in pitch that makes it stand out even more prominently among even the other piano tracks.

 

As for the lyrics on this personified street… Well, I pretty much summed up a good overview of the lyrics right there, didn’t I? But can we go even more in depth to who this street is. Well it seems to be a very supportive personified roadway, which is good, because I’d hate for the street to collapse under my weight. That’d mighty inconvenient. It’s also worth noting that there’s a huge emphasis on how the target of this song (hey let’s just assume it’s Black again, why don’t we? I don’t care if its canon or not) finds themselves in a safe place on this street. Kind of interesting how this calls back to Searching. It seems that the safe place has been found. It’s out on this conscious street.

 

THYX – Hate (8.25): Hate is a strong word. At least that’s what I was always told as a child. Of course, now that my vocabulary has grown, I’ve learned that there are even stronger words than hate such as despise, loath and abhor. But there’s something about hate, that’s so simple and pure. Well, as pure as such a negative emotion can get. Because when you boil right down to it, hatred is hatred regardless of how strong.

 

I’m getting distracted. I love pulling apart the smallest things sometimes, but my opinion of this song isn’t going to be defined by the definition of hate. Instead, I think it would be best to judge the song based on the actual musical and lyrical content. Thankfully, for Hate, I quite enjoy a lot of what this song has to offer, and I consider it to be one of the best songs on the album. And I can’t just attribute my enjoyment to just the music or just the lyrics. This is a very well-rounded song in which everything contributes to its excellence.

 

The beginning of this song serves as an important introduction to the dark mood that emanates through much of its duration. Unlike Network of Light, the darkness actually fits this song’s title (again nothing wrong with Network of Light, THYX’s surprisingly common false advertising is forgivable at least 75% of the time). Not only does this song have a stronger thematic connection to darkness, but even if you take the music out of context form the lyrics and song title, the song sounds simultaneously vibrant and ominous. The bassline is the mastermind behind this all, underlying every moment of the song from the very beginning, especially in the beginning, as it’s nearly the only rumbling sound present for the first half a minute or so (some soft drums in there too, but not the song’s main drive).

 

The song’s main drive comes in around a minute in, allowing for the bassline to spread its flavor quickly through the track, transforming itself into both an arpeggiated bassline as well as some longer notes that give the bass a more clearly defined progression. And later in the song, there’s some harsher stabs from the bass as well, rounding out the variety of the bassline to create much of the atmosphere of this track. There are some other melodic instruments in there too that contribute greatly to the vibrance I’d mentioned earlier, but most of the attention is focused on the bass.

 

Except when it’s focused on the vocals. Hate has the best vocals on the album. They’re not the best lyrically (though the message still tickles my mind out of the box). However, as for how the lyrics are sung, there’s more passion here than anywhere else on the album. During the chorus it seems as if nothing else matters except Poiss being overcome with the titular emotion of the song as it took over his mind.

 

Yeah, this song’s bleakness in its musical tone does fit with the lyrics. According to these lyrics, hate wins. It overwhelms the soul and casts out all other emotions and any purity that somehow survived up to that point. That’s only if you let it win though. Take this song as a warning.

 

Don’t let hate win.

 

THYX – Survival Instinct (8.5): I feel like, out of all the songs on this album, this song feels closest to his mind.in.a.box work. I’m not sure exactly how to describe it, but I have noticed that a lot of THYX’s songs have a slightly different feel from the stuff off of the mind.in.a.box albums. I’m not exactly sure how to describe it, but there’s definitely a combination of arps basslines, melodies and vocals that many of the upbeat mind.in.a.box songs roughly follow. And this is the closest I’ve heard a THYX song to fit that rough outline. Can I put it into words? Unfortunately, I’m not sure I can, which really brings into question why I’m reviewing in the first place, but right now all I have to go off of is this odd feeling of familiarity despite this being the first time I’m delving into the THYX side of the discography.

 

Well, I’ll try and at least explain what this music makes me feel, maybe it will be clearer how to make the comparison between the to aliases if I take a step back and look at this song as a standalone. The introduction for this song is quite amazing. A lot of songs on this album focus on starting with a subtle rumbling bassline, but this song might just be the best at using it. It just gives the right sense of unease to contrast with the more relaxing midnight jazzy vibe the sax and piano bring to the table. And the heavy breathing that transitions into the drive capitalizes on this unease quite well. This song definitely puts its best foot forward, and while I may have complained about some songs doing this in the past, the difference is that there’s plenty of great stuff to follow.

 

First off, those jazzy vibes from the piano do return in the song quite often enough to keep the introductory mood alive. Yet, it doesn’t necessarily linger on this mood, but transforms it by using the piano in tandem with the arps that steal the show for the majority of the song. That’s probably the secret to how I can even more easily associate this song with Mind.in.a.box in comparison to other songs on the album. Outside of the storytelling, Mind.in.a.box’s greatest strength was always the arps and Poiss made absolutely certain to showcase that strength in this one. Even the melody in the chorus (which is fantastic by the way) sounds similar to his arps, which I feel is what pushes the song over the line to sounding like a full on Mind.in.a.box song.

 

The vocals in the verses are admittedly a slight bit different from the Mind.in.a.box norm, going for a grittier vibe, not computerized in any way, just a different gritty flavor. It works because the lyrical content of Survival Instinct is edgy to match. Society is crumbling around us. Life deteriorates into entropy. All things, good or bad, eventually disappear. It all boils down to a choice: Will you stand and fight against the darkness that suffocates us or hide from it, waiting it out until mortality takes you?

 

One of these choices is easier. The other one is right.

 

THYX – Alien Love (7.25):  And now for a calmer, more simplistic track. Everything else we’ve heard so far has been incredibly dense with lyrics either thought provoking in the existential sense or thought provoking in a way that makes me scratch my head at why we’re personifying a road. This song, though strangely titled, is about much simpler ideas. Therefore, it shouldn’t take as long to tear into… Right?

 

I mean, not only are the lyrics relatively simple (half of the lines in this song are “It came to me”), the music itself is quite laid out nice and simple. The song starts out by solidifying itself as one of the calmer tracks, using only a piano (and maybe a slight bit of ambience) for the first minute. Eventually, the song does begin to incorporate a few basslines into the song, as well as an acoustic guitar (which I didn’t here the first time I listened through, but now it’s my favorite part. Add a few drums and a few synths and the song begins to slowly intensify from its initial calming beauty to its eventual glorious majesty.

 

The vocals undergo a similar journey. They start out slow and somber, perhaps filled with sorrow. But by the end of the journey, the Poiss sings with an unrelenting passion, as he switches onto the second part of the lyrics. But perhaps I should analyze that first part of the lyrics before I move on to the second part. Sequential order is quite preferable in most cases, this being one of them.

 

Something came to him. He was all alone, blind to the world around him and then something came to him, surrounding him. What was it? An alien? That’s the song’s title, but I’m kind of partial to the idea that it’s a thought or an epiphany that came his way. Something about the way he says it reminds me of more of cognitive arrival rather than a physical arrival.

 

Perhaps the second half of the song can help decipher these thoughts. They speak of all he wanted, all he needed. And they talk of “you”: the person of interest this song is directed at. Taking a quick glance at these lyrics, I can figure out what’s going on here pretty quickly. The singer, out of a desire for emotional healing, fell in love. But because he’s held himself at a distance, the love was unrequited, an alien concept.

 

Huh, guess I did spend a decent chunk of time analyzing these lyrics after all.

 

Anyways, this is a beautiful song and all, but it just doesn’t truly capture me musically overall and the lyrics, while fun to analyze, aren’t my preference.

 

THYX – Roses (8.75): You may think that a song called Roses would be a love song. Roses are a quite romantic flower after all And Alien Love was most certainly a love song, so it would fit thematically in this area of the album. But nah, Alien Love was the odd one out. The only point where this song mentions Roses is one line in the outro that I’m having some slight difficulty deciphering. And I have no qualms about this switch from love song to existentialism. Likely because songs like this are a bit closer to my preference anyway. These themes are part of the reason THYX holds its own against Mind.in.a.box even without the narrative.

 

Plus, the music of THYX, while slightly different, is quite great too. This song goes all out for the funkiest Poiss tune I’ve ever heard. Usually the bassline is quite arp-focused though there are some exceptions. Usually those exceptions are longer distorted notes giving a sense of unease and tension. This exception is an exception to that pattern, for it instead goes for a groovy bassline that helps drive the song forward along with some syncopated drums (and I’ve established in previous reviews that I quite love me some syncopation).

 

And if that funky groove wasn’t enough to please my intrigued ear drums, there’s some great electric guitar for the last third of the song. Really brings the song to another new level as the funky bassline also switches up to a more dynamic level as the guitar moves from lengthy soaring notes to a quick melodic solo before the song fades out. I really love this combination and feel it wraps up the song nicely.

 

But not only is this song musically exceptional, there’s also some great lyrics here. Perhaps not as great as The Endless Journey, but it’s close enough in quality that the superior music is able to push this song over the edge to become the best on the album. Instead of going over every single aspect and question of life (man, the Endless Journey was dense), Roses focuses on a singular topic: the impossibility of perfection.

 

There is an overwhelming pressure and desire for perfection in modern society. Flaws are the enemy and just one mistake can ruin everything. And while a detrimental mistake could very well have a drastic effect on one’s life, most of the time, we worry about matters that can be a bit more trivial. Perfection is impossible, and yet, despite our worry of living an imperfect life, we’re still here, still standing, still living. Even when all plans seem to fail, that doesn’t mean its’s over. Get up, shake off the dust and rubble from the collapsing ideals and take on a new day.

 

If you base your happiness on perfection, then contentment will elude you forever.

 

THYX – Below the City (6.5): For our titular track, we start out with an acoustic guitar and a bassline. Typical relaxing intro for this album, though I do feel that the guitar does make this one stand out above the rest as it’s not just a bassline softly building up before the drive starts. The guitar plays its own melody providing a unique flavor to the song as the only other time an acoustic guitar is used is within Alien Love, and even then, that one was covered up by the piano with a singular melody. This guitar has a much more dynamic feel to it, not following any true pattern, but still naturally flowing with the rest of the song.  It’s especially noticeable in the beginning but it makes a few other appearances throughout the rest of the track as well.

 

That guitar is definitely the show stealer of the track. Everything else is kind of run of the mill regular for this album, maybe a bit below average (which is above average overall but still). The bassline is a bit subtler than usual, allowing for an insanely smooth feel compared to some of the harsher tracks of the album. Whether or not this is a good thing is debatable, as it does mean that the bassline blends a bit much with the higher pitched arps and any semblance of ambience the song has. The guitar still stands out thankfully, but that’s about it.

 

The lyrics of Below the City are probably the most cryptic yet. It seems to be said from the point of view of some sort of artificial intelligence that longs to have a more human experience. And that’s an interesting concept, but it doesn’t really do much with it. At least nothing that really gives me anything not talk about other than that quick summary. Unless there’s some kind of cryptic message behind obsolete ladders that would change everything that this song represents. But as it is, I have no idea what that line means, and the rest of the song is unchanged because of it.

 

Honestly, this song is just kind of bland compared to much of Poiss’ stuff. The guitar does help, but there is so little substance here that the titular track honestly is the worst lyrical song of the album.

 

THYX – Timeless (5.75): And then there’s this one. For our last track of the album, we have Timeless (not to be confused with Timelessness, a Mind.in.a.box song that shan’t be reviewed until at least 2 months from now, maybe more depending on if I change my priorities). Timeless, unlike the rest of the album, has no lyrics. Or at least I think it doesn’t. It has vocals, but I can’t make out a single word, so lyrical analysis will be absent from this particular section of the review. It’s all about the music this time.

 

And what does this song have to offer? Unfortunately, not much. There’s some decent arps introduced at the beginning, though they do get somewhat covered up by the repetitive bassline as the song progresses. The vocals do help save this song a bit as they add some much-needed variety and melodic influence, but other than that, this is a very bland ending to an otherwise great album.

 

Conclusion: Poiss definitely picked up some momentum on this sophomore album for the THYX alias (though he already has 4 other Mind.in.a.box albums under his belt, but we’re not focusing on those right now). There were several songs on this album. Half of the songs on this album received 8/10s and higher. I’m a bit surprised as I expected that the lack of narrative would cause this to be a little lesser tha the albums off the main alias, but the songs here are so intensely introspective that it doesn’t even matter that the conflict between the Sleepwalkers and the Agency is currently swept to the sidelines. I still thoroughly enjoy this album.

 

Unfortunately, the album does dip a little bit in quality towards the end, with a couple of songs that pale in comparison to everything previously, somewhat hampering my experience. It would have been a little better if the album ended at Roses, but I’m not going to let the ending ruin my enjoyment of the other 8 songs on the album.

 

Final Score: (7.5/10)

THYX – The Way Home (2011 album)

Album links

Bandcamp: n/a

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/thyxmusic/sets/the-way-home-5

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/0jqzq1zmNqeqgp5EPAetfF?si=bwrhPyAXSaG-t-WPMDv2Rw

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=OLAK5uy_mUzWpLoCPvTdb8vHEcrnwQh9LFcsmJJjo

 

Í̶̢̮͇̟͕̫̹̹̔͑̍̿͑n̷̡̜̘̮̠͚̺̫̭̼͉̓͌̓͑̓̉̕t̸̨̢̬͈͍̗͕̥̟͓̅̉̀̽̂͌̊͂͘̕͝r̵̨͙̟͖̜̪͖͖̿͑̾̈͌͗͑̍̒̿͆͛ó̸̺̖̠̱̀͛̒̿̕͠d̴̬̦̀u̷̢̨̫̠͍̜̯͎̯̠̽͌͐́͜ͅc̸̛̯̋̿̎̀̈́͆̒͊̀̚͝t̵͉͓̳̅į̴̛̹̱͎̪͎͕͉͓̲͚̥͎̱̅̏̀͗̕͝ò̷̢̮͖͓̻̈́͆́́̈͒͒̆̈́͊͝͠n̸̗̼͓̦͕̱̳̾:̶̧͉̳̪̟̝̳͚̯̅̀͌̕ͅ

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

L̸a̷s̶t̴ ̸t̸i̵m̸e̸ ̴o̸n̶ ̷T̴h̴y̶x̶:̵ Ẁ̷͙ả̵̠i̸̳͌ṱ̷́ ̵͓̦̍͝a̴̖̋͠ ̴̝̀s̴͔̀̓e̷͕͔̐c̵̨͗̄o̸̼̪̒n̶̙̈̓d̷̮̿ ̷͕̓w̶̺͕͒̽h̶̜͂y̶̤̗͊̍ ̴̦̌͗a̴͕͒̔m̶͉̑ ̵̘̈̈́Ï̸̛͚ ̷̛̭͔͘d̶͎͌̀o̶̻̍͘ȋ̸̧͓n̸̠̂̆g̷͇͋ͅ ̷̞͚́̄t̶̜̿͊h̸̨̪̔̀ĩ̵̘̘s̷̤̪͑?̶͇̆̈́ ̷͖̐͛ I̵̝̝̳͙̒͊̕͘ ̸̑̃ͅh̷͙̩̊à̶̜̜̱̲̀v̶̘̙͗e̵͉̥͇̳͝n̴̝͌’̵̯̺̩͕́̚t̴͉͈̀̒̓̓ ̷̱̎ṛ̶̤̦͆̂̚e̶̖̾͝v̵͕͍͚͈͘ǐ̶̺̈̏̕e̴̙̎͝w̶͉͉̌e̵̺̲̖̘͑̇d̶̘̩̥͌͝ ̶̞͙͉́Ț̶̪̮̘͘̚h̵̲̪͐̀̐͗y̴̧͗̕ẋ̵̢̞̤͂̆ ̷͖͉̖̒̌͗̕b̷͇̲̜̆e̷͙̤̓͘f̴̢͓̮͂̍́ͅo̶̖̫͕͕̓͂́͠r̶̢̬̞̫͑̒̕ḛ̶̀̔̌…̶̟̻͎̓̂ ̴͔̺̦́͒͘ t̸̲͕̖̪̰̳͒̏͌̄̀͋ḧ̴̪̹̝̌̎͑̊ḙ̵̠̈́̂͘r̷̨̫͉̙̮̰̓̊͂̓͠e̸̪̝͇̼̥͋͂̉ ̵̧̻̬̺͐ǐ̶̹͔̏̑͛ṡ̶̭͗ ̴̝͙̪͒̽͆̐͛͑ǹ̷͉̫̦̮͚̄͜ó̴̲̋̿̃̈́̈́ ̶̹̟̜̙̤̺̐̆̈́̀͘l̸̡͈̘̥̲͒̓̈́̓̀̚͜ä̴́̈́̀͜s̷̲̾͘̚ţ̷̡̡̤̣͔̈́̉̆ ̷̢͕̥̱͋͐͊͑̄t̸̜̗̟̺̟͋̔ì̶̡̬̖̠̦͇̉m̵̨̦̥̱̓͝ė̷̢͈͈̟͖̜̈́͑̀̾̚…̴̟̟̘̠̦̫̚

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Introduction: THYX isn’t a new artist. The name is new yes. You’ve never seen it on this site before. But I started reviewing the man behind this name all the way back in early January. Perhaps the whole introduction/last time/introduction bait and switch at the beginning of this review has keyed you in on exactly where this alternate alias comes from. It’s Mind.in.a.box, the artist behind the narrative of Black getting caught in the struggle between White’s Stalkers and The Friend’s Sleepwalkers.

 

But as established in the last Mind.in.a.box review, Stefan Poiss hasn’t devoted all of his time to the Mind.in.a.box narrative. After the singular non-canon album that is R.E.T.R.O., Poiss decided to create an entirely new alias for the songs that don’t quite fit into the story. Boasting four albums so far, the THYX discography is a neat little side project that I really haven’t spent enough time listening to.

 

Of course, since reviewing these albums requires me to listen to many of these song on loop for a extended periods of time, that may be about to change.

 

THYX – Spoil (7): Now then, I’m not going to avoid comparing this to Mind.in.a.box. Such comparisons would be inevitable and it’s only right to highlight a few nuanced differences between the two sides of Poiss. There is a lot of overlap seeing as their source is the same. The vocals are no different from what I’d expect from Black’s story. Perhaps a bit cleaner in tone, but it’s clear that the man behind the mic is still Stefan and he still expresses many of the same existential themes in his lyrics (more on that later). The music also still has a huge focus on arps that reflect a technological soundscape. This song in particular has some great guitar riffs that are in no way foreign to Mind.in.a.box. Just take a look at Machine Run and every song related to it by using the same riff pattern.

 

Unfortunately, from a reviewing standpoint, any differences between the two aliases are a bit too subtle for me to be sure how to describe them. The sound is, from what I can tell, a slight bit cleaner than most of the Mind.in.a.box songs. Oh yeah, there’s still some grit there. The drumbeat is actually above average grit for Mind.in.a.box despite the rest of the song being a bit on the chiller side. And there’s a bit more variety in that drumbeat as well, constantly switching between half-time, four on four and syncopation not keep anyone listening on their toes. Other than that, it’s just the usual fantastic technological soundscape I love.

 

The lyrics in this one are a bit tricky. There’s the chant of either “Get to me” or Come to me” for starters. I’m not sure which one it is, but I’m pretty sure there’s very little difference from the meaning of the end result so it works. The rest of the lyrics, however, speak of spoiling… something. Someone somewhere screwed up and brought another person to fall. There’s some implied regret in there, but honestly, it’s kind of tricky to visualize the scene that’s painted here.

 

Song still sounds good though so there’s that.

 

 

THYX – My Own Little World (8.5): I must say that as far as the music goes, this reminds me more of R.E.T.R.O. than canon Mind.in.a.box. There’s no connection to any Commodore 64 games and an entirely modern tone to it, but the bassline seems to remind me more of R.E.T.R.O. than the other 6 albums in the Mind.in.a.box discography. The bassline is especially responsible. Mind.in.a.box seems to tend towards incredibly fast arps for its bass or slower smoother basslines for its calmer tracks. This one appears halfway between, somewhat similarly to all of the video game covers from R.E.T.R.O. Either way, the bassline is only really relevant near the beginning of the song. I barely notice it later on as it takes a backseat to everything else.

 

Everything else has some decent development to it as every instrument intensifies as it goes on. The drumbeat starts off rather calmly with a few beats here and there, but by the end of the song, it has a strong prominent syncopated pattern. Not overwhelmingly energetic but still stronger than where it began. Also, the main melodic instrument of this song, I mistook for a simple ambient element, but by the end of the song, it morphs into a full-on guitar solo (less energetic than most, but still much more powerful). Even the vocals start with a whisper and end in a passionate cry.

 

And those vocals tell a fantastically relatable story. Not an overwhelming narrative story as in the other alias, but instead focuses more on the themes of Black’s journey without delving into the specifics of the Agency and the Sleepwalkers and everything else my favorite artist throws at us. Think of this song as an accompaniment to the themes of Machine Run and Redefined, though not nearly as powerful as the connection between those two greatly heighten my enjoyment. Plus, it’s focused more on the isolated sense of self one has in a crowd full of people. In my experience, the overwhelming pressures of society often cause me to keel under my own suffocated desires and isolate myself into any form of escapism I can. It’s the easy way out, but it’s not the healthy way out.

 

I too desire to renounce my habit of isolation that only poisons me slowly as I shut out even the projects I value (like this blog I find myself procrastinating on too often). I too, desire to change.

 

THYX – The Way Home (6.25): Titular track! Let’s take a look…

 

The last two songs had rather harsh beginnings. Gritty drums. Strong basslines. This song however opts for something calmer. One echoing simple melody. A mysterious way to start this song for the first 15 seconds before getting that bassline (and technological arp of course) introduced. Unfortunately, from there, the song doesn’t go through too many changes. It definitely sounds good, but instead of morphing over the impressive seven-minute duration, the song is really just easily divided into two sections. The first half being the upbeat 4 on 4 section (which I already just described) and the second half being a slower paced calmer vibe where the vocals serve as the main highlight. The second half is an appreciated change in pace, but it isn’t especially musically remarkable, and it doesn’t provide quite enough variety to justify the seven minutes.

 

The lyrics that those vocals present to us though, are incredibly cryptic and all too difficult decipher. I really wanted to try and scrounge up a meaning, but it all seems to be some sort of hallucination or dream (web?). There are some mentions of destiny and the world passing by which are neat concepts that are explored better elsewhere. But there’s no real narrative or message between them here so I guess we’ll move on.

 

 

THYX – Underdive (8.5): Kicking the album back into overdrive, we have the song titled Underdrive (don’t ask questions, just go with it).

 

Underdrive marks one of our peak for upbeat on this album. There are a few others that are fantastically upbeat too, but there’s only one that comes even close (which I’ll obviously talk about later. but this one does serve as one of the most energetic outings of THYX’s debut. There’s an incredibly solid kicking pulsing from beginning to end without a break. It doesn’t really tire though as the rest of the song provides plenty of variety (including a snare to keep the drumbeat bit more interesting). Plus, Poiss adds some signature arps which only increases that drive to new levels thanks to the rapid progressions. There’s also a bassline in there that’s a bit interesting, but it doesn’t really contribute to the drive of Underdrive so I’m going to pretend it’s irrelevant (my excuse for not having much to say about it other than it’s interesting).

 

So, the music is nice and simple. Easy to sum up and yet quite solid. Are the lyrics equally simple? Well they certainly aren’t as cryptic as The Way Home, so they’re at least simpler to look through. However, that does mean I actually have more to talk about seeing as there’s some actual meaning to this one. This soul-baring track is all about delving deep into one’s own soul. Trying to make sense of the inner workings of one’s mind while also making sure to keep a hold on the outside world. You can dive deep into the unknown soul for some time but you must always come up for air by finding what’s real. The journey of self-discover never truly ends and it’s important to keep a level head throughout.

 

Oh and one last odd thing to mention is how sometimes when Poiss sings “Back on track” it sounds like he’s bleating like a sheep. This doesn’t really affect my rating of the song in the way. I just find it to be amusing.

 

 

THYX – Black Hole (7.5): Following the incredibly driving song known as Underdrive, we have a song named after the enigmatic black hole, an area in space that bends reality to a point where its gravitational force sucks in everything around it, including light itself. Obviously, such an intense unrelenting object from beyond the stars would be one of the most intense song on the album, right?

 

Well, as Underdrive has shown, titles can be deceiving. Black Hole is actually one of the slowest and least energetic songs of the album. Compared to the last song, every melody and drumbeat here is progressing at a crawling speed. Looking at the arp alone, you can easily hear the beginning and end of each note. But that still doesn’t prevent the chord progression from moving smoothly from chord to chord. This arp takes the brunt of the music in this song alongside some soothing pads and a drumbeat that joins the song halfway through. These drums do give the song a slight bit more of a drive, but it’s still incredibly slow paced compared to the rest of the album.

 

However, while the tempo doesn’t fit the title Black Hole, the song isn’t fully false advertising. A Black hole isn’t just defined by a dead star that bends reality with its own gravity. It’s also a void of complete and utter darkness. And these lyrics are the bleakest this album has to offer. Even the vocals themselves sound as if the singer (almost said Black but had to remind myself this isn’t in any way canon to that auditory universe) has completely given up hope. And the lyrics? Even bleaker. Black Hole is about regret and the inevitability of failure. It declares life to be dark, cold and hopeless. And yet, somehow as the song closes, there’s one last bit of false advertising. “Together we will find another place… I will bring us home.” Hope may seem lost at certain points in life, but sometimes one just needs to move forward to find a new place to find peace. There is always hope.

 

THYX – Awesome (6.5): Continuing with the trend of false advertising, we have Awesome. Awesome isn’t awesome. Oh, it’s not a bad song, but it doesn’t really stand out in the slightest. Really just run of the mill for the album. Solid drumbeat. Good bassline to accompany that drive. And a melody to add a little bit of flavor to the rest. Overall, the song is pretty groovy. Not much variation, but the song is short enough that it doesn’t matter. Plus, it has some great robotic vocals that allow it to stand out among the other songs (which mostly use cleaner vocals).

 

The lyrics are a bit odd though. Poiss keeps on switching between three different vocal sections. The first is a conversation two robots have between themselves on how awesome the song is. I personally find awesome to be a stronger adjective than necessary, but these robots don’t think it’s strong enough, so they make sure to strengthen that adjective with some choice intensifiers that cause this song to be labeled explicit. Probably the most amusing of the three lyrical sections.

 

The second vocal section I hesitate to call lyrical, because it sounds like it’s made entirely of chopped up vocals so that they can be used as more of an instrument rather than a vehicle for words. Or maybe there are lyrics in this part too… I can’t make them out… and no matter where I search, I can’t find any sources that give me a hint of what could possibly be said.

 

The cleaner vocal section is a bit clearer though it really just sounds like the singer just wants to be told whatever it is that he wants to hear. Apparently what he wants to hear is endless ramblings on how this song is awesome. Oh… and he also wants poison… ok…

 

This song is not awesome but it’s good enough

 

THYX – Snow in July (8.25): Ok, not false advertising really, but it doesn’t snow in July. Or at least it shouldn’t. But it snows in April up here in Wisconsin so hey it’s a possibility. An unwanted possibility but a possibility, nonetheless. As far as I can tell, snow in July is an inconsequential concept to this song other than in title so hey maybe it is false advertising in a way. Not sure what it was advertising, but I don’t think we got it.

 

Snow in July is one of the most enjoyable songs to listen to on this album. It’s got plenty to offer and plenty to love. The variety in this song stems from how it becomes more powerful over time. It’s not quite as dynamic as My Own Little World, but still notable. The intro probably has the most rapid change as it starts out quite completely calm with the bass and the vocals echoing in the distance. But as time goes one, the drumbeat draws the vocals and bass closer together, reaching a passionate high as the singer (again, not Black, old habits die hard) declares he’s not better than the rest. From there, the song continues to build more as it introduced more melodies, more syncopated drum patterns and the most technological vibe in the album (or at least I find it to be the closest to the usual Mind.in.a.box style)

 

Oh and before I go on to the lyrics, I wanted to make sure I mentioned how much I adore the way the Poiss pushes the upper limits of his vocal range. I think I’d mentioned this in a previous review but a sudden increase in pitch in male vocals makes a song incredibly enjoyable to sign along to. They’re challenging their vocal range, so perhaps I shall too.

 

While the music is definitely enjoyable, I find the lyrics to be a bit iffy. Oddly, when I was first listening to this song while preparing for this review, I had the impression that this song was about finding your place in society as you reach your goals, making this one of the more inspiring songs of the album. I was partly right. Yes, there are glimpses of the inspiring aspects I mentioned (which was probably what threw me off), but there is an unfulfilled tone to it all. Yes, goals have been reached, but immediately after he claims that nothing has improved and nothing matters. He’s just another face in the crowd no better than anyone else. You know. Typical existential despair.

 

 

THYX – In the Past (7.25): Really not going to spend too long talking about the music this time. It’s a rather simple song with medium tempo and a nice groovy arp and the occasional guitar riff. Plus, it has a decent melody at the end that reminds me of classic Aviators (who you probably don’t know but I plan on reviewing him next week, so you’ll know soon). That’s pretty much it. Really not much variety in this one. That’s fine though. At least it’s not overwhelmingly long

 

Plus, we’ve got lyrics to make the song a bit more interesting. This song is a bit of a grab bag. The song starts and ends with themes of misplaced anger, a man wanting vengeance and yet no knowing why. He’s forgotten a piece of his past I guess (strangely similar to the Mind.in.a.box universe, but again, this stuff isn’t canon). There’s also a few lyrics in the middle of the song that reflect more on the isolation that was introduced in My Own Little World. And for a fourth theme, Poiss’ favorite theme, we have change, escaping the monotony and trying to find a way to move on to the next chapter in life. Change will happen, but it’ll happen more quickly if you work for it before the doors close around you.

 

This song has a lot of great ideas as you can see, but it’s so eclectic that I feel it would be a bit better if there was more focus. Thankfully, there’s plenty of other songs in this album and the Mind.in.a.box discography that do a lot better

 

THYX – Into the Realm (8.25): Into the Past, Into the Realm. Regardless of the song, we’re going in.

 

This song’s calmness rivals the relaxation of Black Hole, spending much of its time devoted to the ambient chords and a simple drumbeat and bassline. None of it is intrusive, but for the first bit of the song, none of it significant either. I actually don’t care much about the music of this song until after it breaks the mold of being relaxing. Around one and a half minutes, the song quits rivaling Black Hole with its utter relaxation and offers up a more upbeat chorus. The song still uses a rather medium tempo with only a tiny bit of syncopation, but it’s enough to break the silence it once shared with Black Hole. The song still remains relatively chill though. Just not the chilliest it could be.

 

And that’s fine. My opinion of Into the Realm is mostly about lyrics anyway. This song rivals Black Hole in another way by diving into some extremely bleak themes and ideas. And this time around, Into the Realm wins (Black Hole isn’t the darkest song on the album? False advertising!). Like a few of the other songs I’ve gone over in this album. Into the Realm is about isolation. But this song is the most broken of the bunch. The whole song is apathetic to existence, tortured by the monotony, trapped in an undesirable place in one’s life, and closing the entire world out, suffering alone…

 

This song is the darkest I can go without spilling over into overly edgy Ashbury Heights territory. And these days, it’s hitting me a bit too close right now.

 

THYX – No Voices (8.25): Just as Into the Realm attempted to rival Black Holes in its calmness. No Voices attempt to rival Underdrive in its intense drive. It’s not completely upbeat during the entire song, but that doesn’t prevent it from winning the battle. Not only is the BPM faster i ngeneral, there are several elements to this song that reach heights of speed that make them sound slower than they really are. Makes sense? Probably not, but maybe I need to be more specific. Look at the arp. It may be difficult to notice it’s there at the points, not only because nearly everything else is so loud, but because the notes play so undeniably quick. The song is already at 160 BPM as it is. And seeing as the arps sound like they’re made completely of sixteenth notes, that means that the arp is at a speed of 640 BPM. Not to mention the hats, which when present also seem to blend in with each other due to their speed.

 

Other than the insane breakneck speed this song has, there’s some other elements that make the song stand out among the rest. The song sounds the most experimental overall, as many if the instruments sound crushed and glitched. The bassline is quite odd from the beginning, as it sounds like it’s made of several layers of overly distorted noise, though hit does so in a way, that is strangely pleasant to my ears. There’s some synths that reach a pitch that could very nearly be piercing, but they barely skim the upper limits without breaking the painful threshold for me. The chord progression is rather simple, as it simply climbs upwards repeating the same four chords again and again, but it really adds to the intensity to the track. And lastly, the lyrics are repetitive, but the vocals are not as it sounds like every iteration of “No voices in my brain” has a different tone to it. It’s all unique and it all works.

 

No voices in my brain. Sounds like a good thing to me. Don’t know about you, but if there were voices in my brain, I’d find that a little bit horrifying, especially because in many narratives, voices that intrude on one’s brain tend to be of the malicious variety. I guess, if it was a friendly voice that just spoke nonchalantly of pleasant things, some of them being direct encouragement and others being just general fun things that the voice was interested in, I’d be totally into the company. A shame that this song implies that such a voice isn’t there. It certainly isn’t there in my life. Or maybe the voice is more subtle. What if the voices refer to thoughts themselves, the internal train of though in which we speak to ourselves in our head: neutral voice that sometimes ends up positive, sometimes ends up negative, but most importantly, the voice that truly represents our own true identity.

 

I don’t want to lose those voices…

 

THYX – Crack It (6): The conclusion of this album is kind of underwhelming. It’s not bad, but it also pales in comparison to many of the other songs, especially because the second half of the album is quite high quality. I guess part of it has to do with the fact that there’s no lyrical content to rely on, yeah there are vocals, but all of it is chopped up and nonlyrical, so there’s no unique message that could possibly heighten my experience. However, I guess that does serve to make this song a bit more unique. That’s really all the song has to offer though. The rest is rather unremarkable. It’s slow but not relaxing. It’s absolutely repetitive. And it takes way too long to fade out in the end.

 

Honestly that’s all I have to say on this song though. Bit of a lame ending in comparison to what preceded it, but they can’t all be winners.

 

Conclusion: The Way Home was quite an interesting album to review as I went in here completely blind (just haven’t found the time to listen to THYX for some reason despite being aware of the alias). Overall, I do enjoy the divergence from Mind.in.a.box. It has a slightly different feeling than Mind.in.a.box as this album did not stray from the technological instruments in the slightest, while Mind.in.a.box has been consistently using pianos and guitars. I do miss the narrative and that is part of what’s preventing this album from being solid like the Mind.in.a.box albums I reviewed, but it’s still a well-enjoyed experience.

 

Final Score: (7.5/10)