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Album Reviews : Thornhill – Butterfly

By on February 19, 2018

Sometimes a band bobs up out of seemingly nowhere and catches you unawares. Metal Obsession’s editor flipped this EP recommendation to me on Facebook, and from the moody, percussive opening strains of first track Sunflower, I was hooked. The phrase that immediately came to mind was “where have you guys been hiding?” (they have a previous EP from 2016, which is also excellent)

Thornhill has a sound that is quite unlike anything else going on right now, in this scribe’s fairly broad experience anyway. They class themselves as ‘alternative metalcore’. If that’s the case, then the emphasis must be placed upon the ‘alternative’ part of that term, as they are doing something quite removed from your average cookie-cutter metalcore act. Is it ‘progressive metalcore’? There are certainly strong progressive elements going on here, but that classification doesn’t seem to sit comfortably on this band either. Ultimately, with certain bands we have to say “forget pigeonholing, to hell with having to put bands in a box, this band is very much doing its own thing.” And that’s what’s happening here.

All that said, Butterfly will absolutely still appeal to the slightly more open-minded metalcore freak. And progressive heavy rock/metal aficionados. They are sitting in a very sweet spot in this regard. I can see them comfortably on both the ‘Progfest’ lineup and the ‘Unified’ bill.

Best song award must go to the second track Parasite, which somehow manages to be poundingly powerful and unnervingly atmospheric at the same time. In fact, that difficult to attain juxtaposition of power and ambience is present right across the six tunes of offer here, and virtually all of it works a treat.

This band will not remain a well-kept secret for much longer, if this EP is anything to go by. I’d love to see Thornhill really make like a butterfly and spread their wings and truly blossom into something beautiful on a full-lengther. Hopefully, that is on the cards in the not too distant future.

Band: Thornhill
Album: Butterfly
Year: 2018
Genre: Progressive Rock/Metalcore
Label: UNFD
Origin: Australia


Rod Whitfield is a Melbourne-based writer and retired musician who has been writing about music since 1995. He has worked for Team Rock, Beat Magazine,, Heavy Mag, Mixdown, The Metal Forge, Metal Obsession and many others. He has written and published his memoirs of his life and times in the music biz, and also writes books, screenplays, short stories, blogs and more.