Thrice released one of my favourite albums of last year – Horizons/East – in September, one that has been in high repeat since. Weirdly, I think that has affected my enjoyment listening back to The Illusion Of Safety, their second album (it turns twenty years old this week).

The version of Thrice on Horizons is a much more refined, experimental and, dare I say it, clever band than appeared on Illusions, an album which is heavier, leans into screamo in a big way, and is a much more raw affair.

There are signs of the band to come: second track “A Subtle Dagger” is an early highlight behind the crisp time signature work the band has turned into an art form of late, while singer Dustin Kensrue turns in some of his best work on this album on late-album track (and maybe my favourite) “Trust”.

Illusion is a relentless album, never really letting up the intensity, the heavy guitar, the sheer speed, all exemplified on brilliant “Where Idols Once Stood”. But on balance, as much as I love this record – it being the first Thrice album I heard – I think I prefer the later iterations of the groups’ sound. Though I suspect 2002 Chris would probably prefer this one.

CLTM (Chris Listens To Music) is my attempt to listen to a new album every day; you can follow my efforts on Instagram here (and send recommendations), and if you like what I’m doing, support my efforts by shouting me a cuppa at Buy Me A Coffee.