"The third and final story/album starts with our hero laying over Anna's lover (and hero's brother). The brother has been killed. His wife has seen what the children saw and we spend a lot of time inside our hero's mind and the reality that he is indeed a murderer of his own flesh and blood."
His character had returned from sea (as told in "The Bitter End") to find his wife cheating on him with his own brother, despite his intent to kill her, in the heat of the moment he kills his brother and leaves his wife watching. The first song from the album "Blame" details how the murder was heard by a nearby farmers wife and, though not described, it's implied that he is sentenced to death.
Instrumentally, Hull doesn't stray away from the sparse route he's taken on prior efforts, this time he restricts himself to piano and guitar however to emulate the confinement of his character in a prison cell. "We Were Made Out of Lightning" is one of the darkest songs on the record, featuring a droning guitar accompanied by Hull's reverb heavy vocals, as well as backing vocals provided by Colour Revolt's Jesse Coppenbarger. Hull's shackles, in comparison to Manchester Orchestra's "Simple Math", may seem like a blessing in disguise however as he's used it as a way to evaluate his songwriting and write his most cohesive effort to date.
It's evident that this record is more about the storytelling lyrics themselves rather than the music. Hull's references to prior albums will make this one to spin several times to take in the full story, with the ghost of the captain from "The Bitter End" even making a return. Thematically, it feels as if this album gradually gets darker with each track as Hull's character slowly draws closer to his death, finally reflecting upon his life before his death in "Memories From The End Part 2" with "Now I am shown the treacherous pains to become something old / redemption thats freed the burden from me".
The first track, Blame, serves as a reminder of what Right Away, Great Captain songs consist of. Quiet guitar and quiet piano fall quietly behind Andy’s voice, a voice capable of creating a bone chillingly eerie feel or a louder, more plainly emotive one as his voice soars over beautiful harmonies. His guitar playing serves the song well, often multi layered and complex, but never abrasive. Similar piano playing will accompany it, always understated and haunting, allowing the music to breathe. This mix allows the listener to understand the feelings conveyed in each song, and as each song builds our connection to it does as well, an effect that never falls flat or results in anything short of breathtaking. Some songs build up to something slightly larger than the established Right Away, Great Captain sound, such as “I Wait for You”, featuring two guitars and even drums. This never results in a loss of intimacy however, simply conveying the pain in each song more clearly, making it at times vivid. The vocals are always just as good, and when Andy’s voice soars it creates something both powerful and uplifting.
(...) On its own, The Church of the Good Thief is a beautiful and haunting album. When placed after its two predecessors however it becomes something else entirely. It provides a satisfying ending but also connects the three albums together. It’s a tale of twisted redemption that takes the entire Right Away, Great Captain series to somewhere unexpected and new, while staying true to everything the project is about. It’s a near perfect close to one of the most unique and refreshing musical projects in quite some time.