I am very proud to say that Threat Signal has done a complete 180 on their brand new self-titled album since their very lackluster sophomore album Vigilance. When they released a statement saying that “we’re going back to the Under Reprisal days, but with bigger balls,” I was one of many who were skeptical to believe it. Although at this moment I can’t say that it’s better than Under Reprisal, I can assure you, the listener, that you will be extremely pleased.
Chock full of quality headbanging and enough metal to build a mecha-Godzilla from, this was quickly placed as one of the best metal releases of the year. Second track “Comatose” brings the band back to the glory days. Awesome technical riffs, perfect spot-on drumming, break neck bass and those vocals you can never mistake for any others, this song has it all. The clean singing has a rougher edge than before, and it is a step up.
Threat Signal covers a lot of different genres with each release, all within the metal spectrum. For a truly awesome speed metal/progressive track, look no further than “New World Order.” A live Threat Signal show will now never be complete until they play this song. Jon Howard hits some brutal lows that are rarely heard and sound refined and polished, which prompts me to say this… “JON HOWARD GIVE US MOAR LOWS RIGHT MEOW!!!!!!!!” The clean singing again shows a little bit of a rough edge, which I believe has to do with their new producer Zuess (if you don’t know who that is, then GTFO).
Their experimentation with 7-string guitars has really paid off, most notably in the song “Face The Day.” Without the 7-string, this track would have never sounded the same. This gives an all new depth into Threat Signal’s overall style, making them more technical than before. The mathcore-like drums really round this track out into a masterpiece, all done over growls and screeches of “You’re the fucking disease.” Then, like a machine gun, at the 2:40 mark, they obliterate the ear canal with unbridled metal fury.
While I was worried about the future of this band due to the numerous line-up changes, I know that as long as Howard (the sole remaining original member) is still fronting the band, they still have a long way to go in the music industry and are far from disappearing from the limelight. Again, not as unique and diverse as Under Reprisal, but pretty damn close. Think of that era, except that the songs blend more into each other instead of really standing on their own. That is the only weakness on the album, but alas it is a small one. I even went and bought the bonus track “Resistance,” and your listening of this album is not complete without the bonus track. Seriously, go the extra mile and get that version.