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Threat Signal: Under Reprisal

The great white north of Canada (Hamilton Ontario) brings forth a new entry into the ring of hardcore metal, which takes shape in the form of a quintet going by the name of Threat Signal. The band was formed by cousins Rich (guitars) and John (vocals) Howard (Rich has at the time of this writing just left the band) in 2003. Not long after the bands formation they posted a demo version of "Rational Eyes" on the internet which began to draw immediate attention from hungry cyber fans and label interest soon came calling. Fast forward to 2006 and major player Nuclear Blast gets the honors of introducing this incendiary act to the world with their solid debut called Under Reprisal, which by the way also boasts the production skills of Fear Factory's Christian Olde Wolbers. Under Reprisal is chock full of heavy syncopated rhythms and vein tearing screams as per the norm in this genre of metal but Threat Signal also incorporate other subtle elements into their music in an attempt to keep things fresh, however it isn't always effective. John Howard's combination of an aggressive / clean vocal delivery is at times at bit too reminiscent of Linkin Parks Chester Bennington, which isn't a bad thing at all but this style of vocals seems to have been the standard for more than a few years now so isn't all that new. Many of today's up and comers seemingly feel the need to offset their harder, abrasive style with cleaner passages as if to offer up a truce rather than just sticking it full throttle down your throat for 60 minutes. That being said, Under Reprisal still offers up enough for the listener to digest, with catchy hooks and harmonic guitar work a plenty and some nice, slow moodier passages as well. Under Reprisal is an impressive musical debut, however if there is one thing holding it back it would be that as a whole it doesn't really add anything new or groundbreaking to this genre.

Track Listing
1) Rational Eyes
2) As I Destruct
3) One Last Breath
4) Seeing Red
5) A New Beginning
6) Counter Balance
7) Inane
8) Now
9) Faceless
10) Haunting
11) When All Is Said And Done

Added: December 8th 2006
Reviewer: Ryan Sparks
Related Link: Official Band Website
Hits: 3888
Language: english

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Threat Signal: Under Reprisal
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2006-12-08 07:36:02
My Score:

The Nuclear Blast debut from Canada's Threat Signal, Under Reprisal, shows a hell of a lot of promise for this band that combines technical metal with melodic metalcore. It's a formula that has pretty much been done to death these days, but these guys are competent enough to make it work, as they deliver a wealth of pummeling Meshuggah-ish staccato rhythms and Killswitch Engage/Shadows Fall/Linkin Park type vocal styles, mainly screams, growls, and clean passages. On tunes like "One Last Breath" and "As I Destruct", the band comes close to territory occupied by bands like Soilwork and Mnemic (Nuclear Blast labelmates), and elsewhere their maniacal brand of extreme metal draws comparisons to Strapping Young Lad, especially with the fact that lead singer Jon Howard switches vocal styles at random so well. Guitar wise, Threat Signal have two polished players in Kyle McKnight and Rich Howard, who really know how to create some brutal riffs and wild, melodic solos. The rhythm section of drummer George Parfitt and bassist Marco Bressette also need to be commended, as they really are locked in here, delivering plenty of polyrhythmic fills that again, will remind you of the great Meshuggah.

In summary, a very solid record that shows a band that in all probability has a very bright future ahead of them. There's plenty of brutality, lots of melody, and no shortage of technical instrumentation, all of which will help Under Reprisal appeal to more than just the metalcore crowd.

2004 Sea Of Tranquility
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