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Threat Signal - "Threat Signal" (CD)

Threat Signal - "Threat Signal" CD cover image

"Threat Signal" track listing:

1. Uncensored (3:14)
2. Comatose (3:30)
3. New World Order (5:49)
4. Trust in None (6:15)
5. Face the Day (4:17)
6. Fallen Disciples (4:55)
7. Disposition (5:40)
8. Death Before Dishonor (4:55)
9. Buried Alive (6:14)

Reviewed by on October 10, 2011

"Threat Signal is definitely a band to follow, as they're certain to be one of the biggest names in metal in the coming decade."

Having won me over during their tour with Dark Tranquillity in early 2010, I was interested in seeing what Threat Signal's next album would sound like. Turns out that it's similar enough to, but not crossing over into, the new djent craze, which should win over fans of what looks to be the new trend of 2010's. In the same way that Lamb of God and Mastodon were popular among metalcore fans without actually jumping onto the -core bandwagon, this album avoids the more confining tropes of the genre.

If there’s one reason and one reason only to listen to the new Threat Signal album, it's Travis Montgomery. While similar in style to Fredrik Thordendal and Dimebag Darrell in terms of jagged, angular riffing mixed in with melodic shredding, yet still identifiable as himself, Montgomery is the best guitarist that I've heard in a long time. Simultaneously groovy and technical, he's everything that a metal guitarist should be.

For as good as the songwriting is, Jon Howard does a great job with harsh vocals, using multiple styles and sounding genuinely pissed off. He's also the band's weak link because his singing voice sounds similar to Chester Bennington of Linkin Park fame. Howard’s nasal tone is incredibly grating and really distracts me from the excellent guitar work. Thankfully, the clean parts are used infrequently, but still often enough to be bothersome.

Still, when Howard sticks to screaming, Threat Signal is an incredible band. The problems with Howard's infrequent clean vocals doesn't stop Threat Signal's self-titled album from being an absolute onslaught of amazing riffs. Threat Signal is definitely a band to follow, as they're certain to be one of the biggest names in metal in the coming decade.

Highs: Amazing yet accessible guitar playing, solid songwriting

Lows: Jon Howard's annoying singing voice

Bottom line: Threat Signal's new self-titled album is the riff-fest of the year.

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)