[ 5,836 views ]
01. Rational Eyes
02. As I Destruct
03. One Last Breath
04. Seeing Red
05. A New Beginning
06. Counterbalance MP3
11. When All is Said and Done
I really wasn't expecting too much from a band called Threat Signal, because this has to be one of the worst band names I've seen in a while. It's a good thing I wasn't expecting much, because as a discerning metal fan, there isn't much on Under Reprisal for me to get excited about.
This whole album just screams "please accept us into the metal scene, but we still want to be cheesy enough to make loads of money." Does this mean the boys in Threat Signal are bad musicians It doesn't at all. Every single aspect of Under Reprisal is played with a machinelike quality, and no riff (however uninspired) sounds amateurish. I just got an unfortunate, familiar feeling from this album, as I can recall the latest Soilwork record, or any Fear Factory recording.
There is a good bit of Meshuggah influence throughout this record; not in the Chaosphere way, but more reminiscent of the None album. These songs shift gears a good bit, so one couldn't complain about dynamics, but you could complain about the meat of the songs. Sure, a Meshuggah influence can be cool, but when combined with a melodic (and ultra-hokey) Soilwork influence, it becomes another sing-song, flavor of the month sound. The melodic and clean singing choruses can get over the top at points, but the band never forgets to drop it back down into some big breakdowns, or thrashier, upbeat passages. Some of these upbeat moments remind me a bit of Pantera, but only in small doses. There are well-executed guitar solos, heavy riffs, and a good drum performance, so I won't fault these guys as being lackluster musicians. I'll just call this as I see it, and I see it as a (somewhat) more technical alternative to As I Lay Dying and Killswitch Engage.
The production is quite clear and mechanical sounding, so I suppose getting Christian Olde Wolbers (of Fear Factory) contributed heavily to Threat Signal's similarity to Wolber's band. While this production is heavy and crisp, it just sounds over-produced, just like a Fear Factory record.
Bottom Line: Mixing so many different elements of metal can be good, but Threat Signal hasn't presented their influences in a way that I can get excited about. I'm tired of all these metal bands (who show potential) that follow some weak-ass, sing-song formula just to make it big. Then again, if you like syncopated riffs, catchy choruses and tons of clean singing in your metal, ala Soilwork, then you'll absolutely love Under Reprisal.
view all 14 comments